No one understands the definition of blood, sweat and tears better than an MMA fighter who has spent the last six months training for a one-night cage fight. Last Saturday, two Marshfield natives: Patrick Wilson and Billy Wilson, made their mixed martial arts debut as amateur cage fighters and professional cage fighters respectively. It’s not every day that Marshfield can boast of professional athletes and the boys’ mother, and Marshfieldian Karen Wilson, wanted the whole town to know how important Saturday’s fight was.
“I’m really proud of my boys and without the Marshfield Club wrestling program they would never have ended up here,” Karen said.
Billy “The Kid” Wilson has been performing in the world of MMA Fight for several years. He started in the amateur scene and built up a solid reputation. “I went 7 for 1 in amateur MMA and won 3 titles while I was doing that. I was number one on the amateur side in a lot of places, and number 4 in the US/Midwest. So now , I’m taking the leap and making my pro debut on Saturday,” Billy “The Kid” said. And the difference between amateur and pro? “Amateur, you don’t get paid, it’s like you’re just getting your experience . Pro, you start getting paid. Paid for your fights, bonuses, earning a living,” Wilson explained. As of this writing, Billy “The Kid” Wilson is ranked number one in Missouri and Kansas, fourth in the US Midwest, and number 1 in the US Southwest.
Billy has spent the past six months training full time, taking a break from his barbering career. He moved to New Mexico to step up his training at a facility called Jackson Wink MMA Academy.
“We do a lot of wrestling, jiu-jitsu and running. The elevation in New Mexico is very different, it’s a completely different environment than I was used to (home). It’s almost like reaching a new level of a video game,” Billy says while training at Jackson Wink. When asked how he got started in the world of cage fighting, Billy acknowledged his time at the Marshfield Wrestling Club and training under his high school coach Matt Holt.
“I wrestled my senior year in high school, and I was getting pretty good at wrestling, I wasn’t making waves or anything, but I was just better than I was. I was wrestling under trainer Matt Holt and Adam Wright, and I really fell in love with wrestling. When I graduated I kept finding ways to keep wrestling, I really missed it. I coached for a while, but it didn’t give me the physicality I needed. I started doing jiu-jitsu in Springfield and some of the guys there convinced me to train with the MMA guys. I was horrible at first but after about six months of training I took my first fight, it lasted about 45 seconds and the rush was just amazing.
As Billy “The Kid” Wilson makes his debut as a professional MMA fighter, his little brother will also step into the cage for his very first time, making his debut as an amateur fighter. “I’m very excited for Saturday, not as nervous as I thought I was going to be, I feel like a lot of the experiences I’ve had in my life have prepared me for this moment,” said Patrick Wilson when asked how he felt about his upcoming fight.
At just 23 years old, Patrick Wilson has already served his county in the Marine Corps and is now ready to pursue his dream in the world of MMA fighting. “I started wrestling (in high school). It opened my eyes to combat sports and I was watching UFC fights as much as I could. Once I got into the Marine Corps and experienced the whole warrior philosophy, it really opened up my mind that I could do this (fight),” Wilson said.
Wilson has spent the past six months training for the Saturday night fight, spending no less than 3 hours a day training. “I work full time, so I get off at 5:30 a.m. and head straight to Springfield Fight Club to practice. I usually do a mix of mixed martial arts, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. This week, I ran in the morning to reduce my weight.
“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Patrick says of his love of MMA Fighting. “It’s kind of funny I left for the marine corps and came back for a break and my brother (Billy) was like ‘hey you wanna come watch me fight’ I was like this is a joke “But I’ve watched and supported him and I’m learning from him. It’s a bit easier, I don’t have to make the same mistakes he made early in his career.
Billy and Patrick entered the ring on Saturday night ready to make their debuts in the fighting world as professional and amateur fighters. Patrick eventually lost his match to Ray Hayes, but he’s not done yet. “I’m going to go back to the gym and keep training,” Patrick said when asked what’s next.
As for Billy, he was successful in his match against Tray Martin from Colombia, MO. “What comes next for me is discovering other aspects of life in the business world, looking for ways to continue growing, building my brand, and somewhere down the road, taking a another fight when the time is right for me,” Gamelle said. “Right now I just got back from a six month training camp. I want to catch up with my close friends and family who have been supporting me and for now I’m enjoying life, training, I’m learning and becoming the best I can be Billy would like to thank the following people and sponsors for helping him get this far in his fighting career: Brooks Hardwood Flooring, Whitetail Properties, Groovy Gardens – they’ve been supporting me for six months, Third Base Barber shop in New Mexico, Jackson Wink, Springfield Fight Club, and then a big thank you to my friends and family who have supported me all this time.” Honestly, I couldn’t have done all of this without my family and my girlfriend.”