This Friday, Bellator returns to London and numerous British fighters get the opportunity to compete again. One of those fighters is “The Experiment” Tim Wilde, who hasn’t been in the cage since November 2019.
Wilde has shone with his karate skills across several UK promotions, winning titles in Golden Ticket Promotions and Full Contact Contender. Bellator noticed his talent after beating Amin Ayoub and Anthony Dizy, very impressively.
It was Bellator debut despair for Wilde, with him being submitted inside the first round to Brent Primus. The defeat didn’t phase Wilde and he worked harder than ever to improve his game.
And he did exactly that when he overcome a hard-fought victory in a three-round classic with Charlie Leary at Bellator London. Wilde showed his capabilities in his stand-up game to impress the Bellator fans, and all the British faithful with be all eyes on him as he opens the main card on Friday night.
Wilde faces a tough opponent in Yves Landu, who has very impressive stand-up, and he isn’t shy to take it to the ground. We’re expecting an all-out brawl between these two, with it being a while since they’ve been in the cage, they’re going to be extremely hungry to put on a show.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Wilde ahead of his bout on Bellator 267.
So, Tim, as we edge closer to fight week, how are your emotions right now?
Tim Wilde – My emotions right now are mostly excitement, feeling excited, I’m looking forward to getting into the cage, fighting again, and showing all the Bellator fans, how I’ve improved over these last two years.
How and when did you find your love for martial arts?
Tim Wilde – My love for martial arts started at a young age of about 7 or 8 years old. I was bullied as a child, my parent pushed me into karate, so I started with Shotokan karate, and yeah it’s progressed from there into what I do today, but very early on I knew I was going to do martial arts all my life, I purely loved it and was passionate about it, from teenage years onwards.
It’s been almost two years since you stepped into the cage, has it been frustrating not fighting? Have you struggled to find a fight?
Tim Wilde – Yeah it has been frustrating, I’ve had two or three matchups that have been postponed, delayed, or cancelled due to covid, and then, unfortunately, the final matchup that went ahead in Milan, I sustained an injury that kept me out for a year, so having two years off has been frustrating, but it’s give me the chance to grow as a fighter and as I say I’m excited to show the Bellator fans just that.
How’s training been in the past year or so, with the likes of Covid, etc?
Tim Wilde – Training has been difficult, especially early on in my rehabilitation, gyms were closed, so I had to make do with DIY or home equipment but these times of adversity are sent to test us and you know through kind of strength and consistency, focus, I have rehabilitated my knee successfully and I’ve not only achieved that, I’ve grown as a fighter and being an elite sportsman here in the UK, we were still able to train as a professional, so you know in the backs of the gym, privately we’ve just been working hard constantly for the past year/two years.
You’ve won belts in Full Contact Contender and Golden Ticket Promotions, did these victories make you hungrier for more, and how did the Bellator signing come about?
Tim Wilde – Yeah becoming champion in multiple, regional shows, it really does truly light a fire under you, I think the ultimate achievement of winning a title in the biggest organisations in the world being Bellator is the main goal. The Bellator signing came after a string of wins and exciting performances, exciting knockout over a very highly ranked Dizy, who was the French number one at the time, Bellator wanted to sign us and we went with it.
Talk to me about the defeat to Brent Primus on your Bellator debut, what do you think went wrong in that fight for you?
Tim Wilde – We got offered Brent Primus for our first fight, yeah it was a tough loss, tough to lose to him, no fighter wants to lose, but I truly believe I’m a better fighter all round than him. I got overexcited, jumped into his strongest area, being his jiu-jitsu, which we trained all camp not to do, I think the whole event took over with me, congratulations with him he’s a great fighter, I have no doubt, we’ll meet again down the line, I was just a little disappointed, as the fight never really got going. So, onto the next one following that and it’s all learning, you grow from all your losses as well as your wins.
You were involved in a toe-to-toe classic against Charlie Leary in your previous bout. Was it a relief to get that first victory in the promotion as you seemed quite shocked by the decision?
Tim Wilde – I still believe me and Charlie put on fight of the night that night, Charlie Leary and I are friends now, he’s a good guy and a great fighter, personally I believe that was the unofficial fight for the number one spot in the UK really, he’s since been active and won since then, I haven’t. On the night, you never know how the judges are going to score it, they could have favoured him having more ground control in the second round, but it seemed they favoured me dropping him with the knee in the second round, I clearly won the third round, he clearly won the first, it was the second round I wasn’t sure about. I was extremely happy to get the first win in Bellator, I was disappointed with my performance, I felt like it took me a while to get going, as the fight went on I performed better and stronger, but I should be looking to make much more of statement in my next fight.
Bellator 267 is going to be a huge event, how excited are you to be on the card?
Tim Wilde – I’m really excited to be fighting on Bellator 267, I fought there against Charlie Leary two years ago, and I know the event, I know the venue, I know the area, it’s in my home country, so yeah, I’m super excited, it’s a big main event, it’s a big main card, any true fan of the sport knows mine and Landu’s fight is going to be an excellent fight, so it’s great to be back and great to be back on a good event for my first fight, and I’m looking to put on a real good performance and steal the show for sure.
Finally, are you one to study your opponent ahead of a fight, or focus more on your own game? Do you have any predictions also?
Tim Wilde – Well, I’m constantly working on growing as a fighter, pushing my weaker areas, working my strong areas, it’s my full-time job, there isn’t a day where I’m not looking to improve myself, not only as a fighter but as a human being in general, that’s always the agenda. I do always study my opponents, and I’ve studied Landu, I recognise he has patterns, he has his favourite go to’s, I can see the holes in his game, I predict me getting a second-round finish, but I’m prepared for wherever the fight goes, however, the fight goes, I’m prepared in all areas, I’m just truly excited to be getting back in there.
Featured Image Credits to Tim Wilde