Slow start frustrates Wheeler
AFTER picking up his fourth victory of 2011 against Kevin Donnelly at Cage Warriors 44 last weekend, it’s certainly been a year to remember for Brad “The Crazy Kid” Wheeler (7-5-0).
The 21-year-old’s career has been moving in the right direction since his move to the MMA Clinic in Romford, and his progress continued with a 3rd round submission win over Donnelly at the HMV Forum in London.
Apart from his defeat via disqualification to Ian Entwistle at Cage Warriors 41 in April – which he avenged by defeating the same opponent in June – Wheeler has come through 2011 unbeaten thus far.
“It’s definitely been a good year for me,” Wheeler admitted. “I joined the MMA Clinic, signed with Cage Warriors and have continued to get better, as you can see from my fights.
“I’ve had five fights this year and won four of them. I haven’t gone the distance as I’ve finished all my opponents. That one loss was by ‘DQ’ but I won the re-match so I don’t really count that as a loss.
“What’s next for me is up to Graham Boylan and Ian Dean. I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me.”
Wheeler took a confident approach into his recent lightweight bout with Donnelly, insisting beforehand that he had already taken on opponents of a higher calibre.
However, Donnelly ended up giving Wheeler his biggest test of the year, which took him slightly by surprise.
“Kevin was tougher than I thought,” said Wheeler, reflecting on the fight. “He surprised me with some kicks and knees but other than that he was how I expected him to be. I just didn’t stick to my game-plan.
“I wasn’t happy with my performance. I got the win, which was good, but it took me two rounds to get my head into the fight. I didn’t set the pace, I felt I was lazy and sloppy. It was almost like I didn’t even realise I was in a fight.
“My corner had a go at me after the 2nd round and told me to wake up. They made me tell myself that I wanted to win the fight, which lit the spark and woke me up.
“That’s why I came out aggressive in the 3rd, which is then when I pushed the pace, put the pressure on him and got the finish. But I should have come out like that from the start.”
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