PFL 1's fighter to watch is Bubba Jenkins

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Bubba Jenkins is looking to kick off 2023 with revenge over Chris Wade.

The Professional Fighters League is back and kicking off its fifth season on Saturday, April 1. This card features several names that hardcore fight fans will recognize and many other new names that can become stars of the future. One individual that many will recognize is Bubba Jenkins. He’s a competitor that has been around for years, both in MMA and amateur wrestling but is still looking for a breakthrough. Kicking off the 2023 season with a big win over Chris Wade is a step in the right direction.

Jenkins success in combat sports started back in college where he was a part of one of the most dominant teams in collegiate wrestling, the Penn State Nittany Lions. While on that roster, he’d pick up a NCAA Championship in 2011 when he won the 157-pound division. He wasn’t able to translate that success into a post-collegiate wrestling career, but his wrestling became a solid base to build his mixed martial arts skill set around.

Jenkins’s career started in the hot seat, getting his first fight as a part of the famed regional promotion, Taichi Palace Fights. He ran off a 4-0 record before joining Bellator, making his debut for that company at Bellator 100 in 2013. He spent six years with that company, finding various forms of success but never breaking through to title contention.

After another run on the regional circuit, Jenkins joined the PFL in 2021. He would have strong runs in two tournaments, but he suffered a defeat at the hands of Chris Wade in the semifinals of the 2021 featherweight tournament, then lost to Brendan Loughnane in the 2022 featherweight final.

Chris Wade is looking to make it 2-0 against Bubba Jenkins

If Jenkins is going to put together a successful campaign in 2023, he will have to get through a tough competitor in Wade. Wade has already picked up one win against Jenkins and has a wealth of experience on his resume. His career tracks across Ring of Combat, the UFC, and eventually joining PFL where he’s continued to push for a tournament victory of his own. Jenkins is heading toward the twilight of his career and if he’s going to put together a final run, it must begin with PFL 1 2023.

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PFL 1 2023: Brendan Loughnane vs. Marlon Moraes takes place on Saturday, April 1, 2023, live from The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights.