LFA has a history of sending its fighters to the big stage, and Ty Wilson is looking to take advantage of that.
Montreal, Que.’s Wilson (6-3) will make his LFA debut on Friday night when he takes on California’s Kyle Estrada (10-6) in a bantamweight bout at LFA 106 in Shawnee, Okla.
LFA, especially in recent years, has been a direct pipeline to Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) and the UFC for many of their fighters.
Estrada’s last two opponents, Adrian Yanez and Kevin Natividad, made the jump to DWCS and the UFC respectively after defeating him, and Wilson, 28, said he’s hoping a win over Estrada leads him down that exact same path.
“I understand I don’t have the win streak going right now, but with a win I’d like to be able to get on Contender Series or something like that. I’d hope some doors open and I can get on a bigger card somewhere,” said Wilson in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I want to beat him better than anyone else did, like Kevin Natividad or Adrian Yanez, so I can show I also belong where they are.”
Wilson hasn’t fought since Nov. 2019, but it hasn’t been for a lack of trying. Although fights have been hard to come by, especially for Canadians, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilson was able to secure two bouts, but both fell through due to positive COVID-19 tests for his opponents.
And while he was disappointed not to have the chance to step in the cage on either occasion, Wilson said there was still a bright side to both fights being canceled.
“It was kind of bittersweet because obviously I wanted to fight, but on the other side when you’re in camp getting ready for a fight is when you’re at your best. So, I didn’t get to fight twice, but I got to spend all those months that I was getting ready for a fight increasing how good I am,” said Wilson.
“It’s just more time for me to get better and it’s less time people have seen how much better I’ve gotten.”
His last bout was a unanimous decision loss to Matthew DiMarcantonio at BTC 8, a fight he said he entered with his usual go-forward mentality.
Looking ahead, Wilson said he’s aiming to be more open to altering his game plan depending on his opponent and will make that change on Friday night.
“I only really had a go-forward mentality before that fight. It was always just go forward, get to the clinch, get the takedowns, try to gas them out, they’re going to get tired before I do kind of thing. Matt was really good at circling, staying away, letting me come forward, and countering me,” said Wilson.
“I’ve had to open everything up a lot and I don’t just stick to one game plan I have for every single fight.”
Now facing a tough veteran in Estrada, Wilson will be sharing the cage with a man who has fought three current UFC fighters, taking one of them, Yanez, to a split decision.
Wilson said he’s looking forward to what will be his most experienced test of his career, a position he’s not used to being in.
“He seems good overall, seems tough. He has a lot of experience and has won a belt as pro too,” said Wilson.
“I’m the less experienced one in this matchup, which usually I feel like I’m the more experienced one.”
“I’d like to thank Tristar Gym, Hayabusa, and Hayabusa Academy.” Follow Wilson on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM