Joe Wilk wants revenge at VFC 37’s featherweight title fight
On April 13th, Joe Wilk will be looking to win the VFC featherweight title. When he looks across the cage at his opponent, he will be looking at Aaron Steele, the current VFC featherweight title holder and last person to beat Joe at 145lbs, back in December of 2010. To say this fight has been on Joe's mind is an understatement.
"I've had a bad taste in my mouth for 18 months or whatever it's been since that fight. I definitely have lost some sleep over it. And also I want to avenge my only loss in the 145lb division."
Since that last fight Steele has been focused on training and traveling for grappling tournaments while Joe has won five fights at 145lbs. Some people are saying that Steele's constant training will give the edge while others think the constant ring time makes the fight favor Wilk. It's pretty obvious which school of thought Joe follows.
"I think that me having these fights, I've been in camp, I do full fight camps for every fight, I don't really jump into anything on short notice, or at least not very often. I've done a ton of travelling. I've gone to Florida to train, to Des Moines, been up to Omaha to train a bunch of times. I've gotten out of my comfort zone. I think that means a lot more than if I'd spent a year at my own gym. It's how much time do you spend getting your ass whooped at other peoples gyms."
It's clear that Joe feels his method gives him the edge. He also is looking forward to coming into Omaha and fighting Aaron in his own backyard. That's not a situation that most fighters like to put themselves in, Joe revels in it.
"That's my favorite thing. I've had 21 pro fights and I'd say at least 15 of those I fought guys in their hometown. I love that. It puts the pressure on them. It gives me a chance to play the heel, play spoiler. And that's fun to do. It not always easy to get a crowd behind you positively but I find it very easy to a crowd behind me negatively."
Joe understands that wins will get you noticed, but wins and a personality will get you noticed a lot sooner.
"I love coming to Omaha. I've always said that if people are making noise, I don't care if they're booing or cheering as long as they're there and having fun."
That attitude has already put him on the radar of some very prominent people in the MMA world. At the UFC Fight Night in Omaha, he introduced himself to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and Silva didn't need an introduction, he already knew who he was. Being that close to potentially moving up to one of the big shows would make a lot of fighters take a more cautious approach, making sure they get the win and not take any unnecessary chances. That's not how Joe Wilk fights, and he thinks it's one of the reasons he lost the first time.
"I feel like in the first fight, I put myself in bad posititions over and over again trying to be a finisher. And I'm not going to apologize to anybody for that. That's my fighting style, if I have to out and drop fights once in a while because a guy wants to survive and survive until he can get on me then I'll be proud to fight that way. I'm not going to be a guy that goes out and tries to win a decision. I have five five minute sessions to go out and try and finish the guy across from me and that's what I'm going to try and do. If it turns out the way it did last time then so be it."
Joe Wilk loves coming into Omaha. He loves the VFC. He will be the first one to admit that his VFC fights have taught him a lot about who he is as a fighter. And he's eager to get into the VFC cage and give the fans a fight they will remember. And he can't wait to come back again, but this time he plans on coming back to defend his belt.