Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
Mike Wilkinson was riding high after his last outing under the UFC banner in October 2014. Pitted against hometown favorite Niklas Backstrom, who was coming off his stunning debut win over Tom Niinimaki, the majority of people forecast the Swede to take the victory against the Brit.
Just over a minute into the contest, Wilkinson threw right hand with bad intentions that knocked the young Swede stiff. Such was the force of the collision that ended his unbeaten run, Backstrom was still at sixes and sevens when the Brit was giving his post fight interview. Just as Dan Hardy was setting up his first question for his countryman, Backstrom stumbled over and claimed the stoppage was “fucked up,” before he was ushered away.
Although it should have been Wilkinson’s coming out party, ‘The Warrior’ has been forced to the sideline ever since his win over Backstrom. However, instead of pondering what could have been, Wilkinson is primed for his next bout and he doesn’t believe his time away from the Octagon will affect him at all at UFC London on February 27.
“It really hasn’t been a bad layoff in terms of injury,” Wilkinson stated. “I train 365 days a year. Even though I dislocated my shoulder I only took I week off and then I was straight back into the gym. I was back working with my coach and I was keeping my weight down so I’d be ready for anything.
“In that time away from competition I’ve improved drastically. The time when you’re not in camp, that’s when you should be in the gym learning and developing, and that’s what I’ve done. I haven’t missed a single session in the gym and I’ve developed a lot as a fighter. I’m full of confidence and I know what I ….View full article