Fighter Spotlight: Bubba Jenkins

Fighter Spotlight: Bubba Jenkins

Taylor Dow|
August 04, 2023|

Record: 21-6
Born: February 5, 1988 (age 35) Frankfurt, Germany
Weight: 145 lb (66 kg)
Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Reach: 70 inches
Nationality: American
Division: Featherweight (145 lb)
Fighting out of: Huntington Beach, California, U.S.
Next Fight: Jesus Pinedo (PFL 7)

Wrestling Career

Bubba Jenkins began wrestling in High School, winning the VHSL State Wrestling and NHSCA Senior National Championships.

During College, Jenkins trained out of Penn State University, and in his Freshman year, he went 23-12 during the regular season and 3-3 post-season.

For his Sophomore year, he defeated the highly touted Jordan Burroughs in a close match, placing fifth in the Big Ten Championship and becoming a runner-up at the NCAA.

During his Junior year, Jenkins finished the regular season with an undefeated 22-0 record and went 2-0 before the Big Ten Championship finals. However, despite an impressive start, Jenkins was forced to withdraw before the finals due to an injury, earning him runner-up honors. This injury would stick around during the NCAA's, forcing him to go 0-2.

During his Senior year, Jenkins opted to move to Arizona State University as Cael Sanderson was placed as the head coach at Penn State University, and their styles clashed. This year, Jenkins captured NCAA gold by pinning undefeated future Olympic gold medalist David Taylor in the finals.


First MMA Fights

Jenkins debuted as a professional MMA fighter in 2011 for the Tachi Palace Fights promotion, winning back-to-back first-round submissions over Josh Williams and Chris Gomez.

Jenkins had one final win before joining Bellator, where he ended up having 11 fights (the most of any promotion he fought in), during which he scored his third round-one submission, this time against Jesus Adame at RFA 3: Stevenson vs. Cochrane.

Bellator Run

Jenkins entered Bellator in 2013, debuting against Mike Barreras and scoring a round 2 TKO in one of the most one-sided beatdowns in Bellator history.

In his next fight, Jenkins suffered his first defeat against LaRue Burley, who finished him by TKO in the third round.

Eager to return to his winning ways, Jenkins came back with four wins in a row against Ian Rammel, Sean Powers, Poppies Martinez, and Thiago Meller, two by TKO and two by unanimous decision.

Jenkins would face the second loss of his career against one of his biggest rivals Georgi Karakhanyan, where he was choked unconscious in the first round at Bellator 132 in 2015.

Over the next year, Jenkins would rack up three more wins to secure a rematch with Georgi Karakhanyan, where this time, he was KO'd by Karakhanyan in under a minute of the bout.

This fight would be the last of Jenkins' Bellator run, where he finished with an 8-3 record in the promotion.


Final Fights Outside PFL

Jenkins would have four more fights before joining PFL, where he resides today. Jenkins' final fights outside PFL would see him take his fourth loss, followed by a three-fight win streak, which included obtaining and defending the Brave CF Featherweight Championship.


Jenkins made his PFL debut during the third PFL tournament the promotion put together. To start his PFL run, Jenkins scored back-to-back decision victories over Lance Palmer and Bobby Moffett, which placed him in the semi-finals against Chris Wade. Wade would ultimately defeat Jenkins and make it to the finals, losing to Movlid Khaybulaev at the end of the bracket.

Jenkins' next season in the PFL would see him make it to the finals by defeating Kyle Bochniak and Reinaldo Ekson by decision, and Ryoji Kudo by first-round submission for the quick six points in the semi-finals.

Jenkins took on Brendan Loughnane in the 2022 finals, where he lost by TKO in the first round.

This season, Jenkins has redeemed his loss over Chris Wade and scored the quick six points against Sung Bin Jo with a first-round submission.


Next Fight and Potential Future

Jenkins' next fight is scheduled to be against Jesus Pinedo, who is coming off a TKO victory against Brendan Loughnane. This fight will decide who will enter the tournament finals and face the winner of Chris Wade vs. Gabriel Alves Braga.

Two big wins could earn Jenkins his first PFL title and $1,000,000.

Bubba Jenkins and Jesus Pinedo face off. Credit: PFL MMA.
Bubba Jenkins and Jesus Pinedo face off. Credit: PFL MMA.
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