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New weight class, new timezone, no problem for UFC-Gdansk's Jonathan Wilson


GDANSK, Poland – When Jonathan Wilson enters the octagon on Saturday, he’ll not only be battling an undefeated opponent. He’ll be doing it in a foreign country, against its home product, in a new weight division.

Still, for Wilson, it’s business as usual at UFC Fight Night 118.

For some of the U.S.-based athletes who are set to fight at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, the first battle started early in the week by having to adjust to the timezone (11 hours ahead of Pacific Time). In Wilson’s case, though, being a night owl has come in handy.

“Pretty much before fighting I was like a bouncer at a nightclub and stuff like that,” Wilson told MMAjunkie ahead of the preliminary card bout, which streams live on UFC Fight Pass. “I’m used to not going to sleep until 5, 6 in the morning. So, honestly, the schedule is totally fine with me. I still find time to sleep, and I’m not a big sleeper. It hasn’t affected me so much.”

That’s not the only added factor for Wilson, who’ll also be making his debut in the 185-pound division after a three-fight octagon stint at light heavyweight. But Wilson, who’s already officially weighed in at 186 pounds, said the change was a non-issue.

In fact, while he felt “like a beast” at 205 pounds, the middleweight had already started considering a switch after his second UFC bout. So, when his management suggested the change, he was fully on board.

“I was so happy to do it, because I already knew my body could,” Wilson said. “So pretty much this camp, I started it pretty much where 185ers start at. I had no problem getting that at all.”

With the pre-fight concerns out of the way, Wilson (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has one more obstacle to overcome: the undefeated Oskar Piechota (9-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), a former Cage Warriors champion who gets to have his UFC debut in front of a friendly crowd. But, once more, Wilson remains unfazed.

All the studying has been done, as well as the work to make sure its applied properly inside the cage. Any holes in Piechota’s game, Wilson says, will be dealt with on fight day. Whatever happens, though, he does believe the match is bound to be action-packed.

“I see an exciting fight, and I see a war,” Wilson said. “I don’t call out finishes or anything like that. For the most part I just know I like the matchup. I like the opponent and everything I’ve watched on him, every jiu-jitsu tournament, every fight. He goes for it. He works.

“At the end of the day, that’s exactly the type of fighter that I want. The fights that suck, the fighters that won’t fight, the fighters that run or the fighters that lay-and-pray. Even when he hits the ground, he’s moving, he’s working, he’s doing something. So it will be a good fight no matter what.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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