Bubba Jenkins was a rising star in mixed martial arts after a successful collegiate career. He won an NCAA title in 2011, and became one of the top prospects to watch.
Less than two years ago, Jenkins signed with Bellator. He stayed there for 11 all fights until eventually moving on to other ventures. On Friday, Jenkins will engage in his seventh fight for the PFL as he competes for the featherweight championship against Brendan Loughnane in the finals for the 2022 season.
After stints in Bellator, PFL and Brave CF, Jenkins’s most notable omission is UFC. This was Jenkins’ first choice after graduation. Jenkins said that it never came to pass and that while he still has plenty of career time, he doesn’t regret if he does retire one day. He also admitted that there have never been any UFC fights on his resume.
“Absolutely 100 percent [OK if I never fight in the UFC],” Jenkins told MMA Fighting. “The UFC thing, as far as being famous, as far as being in the gym training with the toughest, the best of the best, fighting on different stages, I’ve done everything that the UFC has to offer.
“It’s not like I’m sad or not ready or having been ready. No matter what organization, I am one of the greatest fighters in the entire world. There aren’t many people in the world that can beat me in 15 minutes, 25 minutes, whatever rounds they want to have. I’m a bad man. It’s difficult to handle me when I’m off, or training, and all’s well with my kids. I believe that .”
He also has a financial advantage from his job at the PFL.
His fight against Loughnane will not only crown a 145-pound champion for the season but the winner will walk away with a $1 million prize, which is an amount of money many UFC fighters will probably never see in their careers.
“When I become champion, I’m going to start calling people out and we’re going to realize it’s not the end all be all with the UFC,” Jenkins said. “There are really tough fighters out there that just decided to have more power and have more understanding of their self-worth than taking whatever the UFC has to offer.”
While the UFC remains the biggest combat sports promotion, organizations like the PFL have given fighters another option, especially when hitting free agency and fielding offers on the open market.
Jenkins doesn’t have anything bad to say about the UFC necessarily but he’s proud to be part of the PFL.
More important, Jenkins is pleased that he will be able create a legacy that can be challenged by anyone else in promotions.
“The platform that we have, the people that I’m working with in the PFL — Ray Sefo and all the people in the organization — it’s just amazing that we get to be a part of it,” Jenkins said. “Fight closer to our worth and have the platform to change lives with what we do through the fight game. I can’t complain.
“My mom taught me not to count another man’s bank so I don’t really look over there at the UFC. While I worry about my actions, I am focused on what I do. The legacy that I wish to leave for my children and their inheritance is the goal of .”
Jenkins will have a great chance to add to his list of accomplishments with a win over Loughnane while also giving himself the kind of financial stability he could have never imagined.
He fully expects both to happen on Friday with the culmination of the PFL finals.
” I’m not going sugarcoat it. Jenkins stated that this is my best performance. We’re mentally and physically strong, so we have the finances to make it possible for us to live comfortably. Now that we have that and the goals that we want are so close and obtainable, this is the best you’ve seen and I’m getting better. This is what’s scary.
“[The $1 million will provide] financial freedom for a long time. An ability to focus on my craft. To just have that breath of fresh air that a father looks for when he’s trying to provide for the things that his children need or the things that they want. I want to give them the life that I didn’t have growing up and even more of the things that I did have. This is my inspiration .”