Name: Wilson Reis Professional Record: 6-0 Height: 5’4” Weight: 140 pounds Discipline: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Notable Wins: 6-0
Born in Brazil, Wilson Reis made the move to the United States years ago. He had wanted to be a full-time Jiu- Jitsu trainer, and he fulfi lled his goal. In 2007, he made his professional MMA debut after a successful amateur career.
A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Roberto Godoi, Reis transitioned his grappling trade into MMA. His fundamentals are excellent, and his moves are slick. Reis is a decorated BJJ practitioner with credentials that include two championships in Grappler’s Quest and fi rst place at the 2004 Mundials as a brown belt.
After two wins as a professional, Reis signed on with EliteXC. The Philadelphia resident defeated every opponent who was put in front of him, including a dominating performance over Justin Robbins that garnered him many new fans. At ShoXC 8, he earned a fi ve-round unanimous decision over Abel Cullum to become EliteXC’s fi rst Bantamweight champion.
What did Reis feel was his biggest achievement to date? “Defi nitely winning the EliteXC title,” he commented. “The fi ght was a fi ve-round battle, and it was a very exciting time for me. I feel that I have not even scratched the surface of my ability yet. I am still pretty new to the sport, and I am looking forward to what the future holds.”
Unfortunately, Reis never got the chance to defend his new title. EliteXC closed down its fi ght operations last October, leaving many athletes uncertain about their future. However, a fi ghter with so much natural talent like Reis doesn’t stay down for long.
“Since I was their champion, I was sad to see them go,” Reis said. “But I have found a new home with Bellator. Bellator is the new promotion on the ESPN network. They have treated me like gold. They believe in making the fi ghter the focal point, so I am so excited for their eight-man tournaments starting this April on ESPN Deportes. I am honored that Bellator is highlighting me as one of their premier 145-pound fi ghters.”
Wilson Reis’ performances have been impressive, and his full potential has yet to be seen. With a promising career ahead of him, he is poised to become one of the top Featherweights in the near future.
“I want to be considered the best 145-pound fi ghter in the world,” Reis explained. “And more than anything, I want to be happy. I would love to be making enough money to support my mom and dad and brothers and sisters back in Brazil. Thank you all for your support. You guys drive me every day to train hard and improve. You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Name: Jesse Riggleman Professional Record: 2-0 Height: 5’3” Weight: 135 pounds Discipline: Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Notable Wins: Steve Kinnison
Some people take time to master their craft; then there’s Jesse Riggleman. Riggleman began training for MMA in February 2008. He made his amateur debut just 1 month into training and compiled fi ve dominating victories, a championship belt, and left three opponents sleeping from submissions. Riggleman turned pro after just 8 months of training at the MMA Institute in Harrisburg, Va.
“I always enjoyed competing; wrestling defi nitely helped me get into the MMA world,” Riggleman said. “My family and friends always encouraged me to give it a try, but I was never sure about it. I gave it a try and ended up loving it! Just getting back in a gym and that lifestyle was great, after 2 years of just sitting around and helping out kids on the wrestling team at my former high school. I wanted to get into something for myself, and I found it.”
“One of the greatest assets that Jesse possesses is his competitiveness,” teammate and head MMA Institute instructor Beau Baker commented. “I’ve watched him // PHOTO BY PAUL THATCHER for years walk into high-pressure situations cool as can be. He carries himself with a ‘gee golly’ attitude that is infectious, and always a smile. This kid is a competitor in the purest sense of the word.”
After a successful pro debut, Riggleman took on a very tough veteran in Steve Kinnison on 1 day’s notice. The Bantamweight prospect went on to dominate every second of the fi ght before fi nishing his much more experienced opponent by rear naked choke in the fi nal round. Not bad for a fi ghter with less than a year’s worth of training experience.
A two-time state wrestling champion, Riggleman utilizes his grappling prowess to overwhelm his opponents with strong top control and ground-and-pound. His Jiu-Jitsu game is constantly improving, and many people in his gym consider him as good as any black belt without a gi.
“I want to be the best,” Riggleman said. “I want that target on me, the one that everyone wants to fi ght. Right now I’m trying to make a name for myself, trying to get to the top. I got some good wins under me, and a few people know who I am. I want the world to respect me as one of the greatest Bantamweight fi ghters.”
With more experience and training, Jesse Riggleman hopes to make a major impact in the growing 135-pound division. The potential is strong for this young fi ghter, and only time will tell how far his career will go.
Name: John Hosman Professional Record: 15-4-1 Height: 5’10” Weight: 135 pounds Discipline: Wrestling, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Notable Wins: Mike Powell, Dan LaSavage
The Midwest MMA scene has grown considerably over the years. Fueled by the success of Miletich Fighting Systems, many new gyms have arrived and are responsible for the next generation of fi ghters who are trying to make names for themselves.
John Hosman is looking to take his fi ghting career to the next level. The Bantamweight prospect has been staying busy and has been consistently improving all aspects of his game. The 28-year-old fi ghter holds 135-pound titles in many organizations, including the XFO, Gladiators Fighting, Extreme Challenge, and Corral Combat (C3).
“He’s a great wrestler, but he doesn’t worry about wrestling; he’s been knocking people out. His stand-up is awesome,” teammate and UFC star Clay Guida said.
Hosman trains out of the Midwest Training Center and was with the team prior to its creation.
“I hooked up with MTC by chance,” Hosman explained. “A buddy of mine that I was working with at the time knew I was trying to get into MMA and told me about some guys that were training nearby. I went and checked it out, and saw a handful of guys in a makeshift gym doing Jiu-Jitsu. I was like, ‘OK, let’s see what these guys got,’ and promptly got my butt kicked. I fi gured if I’m getting my butt kicked, they have to be the real deal. The makeshift gym eventually moved to a new location and became MTC.”
The Midwest Training Center is quickly making a name for itself as one of the best facilities to train at in Illinois. The gym is home to many up-and-coming fi ghters as well as UFC Lightweight Clay “The Carpenter” Guida.
“Having a workhorse like Clay around makes everyone in the gym want to step it up,” the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt said. “Being so close in weight allows us the chance to have real good goes together. I learn a lot from Clay and his style. He’s been there and done that, so you know it works.”
Hosman describes himself as a “complete mixed martial artist. I have good striking, my ground game is solid, and I’ve been wrestling since I was little.” Fans who have seen him fi ght will remember his powerful hooks, quick armbars, and knees from the clinch. Much of what Hosman knows today can be traced back to the tutelage of his trainer, Alex Trujillo.
“Alex is great,” the Evanston, Ill, resident commented. “He has an incredible knowledge of the sport and knows how to teach it. He has the best BJJ I’ve ever seen, and his stand-up and wrestling are right up there. I try to emulate his style the best I can. Whether coaching or sparring at the gym, or cornering in a fi ght, I’m glad he has my back. I couldn’t ask for a better mentor,”
The 135-pound division has blossomed over the last few years, and many Bantamweights are beginning to get the attention that they deserve. Is it John Hosman’s time to take things to the next level?
“I like to think so,” he said. “All I can do in the meantime is keep pushing forward and busting my butt ‘til I get there.”
The future is bright for John Hosman. When the opportunity comes, this Bantamweight prospect will make the best of it.
“I would like to thank all my fans for always pulling for me and all the kind things they say,” he commented. “I do this to see you smile. Hopefully, you get to see me in a big show soon.”