Courtesy Photo: CES MMA

CES 52’s Jeremiah Wells: “I said I could do it and they all laughed at me. I just wanted to prove them wrong.”

They used to ridicule Jeremiah Wells (5-1-1) — but they aren’t making fun of the Philadelphia native any longer.

The 31-year-old Renzo Gracie Philly team member is one fight away from checking off the first box on his checklist of greatness. On Friday night, Wells will compete for the CES MMA Welterweight Championship against Jason Norwood (18-5). Wells knows a win will put any doubt of his abilities to rest.

“I used to always say it to the group of friends I chilled around with,” recalled Wells in an interview with MMA Today. “I said I could do it and they all laughed at me. I just want to prove them wrong.”

Competing professionally since 2012, Wells hasn’t been the most active fighter. He’s only competed seven times over six years — but he’s had his reasons.

“Nobody really wanted to take the fight — fights kept falling through,” explained Wells. “The second time [I was out an extended period of time] was like a year and a half. I had a baby and it slowed me down. I was working and my girlfriend had a career. So we was going with her career, because it was making more money than mine.”

Time to get what is mine #andnewchampion #CEE52 @RenzoGraciePhilly

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Now fighting more consistently, Wells has made a name for himself on the New England regional scene. CES MMA brought Wells in to compete against local favorite Gary Balletto Jr. in April. To the disappointment of the Rhode Island crowd, Wells brutally knocked out his homebred opposition in brutal fashion.

Two months later, he returned to New England to face UFC veteran Jon Manley. As the betting underdog, Wells pummeled Manley for three straight rounds, earning a unanimous decision nod.

CES MMA originally brought Wells to them. Now he is the one bringing CES MMA to him. On Friday night, Wells will fight for a major regional title in his own backyard. According to Wells, the timing couldn’t be better.

“I’ve been here before when I fought Emmanuel Walo,” said Wells. “But I wasn’t ready. Right now, I feel like I’m hella ready. I’m ready to put on a show and show them by me beating this guy, it’s telling you what level I’m on.”

Let's get it..@renzograciephilly @eefc.john #philly #phillyfigher

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Standing in Wells’s way will be the aforementioned United States Army captain Jason Norwood. Norwood competed for the belt against Chris Curtis earlier this year, but came away empty handed. Curtis’s retirement from MMA led to a vacated belt and a shot at redemption for Norwood.

“He’s a good grinder and can stick to it,” said Wells. “His striking isn’t really that good from what I’ve seen thus far. It doesn’t really impress me. He probably can hold you down, but he can’t take you down. He said he’s stronger than me, but he’s no way stronger than me. Once he feels my power, he’s going to know that he made a mistake taking this fight.”

As for a prediction, Wells is confident this fight won’t be going the distance.

“Knockout,” declared Wells. “I’m trying to beat my record from last time against Gary Balletto. If I can do that, that’ll be awesome.”

With a win over Norwood, it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities Wells ends up with a UFC contract.

“That would be a blessing if I can just get that call,” said Wells. “Not even have to go through Contender Series. Just get that call from the UFC, ONE FC, or Bellator — any big organization. I want to show them my gifts of glory that I bring to the cage.”

“I’d like to give a shoutout to God. He’s the number 1. Everything else falls in line. Thank you to Daniel Gracie and my striking coach John. Thank you to my mom and dad and everyone else. ” – Jeremiah Wells


To learn more about Jeremiah Wells, follow him on social media:

Instagram: @g_brody1031
Facebook: Jeremiah Wells


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Nolan King is a MMA Today senior columnist, writer and renowned MMA insider. Nolan's other freelance work can also be found on FloCombat, Tapology, and MMA Brasil.