Westin Wilson: A Mormon Who Fights for Family at XKO 42
Westin Wilson is sitting at 5-3 and is one of the prime prospects in the featherweight division in the western United States. With his fight with Elizar Rodriguez coming up at XKO 42, MMA Today had a chance to sit down and talk with him about what is really important.
“Growing up I was a wrestler in Virginia. My dad worked for the DEA. My senior year he got the call to move to Brazil. The school wanted me to repeat my junior year, and I was fine with that, if I couldn’t wrestle, I wanted to do MMA.” Knowing Brazil, this was a prime opportunity for Wilson. With all the greats coming out of Brazil, Anderson Silva, Junior Dos Santos, Lyoto Machida, and many more, it was a perfect opportunity to pick up MMA as an art.
Priorities are a huge thing in life. Being Mormon, Westin Wilson knew what came first. “I went and served a two-year mission and didn’t get to fight really. When I got back the plan was to get back into fighting but I had school and stuff. So I got back into fighting in 2012, took my first fight and been fighting ever since.”
Some people attribute Wilson to being the “world’s only Mormon MMA fighter,” but he disagrees. “I don’t think I’m the ONLY Mormon MMA fighter, there’s a few of us out there, especially in Utah. I think I’m one of the few that serves The Mission though. The suit and tie, black slackers. You know.”
Usually, after his fights, Westin is in his church teaching Sunday school the next day. “I have like 12-15 total fights and I’ve never had a black eye, even in training.” So he doesn’t scare his students.
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As for his upcoming bout, Wilson has added an elite coaching team around him to change things up. “I’ve been surrounding people around my weaknesses. John Walker, who is one of Kelvin Gastelum’s coaches, is my strength and condition coach. I’ve never worked with a performance guy. It’s just changed my game entirely. I got confidence in my strength. I got confidence in my cardio. I’m able to do things athletically that I could never do before. A little more pop on my punches.”
The future is wide open for Westin Wilson. Having fought for Bellator last year, he thinks he has what it takes to impress anyone. “Contender Series, The Ultimate Fighter, Bellator, I’m not picky.”
The reason we fight
In talking about his future, Wilson has major motivation. “I want to travel the world and show my kids that if you have a goal, go out and accomplish it one step at a time. I call it a pedigree of excellence. You have all these athlete families like the Mannings (Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning of the NFL), and the path was laid out for them by their father and grandfather. Families know how to get to that point get there because someone got there already. That’s what I want to do for my kids. They got the blueprint. They have the ability to do whatever they want.”
As for the upcoming big rematch with TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrant, Wilson made his pick. “I’m going with TJ again. I think he’s just the smarter fighter. I had the opportunity to train with him way back in the day. I’m gonna go with TJ. I think he takes it.”
Westin Wilson fights TONIGHT. Be sure to follow him on Instagram to keep up with all his fights.