What most people don't know about this man is that he's a multiple time bare-knuckle full-contact champion. Joe is lightening quick, surgically accurate and fully architectural (he'll hit you with every part of his body with equally impact power.)
Coach Wilson deals with physical violence against highly trained individuals on a daily basis as an internal affairs detective. Dealing with dirty cops is not a job I would want in that despite the rap they get as donut wielding Homer Simpsons, they are trained not merely in hand to hand, but in a range of weaponry, and apply it on a day to day business. Cops are not arm chair martial artists (like so many martial artists are.)
Putting restrictions on one's available tools doesn't just strip you of your repertoire, it requires that you re-analyze your entire strategy. Joe had little time to devote to preparing for this fight. One of his other jobs is as the PT for the largest recruit training academy in his State. And anyone who has taught PT knows that you must demonstrate. With thousands of recruits, that's a lot of volume. In one week before CST Theta, for instance, Joe had to perform nearly 700 strict pullups, on top of all of the other PT demands, and teaching a full time professional martial arts school.
When we arrived, they had changed the event from a tournament to a pro card of fights "matching" people by weight. Now, I realize that Coach Wilson has a "big" personality which we all love, but they aligned him on the card with a fighter from Lousianna 50lbs heavier. From what I understood, Nick was a cop as well.
In round 1, Joe came out fast and strong, landing repeated combinations of low leg kick, jab, cross, hook, hook; just like he had been doing in practice and coaching me on the focus mits. Fast and strong. But surprisingly, the extra 50lbs on his opponent made the disparity more obvious here, since he absorbed Joe's shots. It was however obvious that Joe's relentless combos were having a cumulative effect. Nick continued to stalk Joe around the ring throwing big bombs in succession. Joe's mobility and footwork kept him from all but a few. Joe's pace was very high intensity, and by the close of round 1, both fighters were growing weary: Joe from the aggressive onslaught and Nick from the repeated absorption. Round 1 went to Joe.
In round 2, Nick came out a more tactical and technical, appearing to mimic Joe's low - high strategy. Joe had to compensate for this because although Joe's very powerful as a striker, facing any pro 50lbs heavier means you need to pull out alternate strategies. Ever the fighter able to adapt, Joe started coming in tight for throws. He landed his first big throw and it looked to take steam out of Nick. Another flurry of blows and Joe launched another big throw. More steam out of his opponent, and the playing field started to level. Joe began to see the weakness, and exploited it with another low line kick into clinch into a BIG throw which rocked the canvas! Another stiff hook lead into a final throw, and Joe won the 2nd round decisively.
Coach Wilson is probably the last person you would expect to be such a tenacious fighter. He's charming, charismatic, motivational, and sensitive. To those that know him, this can be disarming when he goes from 0 - 100. But to those who do not know him, like his opponent, it's like being hit by a mace with 9 tails: everywhere at once with surgical precision and heavy power.
What impressed me more than Joe's win, was the manner in which he adapted to such a huge disadvantage. I don't care how good of a fighter you are, until you've faced someone with that much extra meat behind them, you don't know what you're going to do when you get hit. Joe wasn hardly phased, kept thinking while simultaneously acting. Nick was a very gamey opponent, and a hell of a good man. We all had dinner together after the fights sharing our bruises.
Joe, my brother, it was a pleasure to fight along side you. I've always dreamed of finally being able to launch Team RMAX. Our team couldn't have had a more honorable and more sensational start because of your leadership, courage and moxy. Thank you for the privilege!