It’s been a while since we’ve seen British MMA veteran Jimmy Wallhead in action. But now, after more than three years away from the cage, “Judo Jimmy” is ready to make his return.
Wallhead will make his comeback appearance at Cage Warriors 141 in London when he takes on Poland’s Daniel Skibinski in a welterweight bout on Friday, July 22.
Speaking to Cage Warriors ahead of his long-awaited return, Wallhead admitted that he’s looking forward to the fight, but not the weight cut that will precede it.
“The weight cut is obviously going to suck. I think you always forget how miserable it is,” he said.
“I just can’t wait to step into the cage for the fight itself. It was great being there to see Dean (Trueman) fighting in Manchester (at Cage Warriors 135 in April). I loved being around Cage Warriors again and seeing so many familiar faces. Cage Warriors is where it all began for me, so it feels very sentimental.”
Wallhead’s long absence from the cage wasn’t through choice as he suffered a string of injuries and unfortunate circumstances that forced him onto the sidelines.
“I broke my hand in my last fight, which put me out for a while,” he explained.
“Then I got another quite serious injury, I got over that, but then there was the pandemic. At that stage I was kind of wondering if I was done, but then when I started training properly again I was feeling good. And with Cage Warriors, it’s something special to me. It’s in my heart.
“I just thought that if I am going to finish soon, at least I can finish where I started. I’m a bit of a soppy t**t, so I just liked the idea of that.”
Wallhead isn’t coming back just to compete, though. He was a very interested observer when Rhys McKee defeated Justin Burlinson to capture the vacant welterweight title earlier this summer, and he sees himself potentially fighting for Cage Warriors gold before he eventually calls time on his career.
“It was a great fight, super entertaining. Justin puts on so much pressure and he’s as tough as they come. Rhys was weathering the storm and then he got the big finish,” he said.
“It was great to watch, I really enjoyed it. I never look past an opponent but if I were to get through Skibiński, Rhys is who I’d be looking to fight next.
“That would make sense to me for the next fight, but I’m not thinking that far ahead. It’s all about Daniel now.”
With his sights firmly set on Skibinski, former UFC and Bellator welterweight Wallhead is ready to pull on the famous yellow Cage Warriors gloves for the first time since November 2014.
It’s a feeling that’ll be familiar, and one that he’s looking forward to experiencing again.
“I’ll have a big smile on my face,” he said.
“You calm down a bit as you get older, so I’m a lot more chilled these days. I’ll be nice and relaxed, I’ll have a nice stroll to the cage and then we’ll have a ding-dong. It’s going to be great.”
And as for the matchup itself, Wallhead was bullish on his chances of a successful comeback.
“I’ve prepared well, so what will be will be,” he said.
“He’s going to have to kill me to beat me. I believe I’ve fought guys as good as – and better than – Skibinski. He’s a tough boy but I feel confident. There’s zero pressure on me here.”