Champion MMA Soldier returns to cage after deployment

Story by Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs
Photos by Rosemary Clark
Undefeated Magazine

SAN ANTONIO — Capt. Bahaiz Wilson's opponent tried to turn away, but in a deftly explosive move Wilson slammed the man into the mat. The crowd surrounding the caged fighters erupted with noise as the fans rose to their feet in excitement. With his opponent beneath him on the mat, Wilson began methodically punching his head.

Wilson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary), rear brigade training and schools officer in charge, won by unanimous decision over Juan Gonzales, a Pittman's Brazilian Jujitsu fighter, in a middle weight Texas Amateur Mixed Martial Arts cage fight at Cowboy's Dancehall here March 7.

The 5-0 Wilson, a Gainesville, Fla., native and fighter for the Copperas Cove, Texas,-based Fighters Forge Combat Sports, returned from an Iraq deployment only three months before the fight.

"Two or three days later, I was back in the gym," Wilson said.

"Because of the Army's tempo I got to get my fights in."

Wilson trains to fight nightly five days a week.

“Training is Hell. You sweat; you bleed.”

Wilson explained that to compete in MMA it was necessary to have the command’s support, especially on the occasions when he needed to train twice a day

“My command has been very supportive of my fighting … only stipulation was that I win. I think I’ve held up my end.”

Wilson officially became the top contender for TAMMA's middle weight belt after his win over Gonzales, but titles are nothing new for Wilson. He won the Louisiana-based Ring Rulers middle weight title mere weeks before his last deployment.

"If I could, every fight that I have from here on out would be for a title," Wilson said laughing.

Fighting and martial arts are nothing new to Wilson whose mother started teaching him Karate and how to use ancient Japanese weapons at the age of 4. It wasn't long before his father, a Special Forces Soldier, got him into wrestling, kickboxing and Kung Fu.

MMA competition was a logical next step for a man with 34 years of martial arts experience and numerous wrestling and kickboxing titles, Wilson explained.

But what is the biggest reason he fights?

“[It] is the pure love of the sport,” he said with a smile.

He explained what it felt like to fight in the cage.

“It’s like going to the beach. You just enjoy the moment.”

Wilson has one other reason for fighting as well.

“Everybody tells me I can’t fight because of my age … age is just a number.”

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Capt. Bahaiz Wilson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) rear brigade training and schools officer in charge, throws punches while mounted on Juan Gonzales, a Pittman's Brazilian Jujitsu fighter at a Texas Amateur Mixed Martial Arts middle weight cage match in San Antonio, March 7. (Courtesy photo by Rosemary Clark, Undefeated Magazine)

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Capt. Bahaiz Wilson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) rear brigade training and schools officer in charge, solidifies his mount on Juan Gonzales, a Pittman's Brazilian Jujitsu fighter at a Texas Amateur Mixed Martial Arts middle weight cage match in San Antonio, March 7. (Courtesy photo by Rosemary Clark, Undefeated Magazine)

 

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The undefeated Capt. Bahaiz Wilson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) rear brigade training and schools officer in charge, circles his opponent at a Texas Amateur Mixed Martial Arts middle weight cage match in San Antonio, March 7. (Courtesy photo by Rosemary Clark, Undefeated Magazine)

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The still undefeated Capt. Bahaiz Wilson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) rear brigade training and schools officer in charge, slams Juan Gonzales, a Pittman's Brazilian Jujitsu fighter at a Texas Amateur Mixed Martial Arts middle weight cage match in San Antonio, March 7. (Courtesy photo by Rosemary Clark, Undefeated Magazine)