Stanford yesterday, tech job today, MMA career tomorrow. James Wilson has found one hell of a broad spectrum of success already, with plenty of life left to live.
Wilson graduated from Stanford University and left with as much as he gave back to the school. In addition to meeting his wife, excelling academically, and continuing the Stanford cycle of yesterday’s students helping tomorrow’s graduates, he also graduated as the captain of the wrestling team with a spot in the university’s top ten in the win column.
After graduation, Wilson and his wife found immediate success in the professional world. In and out of the office, everything (with years of strategic research at Stanford) fell into place perfectly.
“For both my wife and I, things have gone about as optimally as things could have gone coming out of college,” Wilson said. “We were both blessed to find excellent jobs right away and we have maintained employment ever since we finished college.”
Wilson’s brain has only gotten sharper and sharper in his new life. The workforce has been very kind, but replacing wrestling practice with attention to investments, tech and finance was starting to take its toll on Wilson’s body.
“Initially I started training Muay Thai at night just as a means to stay in shape,” Wilson said. “I didn’t want to let myself go too much after school, especially after I was working so many hours behind a desk.”
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It’s hard to take the combat athlete out of a wrestling captain. The more Wilson learned, the hungrier he got for knowledge. Before long, a high-ranking voice in the MMA world made a suggestion that changed his life.
“It really started to pique my curiosity and I was looking for a thrill and a challenge to push myself and see what I could do,” Wilson said. “There’s a thrill I get fighting in a cage that I could never replicate working behind a desk. I wanted to unlock my full potential and one of the guys I train with, Benny Dariush, he suggested that since I was taking a liking to MMA, why don’t I pick up a pro fight.”
Wilson would go pro in 2018 and immediately notch a first-round finish. One year later, another. A year and a half later, another. He now stands at 4-0 with his second trip to the LFA cage on the horizon.
His friends and colleagues might not immediately understand it, but if things continue to go the way they have been, Wilson just may leave the office behind.
“I do see a path to becoming a full-time fighter,” Wilson said. “I do want to realize my full athletic potential, and as I have continued to spend time in the sport, I see it as something I really enjoy and could see myself putting more time behind. It’s definitely something that I want to be fully challenged by, and this upcoming fight I have a really strong opponent and it will be interesting to see where I’m at and it will help me to develop more insight into what the next step will be.”
How close is Wilson to becoming a “full time fighter?”
We’ll find out at LFA 124!
Catch the return of James Wilson at LFA 124, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!