Another CFFC Champion will officially join the UFC roster on Saturday night, as Jeremiah Wells will face Warlley Alves as part of a UFC “Fight Night” card. Wells took the fight on short notice, replacing Ramazan Emeev after visa issues removed him from a matchup.
Wells earned the CFFC Welterweight Championship in his last appearance, submitting Marco Smallman in 2019. Now after a year outside of the cage Wells will make his appearance in the octagon.
The Octagon Oracles team assessed Wells before his fight on Saturday.
Wells trains at Renzo Gracie Philly and is a BJJ brown belt. He has adapted a similar style to many wrestlers who come to MMA. He’s not the most technical striker, but he’s willing to pressure and throw with reckless abandonment because he has little concern for getting taken down. This style occasionally finds him knockouts, but more often finds him clinching with his opponents and taking them down.
His aggression is enabled by the fact that he’s very strong. He’s on the short side for a UFC welterweight at 5’9″. Despite this, he is huge for the weight class – he’s muscular, and has long limbs. He has the classic regional MMA style of striking defense: backing away from strikes without moving his head or blocking. This is exploitable at the higher levels of the sport, and his athleticism may put him up against higher-level opponents than his defense is ready for. Still, he has a lot to build on.
Out Within 1-2 Years 50/50 Winner Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15 Top 10 Top 5 Title Contender Champion
One of the better-ranked prospective welterweights on the Northeastern regional scene finally gets the chance to have an impactful UFC debut, as Jeremiah Wells (8-2-1), on mere days’ notice, steps into the octagon to battle Warrley Alves (14-4) at UFC Vegas 30.
Wells made his pro debut back in late 2012, and while he competed just three times over three years, he scored three finishes. He’d lose to Manny Walo (14-4-1) and draw with Bassil Hafez (6-3-1) before winning five of his next six. Wells, a veteran of the CFFC and CES, hasn’t fought in nearly two years, last competing at CFFC 78 in September 2019, submitting Marco Smallman (7-3).
Wells was scheduled to fight three times in 2020 — against Bobby Nash (11-4) and Bobby Lee (12-5) in CFFC and against Miguel Baeza (10-1) in the UFC — but all three fights fell through.
It’s a great story to see Wells finally make his UFC debut after so long; however, the periods of inactivity are a bit concerning, especially when he’s about to turn 35 this October. And he doesn’t get an easy first task in the octagon, taking on someone who’s just as skilled in grappling, someone younger and someone who has more fight experience (UFC and overall).
That being said, Wells does produce quite some power in his hands, and Renzo Gracie Philly is a solid gym to come out of. Perhaps he will be prepared for the UFC with the professional talent that he has to train with there.
Speaking of talent, there’s no denying Wells’, but could he have arrived in the UFC a little too late to make the kind of impact he could have if he were more active?
Out Within 1-2 Years 50/50 Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years Top 15 Top 10 Top 5 Title Contender Champion
Wells is not a prospect for me. It’s not that he doesn’t have some skills or experience, because he does. He’s 34-years-old and has spent most of his career competing in two of the best promotions in the Northeast; CES and CFFC. One thing I can guarantee about Wells is that he is tough and will be a scrapper. He’s fighting really tough guys. This is not a guy fighting cans in Alaska or Michigan. He’s fighting tough, battle-tested Northeast guys.
Wells has knockouts, submissions and decisions, so he’s far from a one-trick pony. I watched him knock out a 23-year old Gary Balletto Jr. as an underdog with a tricky punch he didn’t set up. It does worry me that he had three canceled bouts last year and hasn’t fought since September, 2019. I think he’s a tough guy that won’t just get embarrassed three times and get cut. I think he could win a fight or two, but will be out in a few years.
Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner Bonus Winner A Mainstay Through the Years Top 15 Top 10 Top 5 Title Contender Champion
I will start with the obvious about Wells. He should have been in the UFC a long time ago, especially when you consider his work on the regional scene and how well he fared there over the years. He was always a solid prospect that deserved his shot on the grand stage and he eventually got it when he signed to the promotion last year, but that did not pan out as his fight against Miguel Baeza was canceled just as quickly as it was made. Fast forward a few months and Wells is set to make his promotional debut against Warlley Alves at UFC Fight Night: Gane vs. Volkov and it is about time.
Wells has an explosive style. He will come forward and immediately attack with some kicks to the body and throw some heavy right hands. He also likes to mix things up, so expect to see some unconventional moves like a flying knee or a spinning kick thrown in every now and then. Wells is efficient on the ground, using his strength to control his opponent and batter them with punches and elbows. He can pretty much handle himself well wherever the fight goes.
One thing about Wells’ style that does worry me a bit is how easily he can be tagged when he comes forward in those short and wild bursts. Is he connecting? Absolutely, but sometimes he leaves himself open just enough to get tagged and that will not be good against another fellow power puncher. Overall, I think he has a promising career in the UFC and I expect him to be one to watch out for in the welterweight division.
Out Within 1-2 Years
Bonus Winner A Mainstay Through the Years Top 15 Top 10 Top 5 Title Contender Champion