Kiwi mixed martial arts prospect Jay Jay Wilson believes he is one win away from a shot at his first world title shot.
The featherweight improved his professional record to 8-0 at Bellator 257 on Saturday (NZ time), dominating veteran Pedro Carvalho, ending the fight in style early in the second round.
'The Maori Kid' showed off his elite-level ground game in the opening frame, controlling the Portuguese fighter with ease, before rocking his opponent to start the second round which led to the fight-ending sequence.
Wilson rocked Carvalho with a spinning back-fist and then overwhelmed him with strikes on the ground, sealing a TKO victory to remain undefeated.
Carvalho is one fight removed from challenging Bellator champion Patricio Pitbull for the featherweight title, and for Wilson, his win at Ucansville's Mohegan Sun solidifies him as a contender.
"I believe I should be in line for the title," Wilson says.
"He [Carvalho] just fought the champ, and I went out there and I put on a dominant, dominant performance.”
The only negative for Wilson, and it's a big one - he missed weight for Saturday's bout which wouldn't have impressed match-maker and Bellator president, Scott Coker.
But for Wilson, who took the fight on two weeks notice, the short turnaround was his undoing.
"If I had a couple more weeks, I would have been able to get my weight lower.
Pitbull will defend his title against undefeated American AJ McKee later this year, so Wilson has played match-maker and suggested a title eliminator against Hungarian striker Adam Borics (16-1).
"I think after the AJ McKee and [Patricio] Pitbull fight, we’ll probably have a good time frame on when the title is going to come available.
"During that process, I'd like to take on the number one contender, and in my book that’s probably Adam Borics, so I’ll definitely be able to line up a fight with him.
"[Borics] is a very tough fighter. We just got done with Pedro Carvalho, so I’ll be going back to my camp, and we’ll come up with a plan to put on a dominant performance against him - so I can definitely solidify my title position."