|Born||14 March 1984|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)|
Light Heavyweight (205)
|Fighting out of||Leicestershire, England|
|Team||Team Rough House|
|Rank||black dan in Judo|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Wallhead is a member of Team Rough House and Leicester Shootfighters. In addition to his training at Leicester Shootfighters, Wallhead also works as a coach. Wallhead joined Team Rough House after back-to-back losses at the beginning of his professional career and dropped his competing weight from Light Heavyweight and Middleweight to Welterweight.
- 1 Mixed martial arts career
- 2 Mixed martial arts record
- 3 Titles and accomplishments
- 4 Personal life
- 5 References
- 6 See also
Mixed martial arts career
Wallhead comes from a judo background, where he holds a black belt. He was introduced to judo accidentally after being taken to a class that was believed to be a karate class. Wallhead was successful early in his judo career for the Beaumont Leys Judo club, before moving to a club in Coventry under Olympic silver medallist Neil Adams. Under Adams, Wallhead won three Under-21s British titles as well as placing 7th in the European youth Olympics.
Wallhead joined Team Rough House in 2005, following back-to-back losses between May and July 2005. Wallhead is still a member of Team Rough House to this date, alongside fighters such as Dan Hardy, Ross Pearson, Paul Daley and Andre Winner.Wallhead also trains Muay Thai with the former multi-time Kickboxing champion Owen Comerie, who previously trained Dan Hardy. Wallhead works his strength and conditioning with Ollie Richardson at the Leicester Tigers Rugby Union training ground. Wallhead also trains Brazilian Ju-Jitsu under Victor Estima, he holds a Blue Belt under him.
Early in his career, Wallhead was associated with the Urban Combat Leicester team. He made his semi-professional debut against Steve Matthews on 8 April 2005, in a two-round fight. This fight was fought at heavyweight, at the "Cage Warriors: Quest" event where Wallhead was able to defeat his opponent with a rear naked choke after 27 seconds of the first round.
Wallhead soon turned professional and on 30 April 2005, he made his debut at Cage Warriors: Ultimate Force. Jim fought Leslee Ojugbana, utilising knee strikes from the clinch, whilst preventing Ojugbana from succeeding with takedown attempts. After one-sided striking from Wallhead, Ojugbana gave up his back and Wallhead was able to pull off a rear naked choke for his debut win after just 64 seconds.
Wallhead competed just weeks later and made his second professional appearance against Boris Jonstomp at Cage Warriors: Strike Force. This fight was fought at the lower weight of middleweight and saw Wallhead succeed with judo throw attempts early in the fight. However, Wallhead's ground game was not to the same standard at Jonstomp's and he lost via first round submission (neck crank) after 4:20.
This was followed up by his second consecutive loss, two months later at the Cage Warriors: Quest 2 event, at the hands of Chris Rice. Wallhead was TKOd 3:32 into the first round, resulting in a 1–2 record at the start of his professional MMA career. Following this loss, Wallhead joined Team Rough House after meeting Dan Hardy and receiving an invitation to join the team. Upon doing so, Wallhead dropped two weight categories to his current status as a welterweight.
Early affiliation with Team Rough House
In his welterweight debut and his first fight under Team Rough House affiliation, Wallhead was victorious. The fight took place at Cage Warriors: Strike Force 3 where Wallhead faced Greco-Roman wrestler Steve Singh-Sidhu. Though Wallhead had dropped to welterweight, he still had a considerable weight advantage over his opponent who weighed in at 3.5 kg less than Wallhead. This perhaps was significant as Singh-Sidhu's strikes seemed to have little bearing on Wallhead, who was able to land takedowns and a standing choke. Midway through the first round, Singh-Sidhu appeared to be backing away from Wallhead, who chased him down with punches and knees to the head. After a shin strike to the head, Singh-Sidhu's corner threw in the towel, resulting in a first round TKO victory for Wallhead.
In December 2005, Wallhead fought Welshman Paul Jenkins. This was Wallhead's first title fight in mixed martial arts, as they competed for the House of Pain Welterweight title in front of Jenkins' home crowd of Cardiff, Wales. Wallhead won the fight via majority decision after five rounds, giving him the title. Just over two years to that day, Wallhead rematched Jenkins in a kickboxing bout (thus not counting towards his pro-MMA record); this time in Wallhead's hometown of Nottingham. Wallhead showed effective low kicks and combinations which earned him a unanimous decision victory.
After his third successive victory, with his win over Henning Svendsen in March 2006, Wallhead made his first title defense of his House of Pain Welterweight title just two weeks later. His opponent was John Phillips who was making his second professional appearance. Wallhead defeated Phillips to retain the title, after a TKO victory due to elbows.
After going 4–0 under the tutelage of Team Rough House, Wallhead then faced Peter Angerer in May 2006. Despite controlling the fight, Angerer defeated Wallhead via submission (arm-triangle choke). During the submission attempt, Wallhead's arm was stuck, meaning he had to tap with his feet, earning the nickname "Scuba Steve" from his teammates.
European and worldwide exposure
Following his loss to Angerer, Wallhead entered the 2H2H 83 kg tournament in Holland, on just 72 hours notice, despite the tournament being at a higher weight than he was adjusted to. In the first round of the tournament, Wallhead defeated Camara Bouna via two-round decision, before defeating Xander Nel in the final via TKO.
Returning to Cage Warriors, Wallhead faced the UFC-bound Dennis Siver. Despite being on a three fight winning streak, Wallhead was submitted via armbar taking his record to 8–4. Wallhead faced Lewis Barrow four months later and won via submission (punches) to begin a four fight win streak. Wallhead's next three fights resulted in submission victories; a victory via choke over Jordan James, an arm-triangle choke victory over Soli Clichko and a rear naked choke victory over Steven Lynch.
Wallhead began to gain more recognition and exposure in the United States when his fight against Charles Blanchard was featured on Inside MMA on HDNet. Unfortunately for Wallhead, this fight resulted in a decision loss. Wallhead would later state: "I didn't throw my hands enough in the first round when I was fresh and that's my own fault."
Wallhead then began to show improved boxing and knockout power in his next few fights, the first of which was against Tom Haddock in April 2008 who he defeated via submission due to punches.
Just under three months later, Wallhead faced off against Fabricio Nascimento. Wallhead kept the fight on their feet throughout, preventing Nascimento's takedowns. Frustrated by Wallhead's superior boxing, Nascimento visibly showed his disdain. Wallhead took the unanimous decision victory which was regarded as the most important victory he had claimed at that stage in his career.
Wallhead's next fight came at M-1 Challenge UK in September 2008 and was intended to be against Jason Ball. However, Ball had to withdraw with a knee injury and was replaced by Igor Araujo. In preparation for his fight with Araujo, Wallhead temporarily joined Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada to further polish his skills.
Araujo himself had just finished training at Xtreme Couture and entered the fight having won seven of his last eight fights. After just 79 seconds, Wallhead won via TKO due to punches - the fifth TKO victory of his career.
Wallhead then applied to become a castmember of The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom. After passing the assessment and interview successfully, he was told he was "too experienced" for the show, though strangely, he was instead made into an "alternate" who would step up if another castmember withdrew with injury.
Wallhead would then have an eight-month layoff. This was due to his signing with the debuting "British Fighting Championships" - an organisation aimed at combining domestic British MMA into one entity - that would eventually dissolve before its premiere broadcast. The knockout-style tournament saw him drawn against the Brazilian Fabio Toldo. However, the BFC organisation would eventually dissolve and in May 2009, the Ultimate Force organisation picked up the fight. The fight saw Wallhead continue to utilise his improved boxing after an early scare, where Toldo knocked Wallhead down. Wallhead would go on to defeat his opponent via knockout, which was described by one of Wallhead's team mates as "one of the worst knockouts they've seen".
In September 2009, Wallhead won the Clash of Warriors Welterweight title by defeating Marius Buzinskas.
In November 2009, Wallhead scored arguably the most high profile win of his career when he defeated The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom participant Che Mills at "Knuckleup At The Manor" in Newport, Wales. The fight, which was seen as "a clash between the UK’s two top unsigned welterweights," was a close fight that was difficult to score for the judges. Mills was able to block Wallhead's takedown attempts and get back up quickly when Wallhead was successful. In the first round, Wallhead was able to take Mills down and get into side mount, though Mills almost won the first round in the eyes of the judges after a late flurry of strikes. The second round saw Mills use foot stomps and elbows from the clinch, which prevented Wallhead from utilising his wrestling. In the final round, Wallhead continued with takedowns before hitting Mills with elbows. With 45 seconds of the fight remaining, Wallhead was able to cut Mills with his strikes.
Wallhead's overall control, strategy and constant aggression led to him taking a unanimous decision. That victory led to several major websites and even the British newspaper The Sun to speculate that Wallhead may be headed to the UFC.
Bellator Fighting Championships
Despite speculation about joining the UFC, in December 2009, Wallhead was signed by the Bellator Fighting Championships to compete in their 2010 eight man, number 1 contender Welterweight Tournament, which began on 8 April 2010.
However, on 20 April, just two days before his fight with McClintock, Wallhead was forced to withdraw from the Bellator tournament as he was grounded in England due to the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull. Wallhead was replaced by Ryan Thomas.
A month later, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney stated that they were aiming to include Wallhead in the third season - despite the absence of a welterweight tournament - with a view to including him in the fourth season's welterweight tournament.
In the meantime, Wallhead took a fight in Cage Warriors against Shaun Lomas and defeated him via rear naked choke in the first round. Due to an injury to Wallhead's previous opponent, Lomas had to step in at short notice, meaning that Wallhead competed at middleweight for the first time in two years.
Bellator's plans to include Wallhead in their third season were confirmed in September 2010, when Wallhead signed to face Ryan Thomas on 14 October 2010 at Bellator 32. Wallhead went on to defeat Thomas via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28).
Wallhead made his BAMMA debut at BAMMA 7 against Frank Trigg. Trigg was set to face Tom 'Kong' Watson for Watson's middleweight title, but Watson suffered a back injury forcing his withdrawal and allowing Wallhead to step up as his replacement. In the opening round, Wallhead caught Trigg with a left hook which appeared to hurt him, before executing a successful takedown. He ended the first round landing ground-and-pound shots which opened up a cut on Trigg's cheek. The second round saw Wallhead land the stronger strikes, but less often than Trigg. The final round was also close, though Wallhead once again managed to rock Trigg early in the round. The fight went to the judges, where Wallhead won via split decision (29-28, 28-29 and 30-27).
He competed at BAMMA 8 in a welterweight bout against Joey Villasenor, winning via first round KO.
Return to Bellator
Back to BAMMA
On 9 March 2013 he took on UFC veteran Matt Veach at BAMMA 12, winning by first round submission due to Rear-Naked Choke. Wallhead faced former TUF contestant Eddy Ellis at BAMMA 13 on 14 September 2013. He lost the fight in a highly controversial decision after breaking Ellis' jaw in the first round and stuffing many of his takedown attempts
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|35 matches||26 wins||9 losses|
|Win||26–9||Juan Manuel Suarez||KO (punches)||Cage Warriors 73||November 1, 2014||1||1:49||Newcastle, England|
|Loss||25–9||Danny Roberts||KO (punches)||Cage Warriors 68||May 3, 2014||1||4:49||Liverpool, England|
|Win||25–8||Florent Betorangal||KO (slam)||BAMMA 14||December 14, 2013||3||0:21||Birmingham, England|
|Loss||24–8||Eddy Ellis||Decision (split)||BAMMA 13||September 14, 2013||3||5:00||Birmingham, England||For BAMMA World Welterweight Championship|
|Win||24–7||Matt Veach||Submission (rear-naked choke)||BAMMA 12||March 9, 2013||1||3:05||Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England|
|Loss||23–7||Lyman Good||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 74||September 28, 2012||3||5:00||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Welterweight Quarterfinal bout|
|Win||23–6||Joey Villaseñor||KO (punches)||BAMMA 8||December 10, 2011||1||0:48||Nottingham, England|
|Win||22–6||Frank Trigg||Decision (split)||BAMMA 7||September 10, 2011||3||5:00||Birmingham, England||Fought at middleweight|
|Loss||21–6||Rick Hawn||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 35||March 5, 2011||3||5:00||Lemoore, California, United States||Welterweight Quarterfinal bout|
|Win||21–5||Ryan Thomas||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 32||October 14, 2010||3||5:00||Kansas City, Missouri, United States|
|Win||20–5||Shaun Lomas||Submission (rear-naked choke)||CWFC: Right to Fight||May 22, 2010||1||2:34||Birmingham, England||Fought at middleweight|
|Win||19–5||Che Mills||Decision (unanimous)||KUMMA: Mills vs. Wallhead||November 1, 2009||3||5:00||Newport, Wales|
|Win||18–5||Marius Buzinskas||Submission (neck crank)||COW 7: No Way Out||September 5, 2009||1||1:08||Nottingham, England||Won the COW Welterweight title|
|Win||17–5||Fabio Santana Toldo||KO (punches)||UF: Oblivion||May 16, 2009||1||3:46||Doncaster, England|
|Win||16–5||Igor Araujo||TKO (punches)||M-1 Challenge 7: UK||September 27, 2008||1||1:19||Nottingham, England|
|Win||15–5||Fabricio Nascimento||Decision (unanimous)||CWFC: Enter The Rough House 7||July 12, 2008||3||5:00||Nottingham, England|
|Win||14–5||Tom Haddock||Submission (punches)||CWFC: Enter The Rough House 6||April 19, 2008||2||3:49||Nottingham, England||Fought at middleweight|
|Loss||13–5||Charles Blanchard||Decision (unanimous)||CWFC USA: Battle Royale||March 29, 2008||3||5:00||Kissimmee, Florida, United States|
|Win||13–4||Steven Lynch||Submission (rear-naked choke)||CWFC: Enter The Rough House 4||October 14, 2007||1||1:53||Nottingham, England|
|Win||12–4||Marius Liaukevicius||Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke)||CWFC: Enter The Rough House 3||July 21, 2007||1||2:52||Nottingham, England|
|Win||11–4||Jordan James||Submission (choke)||HOP 9: Fight Night 9||June 3, 2007||1||4:09||Swansea, Wales|
|Win||10–4||Lewis Barrow||Submission (punches)||CWFC: Enter The Rough House 2||April 28, 2007||2||1:40||Nottingham, England|
|Loss||9–4||Dennis Siver||Submission (armbar)||CWFC: Enter The Rough House||December 9, 2006||2||3:31||Nottingham, England|
|Win||9–3||Jason Tan||Decision (split)||CG II: The Next Generation||September 3, 2006||3||5:00||Liverpool, England||Won the Cage Gladiators British Welterweight title|
|Win||8–3||Xander Nel||TKO (punches)||2H2H: Road To Japan||June 18, 2006||1||2:06||Amsterdam, Holland||Won the 2H2H 83 kg tournament.|
|Win||7–3||Camara Bouna||Decision||2H2H: Road To Japan||June 18, 2006||2||3:00||Amsterdam, Holland||83 kg tournament opening round|
|Loss||6–3||Peter Angerer||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||CWFC: Strike Force 6||May 27, 2006||1||1:49||Coventry, England|
|Win||6–2||John Phillips||TKO (elbows)||HOP: Fight Night 5||April 9, 2006||1||1:41||Swansea, Wales||Defended the House of Pain Welterweight title|
|Win||5–2||Henning Svendsen||TKO (punches)||CWFC: Strike Force 5||March 25, 2006||1||2:06||Coventry, England|
|Win||4–2||Paul Jenkins||Decision (majority)||HOP: Fight Night 4||December 3, 2005||5||5:00||Cardiff, Wales||Won the House of Pain Welterweight title|
|Win||3–2||Steve Singh-Sidhu||TKO (corner stoppage)||CWFC: Strike Force 3||October 1, 2005||1||3:14||Coventry, England||Welterweight debut|
|Loss||2–2||Chris Rice||TKO (punches)||CWFC: Quest 2||July 29, 2005||1||3:32||Sheffield, England||Back to Light Heavyweight|
|Loss||2–1||Boris Jonstomp||Submission (neck crank)||CWFC: Strike Force||May 21, 2005||1||4:20||Coventry, England||Fought at Middleweight|
|Win||2–0||Leslee Ojugbana||Submission (rear-naked choke)||CWFC: Ultimate Force||April 30, 2005||1||1:20||Sheffield, England||Fought at Light Heavyweight|
|Win||1–0||Steve Mathews||Submission (rear-naked choke)||CWFC: Quest 1||April 8, 2005||1||N/A||Sheffield, England|
Titles and accomplishments
- Three time Under-21 British Judo champion
- Seventh place in the European Youth Olympics
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Former House of Pain Welterweight champion (defended once, then relinquished)
- 2H2H 83 kg tournament winner
- Former Cage Gladiators British Welterweight champion
- Clash of Warriors Welterweight champion
Wallhead has a son.
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