PFL Exclusive: Chris Wade has little respect for Brendan Loughnane as a fighter, but none as a man

American MMA star Chris Wade will square off with Britain’s Brendan Loughnane at London’s Copper Box Arena in a much-anticipated PFL featherweight semi-final on Saturday night.

Wade, who is the top ranked featherweight in this year's play-offs, has been to three previous semi-finals but is yet to claim the $1million prize. 

The 34-year-old started his journey with the PFL in the lightweight division, but moved to featherweight last year and has enjoyed considerable success since.

Throughout his professional career, the American has won 22 of his 29 fights. His most recent victory came in stunning fashion after knocking out Kyle Bochniak, just 70 seconds into the opening round.

This Saturday, Wade will not only look to book his place in the PFL final but will also target bragging rights against a bitter rival.

Wade and Loughnane have already traded blows on social media and in the press, with the American telling Planet Sport: "I have less respect for him as a man than I do as a fighter.

"I respect him a little as a fighter because I know what it takes to go in there and do what we do. Not everyone is capable of that so right away you've got to give some kudos for that type of toughness and confidence to go in.

"But as a man, no. Since last year, he decided that as I was fighting in the finals, he was on Twitter just running his mouth. First fight of this regular season, he was saying that he is going to teach me a lesson, I'm a disrespectful combatant and that he is going to show me the meaning of respect in there. And that I'm a juice head - all these things that are really slander.

"I took that personally, why wouldn't I. I don't know this guy, I never said a word about him. But he didn't like that, he came in third and was sitting on the sidelines and he was running his mouth. And then what happened when the first fight of the season came around this year, I got matched up with the two-time champ Lance Palmer, and he was a -1200 favourite to some guy who never fought overseas before in his life."

Wade also slammed Loughnane for dodging a possible earlier bout thanks to his relationship with the organisation, adding: "I know that Brandon has a good relationship with the PFL. If he really wanted to fight me, I'm pretty sure they would have obliged him.

"But at the end of the day, he didn't really want to fight me. He didn't want to fight Bubba [Jenkins]. He didn't really want to fight Lance. He wants to fight guys, pick and chose, who he thinks he can beat and they manage it from there.

"I don't want to hear it. All this talk, he runs his mouth, it's all air. He was saying, last time we were face to face, 'oh we're going to fight, we're going to fight'. Yeah, that's what happens in this sport. We fight each other. Yes, that's exactly what's going to happen Brandon. We're going to fight, I know that. Thank you sir.

"He's got nothing to say anymore, he's got absolutely nothing to say. He ran his mouth when he had time to talk, he had a chance to back it up and to try and get me right away.

"I would've knocking him out of the play-offs immediately if he fought me in the regular season. He wouldn't even be here. He should just be thankful to be in the semi-finals right now. He was literally carried into the play-offs."

READ MORE: PFL Exclusive: Brendan Loughnane hails Britain’s ‘golden era’ in MMA ahead of Chris Wade showdown

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