A one-way ticket is a concept that offers two schools of thought. It translates to either an adventure in the making or a complete lack of planning.

The former is exactly what Ben Wall has in mind, and he knows exactly where his end destination lies. Whilst his upcoming flight abroad may take him to North America, he hopes that the journey will lead him to the opportunity to redeem himself and a chance at being signed by the UFC.

“I have my visa now, so all I have to do is book flights. I want to work around when I fight next,” he revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “Once we have a fight sorted out, then I can head overseas to train. I want to fight again as soon as possible, and it will be overseas. I don’t think I will fight again in Australia, unless it’s for the UFC.”

A big factor in marketing for the UFC’s international events is filling the fight cards with names that local fans can relate to. Whilst the practice is not adopted as strictly in Australia as it is in Brazil, should Wall continue with his winning ways and an unblemished record, he could see himself getting the call of a lifetime.

Wall (Facebook.com/ManimalMMA)

“Wherever the UFC go, it’s always good to have a local on the card,” he said. “I really hope they do Brisbane again because that would be perfect for me to be on there. But I am ready to fight anybody and I would do anything to get my chance to prove myself again.”

In the sport of MMA, exposure to different markets is the key to success. In order to not only gain further exposure, but to continue to develop as a fighter, Wall has opted to take his training across the globe to find places where he can test his skills and become the top-level fighter he knows that he can be.

“I really want to go to the places that some of the top-level fighters train,” he said. “I want to get around to places like AKA [American Kickboxing Academy] and Cesar Gracie [Jiu-Jitsu]. I want to go wherever the best guys can beat me up.”

Looking back on what was, The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes wasn’t the best experience for Wall. He will always be remembered for his on-screen antics, such as the infamous Wasabi-snorting competition, but admittedly his fight performance, which is the most important aspect of the show, was not as memorable.

“It definitely wasn’t my best. It eats me up every day,” he revealed. “All I was focused on in that fight was not getting submitted. My coaches had it in my head that he had an awesome guillotine, so I avoided the ground. I should have just taken him down and used my ground-and-pound like [in] all my other fights.

“I want to prove that I am ready, and it fuels me a lot. In the end though, having lost that fight, it might have been a good thing. I am pretty much one of the only guys who has won some fights after the show, so if I keep winning, I am sure I will get my chance again.”

In his first MMA bout post-TUF, Wall took on a top local lightweight in Jai Bradney. Wall won the fight by unanimous decision, but copped some criticism from fellow fighters for fighting what they called a “boring” style of fight.

“I don’t really care about it,” he admitted. “In the [Bradney] fight, everybody knew what was coming and people were saying what was going happen well before it. People said I would do exactly what I did. No matter what I do, some people are going to be critical. I just focus on fighting and winning.”

Wall (left) controls his opponent (Facebook.com/ManimalMMA)

Wall’s last competitive outing was in the modified-rules cube of Combat8 in Sydney, Australia, where he took on ex-UFC fighter Bernardo “Trekko” Magalhaes. Wall came out the victor, winning the bout by unanimous decision.

“I think I proved a lot of people wrong,” he explained. “I don’t think Trekko even knew it was coming. He was just as surprised as everybody else that I would box with him. I think that he might have expected me to use the 30 seconds [of allotted ground time in Combat8] and just work on the ground. I fought a smart fight, just like I always do.”

The science of weight cutting is something that Wall has started to master. Being able to top the scales at roughly the size of a middleweight and then successfully cut down to lightweight has meant that Wall has become open to pushing the limits a little more. In fact, he’s even eying some opportunities at featherweight.

“Everybody’s body is different,” he said. “Being able to cut so much weight and still feel good is definitely an advantage for me. My manager has told the UFC that I will fight at either. I don’t really mind; I can make both, so it gives me a little more flexibility,”

It’s not too often that an exit from a season of The Ultimate Fighter can see a fighter go full circle and end up with a fight back on the sport’s biggest show. Fighters will often lose their drive to shoot for the stars, and sometimes the harsh reality sets in that the sport just can’t pay the bills.

Wall has laid out his own hard-earned money for a one-way ticket to train with the best fighters in the world. He has also made his intentions quite clear. And it doesn’t matter how many hours of flying he notches up to get there. Arriving at that destination is all that really matters.

Ben would like to thank Gamebred Submission Fighting and Raw Strength Queensland. Follow Wall on Twitter: @BenWallMMA

Top Photo: Ben Wall (Facebook.com/ManimalMMA)

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.