Chokes and Chopsticks: Panda Express To Sponsor Andrew Wiltse

Andrew Wiltse is currently recovering from injury and unable to compete, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get a win. On Friday, the Daisy Fresh black belt announced that he has been offered a sponsorship from the Chinese fast food chain Panda Express.

Wiltse will be the first major jiu-jitsu athlete to be sponsored by a fast food company.

In what perhaps started as a bit of a joke, Wiltse has been vocal for months about his desire to be sponsored by Panda Express, his favorite fast food restaurant. Wiltse celebrates his competition wins on social media with the “#victorypanda” hashtag.

As he alludes to in the video above, Panda Express may have been hesitant to sponsor Wiltse — an athlete in a small sport like jiu-jitsu, and one that’s a little rough around the edges. To be fair, that’s a big part of Wiltse’s appeal, making him a fan-favorite.

“It’s mother f****** Panda Express, dude. We did it!”

Wiltse is the most accomplished home-grown talent competing out of Pedigo Submission Fighting. A multiple-time no-gi world champion at the colored belts, he burst onto the scene in his rookie black belt year, winning the 2020 Pans.

Wiltse seemed poised to enjoy a true breakout year in 2021, but injury has kept him on the sidelines since the summer. He was undefeated in Who’s Number One with wins over PJ Barch, David Garmo, and Gabriel Almeida, and placed second at the no-gi Pans.

Congratulations to Wiltse on the sponsorship. We hope he gets all the orange chicken and egg rolls he could ever want.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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