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Bare Knuckle 14 was co-mained by Jake Bostwick and Tyler Vogel. The two had an outright war and, while decisions are rare in Bare Knuckle FC, this decision did not disappoint. The fight went into overtime and sported a sixth round to which Bostwick earned the victory. The Brutal One has competed in MMA and boxing but believes he has found a home in bare knuckle boxing and looks forward to getting back into the ring soon.
The first thing I had to ask Bostwick was about his ink. On his Tapology page, the main picture of Bostwick is him with an itty bitty tribal tattoo compared to what he has now. Bostwick sports neck and head tats and comes off as intimidating and badass looking. Getting that much work done requires time and Jake Bostwick has spent a lot of time getting worked on. “That’s a question I don’t think many people have asked me. I’ve got about, honestly, between 170 and 180 hours I’ve got on me.”
Jake Bostwick Popping the Bare Knuckle Cherry
As mentioned at the top, this was Bostwick’s bare knuckle boxing debut. After competing in MMA and boxing, bare knuckle and BKFC have their hooks sunk in the mind of Bostwick and he believes he found his calling in the combat sports world.
“It was super entertaining. It was super fun not having gloves on your hands and just your wrists strapped up. It’s just so raw. You can’t get closer in a fight than punching somebody with knuckles. I think it’s so raw and I think you both agree in such a sport, I think people should be behind it. There’s some people who really don’t like it but it’s a wonderful sport to be involved in. It’s really amazing, I think I’ve found my new home.”
While MMA is the all encompassing sport, if you’re going to fight and put your body on the line, you best damn well enjoy it. Bostwick has an 18-10 record in MMA and never enjoyed the grappling aspect of the sport. He likes the striking.
“Most of my losses have come from fights where I’ve been taken down and submitted or whatever. But, if you go to my fights where I’ve won and was victorious, even taking people through decisions and going 15 minutes, I’m just trying to throw kicks and punches. I’m all about the fighting, I don’t want to wrestle and roll around, I want to fight. I want to put you in an awkward position and punch you in the face. The bare knuckle scene to me, man, it’s amazing.”
Bare Knuckle is growing rapidly as well. Having signed names such as Paige VanZant, Jim Alers, and Paulie Malignaggi, Bare Knuckle FC is staking their claim in their own corner of the combat sport universe and it is growing fast. In just fourteen cards, BKFC is growing at a fast pace.
“When you talk about fastest growing sports and everyone is thinking MMA is the next biggest thing, bruv, in fourteen events, Bare Knuckle has blown up. Fourteen events! That’s nothing. They have big names behind it. They want to put on these amazing shows and that’s every event you go to, you’ll never be disappointed. You can go to an MMA event and be waiting all night for the main event and someone takes them down and they’re rolling around and they pull off a heel hook or some crap. People want to see people punch each other and fight. To be involved in that is awesome. The events are only going to get better.”
The Bare Knuckle Multiverse
Bare knuckle sports are growing in popularity worldwide. On Bare Knuckle FC’s streaming app, a partnership with WLC was just announced where fans will not only get bare knuckle boxing, but lethwei content on the Bare Knuckle TV. The acquisition pries the Myanmar promotion away from UFC FightPass and gives it the more niche home it deserves.
When asked about lethwei, Bostwick’s eyes lit up with excitement. The idea of fighting with no gloves allowing punches, kicks, knees, elbows and head butts is something Jake Bostwick is 100% down to do.
“Straight up, I think head butts should be legal. At the end of the day, it’s action with fighting and if I’m able to punch you with my hands and a bit of a head butt in the clinch, that would be awesome. I would do that all day.” When asked if he’d be open to a Lethwei bout now that WLC has signed to distribute on BKFC TV, Bostwick said he is all in. “Some elbows and stuff and a Thai clinch with some head butts? Yeah man!”
What struck me as odd when talking about head butts with Jake Bostwick was that he knew the situations of the technique quite well. When I interviewed Dave Leduc for My MMA News, Leduc said that head butts were in the clinch. “That’s where the head butts flow. I’m not a big proponent of doing head butts from far away because you can get cut up with an up-elbow on the way in. I like to head butt when I’m connected,” Leduc told me.
Jake Bostwick was saying that he would head butt in the clinch in a hypothetical lethwei bout and I was forced to ask him where he learned the head butt from. “I’m not one to boast, but when I was young, young, I learned about head butts and stuff. I’ve hit people a couple of times as a teenager in South London. Yeah, I know how to head butt someone so I think to incorporate that and get paid for it, that’s dope.”
Jake Bostwick vs. Tyler Vogel
The fight with Vogel was a banger. While Jake Bostwick felt that he could have fought better in the fight, he did learn from the fight. The surprise sixth round caught him off guard, but being able to dig down and get the win in an extra round taught Bostwick a valuable lesson about himself.
“I was happy with how I felt in there. I felt comfortable. I’m disappointed because I felt comfortable and good, but I didn’t perform to the best of my ability. I didn’t move how I should have moved. I could have moved a lot better. I could have thrown a lot more punches, especially making an effort to get in nice and close, I didn’t really work the body so much. What I took from that fight, I’m okay to keep digging. We pulled a sixth round out of nowhere. That was random, going five rounds and thinking the fight’s over and they come over and said it’s possible we’re doing a sixth round. I was like, ‘Yeah, bro, of course!’ It was nice to dig and I’ve got a little bit ring rust off. It was good. I took a lot from it in the aspect that I’ve got more to offer.”
The future with Jake Bostwick will not be at 185, however. With the fight being on short notice, he was forced to fight up and he saw first hand the disadvantages presented with being the smaller fighter. Going forward, he would like to compete at his natural weight class.
“I’m too small for 185. 175 is going to be an amazing turnaround for me.” Jake Bostwick continues, “My natural weight class would be 175 for sure. No matter how much I lift and how strong I am, the 85ers are just longer all over. The 75ers are a little bit shorter and more my stomp. There was a lot of shots I missed Tyler with that I know I would hit a lot of 75ers with. That was my poor punches. I was just winging bombs. I was just in the fight zone. 75, I’m going to more looser, a lot more nimble, I’m going to move faster.” Bostwick continues on his cardio saying while he was bigger, he felt fine and the sixth round proved that. “My cardio at 85 was fine. Everyone said, ‘Oh, he’s throwing that big right hand, he’s going to get tired,’ in the second round. I was still throwing that haymaker in the sixth round. My gas tank kept going. I had no issue there.”
Stepping to the line for the first time is nerve wracking for many. Bostwick describes his experience on the line as just the opposite. He was there and ready to go to war. He looked at the record setting knockout Ulysses Diaz notched against Donelei Benedetto which lasted three seconds. That knockout is 40% faster than Jorge Masvidal’s UFC record knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239. Bostwick saw that as an opportunity to achieve that himself.
“They say, ‘Toe the line,’ and then they say, ‘Knuckle up!” As soon as they said, ‘Toe the line,’ I was already there ready to rumble each time. Before going into the fight, only watching it and learning from it, you got to just be turned on as if you would be in your corner. But there’s no walk to engage, it’s just punch. As soon as you block or make a move, you can kind of make out how it’s going to go. It wasn’t really nerve wracking or anything. It was a different starting point. You’re there to throw bombs like Uly. It only takes one bang. In my head I was like, ‘Yo, that could easily happen for me,’ and it can. It could happen to me! You got no gloves on and we’re here to throw bombs at each other. When they say, ‘Knuckle up,’ it’s just love.”
The next fight for Jake Bostwick is hopefully around the corner. After his medical suspension is up, he looks to get a decent training camp in and fight this next February. And if he gets on a card with Paige VanZant, who is rumored to fight Britan Hart then, Bostwick would love to get on the card, especially considering how the timelines work out for him.
“I do want to get back in there soon. Injuries are fine. My mouth is fine, my knuckles are all good. I think we said around February. I believe that would be the same fight card as Paige VanZant and I believe that card is supposed to be in South Florida. I would like to fight over here if that is the case. February would be a lovely time. It’s just a nice amount of time to get my weight down for 175. I can actually start a camp. I still have a suspension and such because of the injuries and such. Right now, I’m just slowly getting back in and doing my thing in the gym and I’m good to go!”
Jake Bostwick will undoubtedly fight in Bare Knuckle FC again and will look to bring the violence. Follow Bostwick on Instagram and Facebook to follow his bare knuckle journey.