By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I had the chance to talk with amateur MMA fighter Jakob Clemons. Jakob is 4-1 on a four fight win streak and looking to extend it to 5. He will be stepping into the cage again on June 30 for Valor. Let’s have a seat with Jakob and get to know him a little bit better.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Jakob: To me being a fighter is all about determination and having fun. You have to have the drive to do this sport but also remember it’s about having fun. There is nothing better than punching people and getting away with it!
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Jakob: I started wrestling when I was fifteen and started training in MMA when I was seventeen so in total I have about seven years under my belt
Nick: What inspired you to pursue MMA as a career?
Jakob: I saw it when I was ten and I was just taken back like “ahh look at these guys. They’re kicking the crap out of each other.” I never thought I could do it though because everyone was so big but then they started to add smaller weight classes and next thing I know I’m watching guys my size fight and succeed so it was just that much more inspiring.
Nick: Most fighters get branded with a nickname at some point in time. Do you have one? Who gave it to you and why?
Jakob: They call me the Angry Koala. My coaches gave it to me. During an interview, they were asked to describe my fighting style. They said I was small, unassuming, and mean as hell like an angry koala.
Nick: What camp do you train out of and how long have you been with them?
Jakob: I train out of Kings Muay Thai and MMA. I started training at Overdrive at first but after a few years it kind of disbanded and a few of the guys from the gym including myself got together and we rebranded ourselves as Kings. My coaches Jeremy Beal and Ed McDonald have done a tremendous job helping me improve from where I was to where I am, and they keep pushing me to improve every single training session.
Nick: With your fighting style do you prefer to keep the fight on your feet or take it to the ground?
Jakob: To be honest I don’t really have a preference. I’m good with either one. It’s awesome to get a knockout or TKO on the feet but there’s something glorious about getting a submission on the ground. So to me, it doesn’t really matter either way. I like to stay well rounded and be prepared for everything.
Nick: With cutting weight and fighter safety always being a priority. What methods of cutting weight do you use? How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight? Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?
Jakob: It varies really. I try to keep a pretty clean diet through most of the preparation. Usually, if I have weight left to cut I’ll just get in the sauna for a little bit to get it off of me. I don’t think it has a major impact on the fight itself. Once I get food and water in my system I’m usually ready to go!
Nick: If you could offer one piece of advice to someone just starting their amateur career what would it be?
Jakob: Be determined. Don’t buy into everyone saying you can’t do something. Don’t be average, if you want it go get it. Work for it and be persistent! There’s no written law saying you have to abide by the “norms” of society. Normal is boring as shit!
Nick: June 30 at Valor you will be facing a tough opponent in Diego Bautista. Prior to this fight how much do you know about your opponent?
Jakob: He’s a tough guy for sure. I’ve watched his fights and he’s gritty I can tell it’s going to be a really fun fight.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for your fight?
Jakob: I don’t really like to make predictions for the fights. All I know is it’s going to be intense from bell to bell. He will wake up the next morning knowing he went through a hard fight.
Nick: Should you get the win on June 30 do you have plans to make the transition to the pros?
Jakob: The transition to pro will definitely happen with time. It’s just a matter of what my coaches think is best. I trust their judgment and guidance so when they say it’s time you can expect to be seeing me on the pro side of the card.
Nick: Who is your favorite MMA fighter?
Jakob: Frankie Edgar definitely! He’s so explosive and entertaining to watch. He never stops coming forward. He’ll take a punch and keep coming forward and fighting until the last round ends. Definitely an inspiration to me.
Nick: Jakob have you submitted to the takeover?
Jakob: This is Jakob Clemons and I have submitted to the takeover.
Best I can tell Jakob is ready to go and it should be an entertaining fight. I wish him well in his scrap on June 30. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA