KAWARTHA LAKES-Roofer by day, MMA fighter by night!
James, Suplex Kid, Clarke is kicking his way to the top of the Mixed Martial Arts world one fight at a time.
On September 25th Clarke was defending his Professional 125 lb Flyweight B2 MMA title in Bowling Green Kentucky. He had won the title in May in Kansas City and this was his first title defence. Clarke won by using something called a rear-naked choke at the end of the first round.
“It feels great, been a long road,” Clarke told Kawartha 411 News. “I’ve always been competitive. I pretty much do everything in life with 100%, whatever I’m doing in my life is a competition.”
This was his 5th win in a row and moved his professional fight record to 6-3. Clarke started wrestling at the age of 20, playing hockey for 16 years before that.
His coach Joe Elliot owns Big Country MMA in Lindsay.
“I feel as if every fight he takes is more important to win, as he wants to make it to one of the premier shows like UFC or One championship, James is different in terms of strength and athleticism,” Elliott says.
Clarke also added some strength training to his routine and says it really helped his performance.
“My training isn’t just sparring all day. I have a strength and conditioning coach in Oshawa now called Are You Game Conditioning Club and adding that into my MMA training has really helped me improve.”
As if Clarke’s accomplishment wasn’t remarkable enough, he does it all while working full time as the owner of James Clarke Roofing.
“James Clarke Roofing is my main source of income.” Clarke explains, “Most of my fights end up costing me money. I train at other facilities and that costs money too.”
Clarke also has some sponsors who have helped his career immensely.
“Just having the right people in your corner, my head coach now is great he tells me what to do. I’ve been making better decisions and taking smart fights, testing myself.”
Mixed Martial Arts is a rough and can be a dangerous sport. It is described as an extreme combat sport in which contestants are permitted to use the fighting techniques of wrestling and boxing but also those of martial arts such as kickboxing, judo, and karate.
“I’ve had a few good injuries but 70% come from training. I’ve never been knocked out though, always had good luck with that.”
Coach Elliott says Clarke’s success comes from a lot of hard work, not just luck.
“I have been in combat sports for over 15 years and I’ve never experienced someone as special or naturally talented as James Clarke. He is on another level than 99% of the people in this sport, he can take it as far as he wants to in my humble opinion.”
Clarke wants to go all the way to the big cage.
“One day want to focus on fighting 100%. It just doesn’t today the bills yet. The next test will be bigger, that’s the goal, keep winning, get signed to the UFC and then I can quit roofing.”
The next step is a fight in Georgia on December 18th.
“I’d like to thank my coaches, Joe Elliot, Justin Bruckmann and everyone at my home gym Big Country MMA.”
Good luck James.