Jacob McClintock on his Bellator MMA Debut
Bellator MMA has been building momentum as a true competitor to the UFC since current President Scott Coker started working for the promotion in June 2014. With all of the controversy surrounding the UFCs Reebok deal and fighter pay, Bellator has been able to land some of the sport’s best athletes including Rory MacDonald, Matt Mitrione, Fedor Emelianko, Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva, Phil Davis, and Paul Daley, among many others. These stars have certainly helped elevate the promotion’s ratings to new heights. Bellator’s roster building strategy has been multi-tiered, however. Scott Coker has been investing heavily in the promotion’s future crop of athletes and also exciting veterans who have a wide array of skills and always put on exciting fights.
Jacob McClintock is one of those exciting veteran fighters. Having last fought in Brazil in September of 2012, he was able to amass an 8-2 record, with 5 of those wins coming via submission. The GD Jiu Jitsu black belt suffered a serious injury in the IBJJF’s Las Vegas Open tournament in 2013, putting a halt to his MMA aspirations. His comeback to training and competition in Jiu Jitsu also rekindled the fire he had for training in the other disciplines. “One of the managers in the area hit me up it and was like hey we have a fight for you in Bellator, so I jumped on it. I was doing stand-up and wrestling before that happened so I was ready.”
Jacob was offered Jeremie “Hit Em” Holloway for his return fight. Jeremie is powerfully built and well-rounded in his skillset. His 8-2 record includes 4 KOs/TKOs and 2 submissions. Despite having dangerous finishing abilities on the ground, “Tick-Tick” made sure to focus on all areas of the game in his training. “For this fight I didn't really focus on too much of anything. I tried to make sure that I dabbled in a little bit of everything. I still train in the gi 5 days a week with my students. I got my wrestling, stand up and strength and conditioning in around that schedule.”
As the bell rang, both fighter measured the distance before engaging. “The fight played out pretty much just how I envisioned. I wanted to throw some hands with him and get him thinking about the power in my punches and kicks.” After exchanging blows, Jacob would look to take the fight to his strongest finishing area. “I went for the takedown and once I got it to the ground I latched onto a guillotine, finishing it from the mount.” Although the fight ended in impressive fashion, Jacob is uncertain of his future in MMA. “Right now, my future MMA goals are nothing. I’m just playing it by ear. I want to focus on competing in Jiu-Jitsu and possibly MMA. It depends on whether the money is right. I don't really care for getting hit in the face anymore. But I do want to compete, so if the money is right and the right fight is presented I'm going to jump all over that shit. For now, I'd really like to focus on my students and getting the ones that want to compete out there more. We have a great competition team and part of this was me showing them how to compete. Win, lose or draw, as long as you perform at the best of your ability you have nothing to be ashamed of.” While Jacob’s fighting future is uncertain, we will all be anxiously awaiting his next move.
[Written by Danny OD]