Jake ‘Brutal’ Bostwick: A man who was emerging as one of the main ‘players’ during the Cage Warriors ‘boom period’ (Jake’s CW career: Dec, 2013 – June, 2014). With his ferocious knockout power, and exciting ‘stand n bang’ approach; mixed in with his adopted Bane persona – Jake looked to be on the cusp of being the next talent to break into one of the two major North American promotions, in the UFC & BellatorMMA.
It’s not all about your style and charisma though. Having a vast percentage of more wins than losses is the primary basis that you need to propel up that ladder to the North America scene. Jake has that in abundance over the past 9 years as a pro mixed martial artist; Racking up 15 victories, and only 2 defeats in those 9 years – that would surely place Jake’s name on the lips of those important matchmakers, right?
A lot has changed in Jake’s personal life since then. I want to know if those changes in his personal life have altered his career choices & motivations.
Before I get onto that – let me pull out that dusty file of Jake’s MMA career, and YES! It is that old! You wouldn’t think it for a man who is only 28 years of age.
Starting out his career for Dave o’ Donnell’s: Cage Rage Contenders promotion, at just 16 years of age (studying for his G.C.S.E’s) – Jake would not see the judges score cards in the first seven of his CRC bouts; channelling his ‘kill or be killed’ style. That style would land him a spot that any young/hungry fighter would dream of – a spot on the Cage Rage 25 card.
Cage Rage 25, held at the Wembley Arena with a lot of breakout talent – that would later go on to sign for major North American promotions, ft: John Hathaway; Aisling Daly; Mostapha Al Turk; Tom Watson; Rob Broughton, and Neil Grove. All of them trying to impress ‘step father promotion’ – Elite XC (Pro Elite). All eyes were on Elite XC at the time, with Kimbo Slice being the driving force for that promotion. Many MMA fans may regard BellatorMMA as the ‘number two promotion’ in MMA today. Well Elite XC was just that back in the day, with a little sizzle & drama thrown in. Whilst Elite XC was putting all their eggs in to one basket with Kimbo – they were wise enough to purchase/attempt to purchase several ‘second tier’ MMA promotions; looking for that next star.
Cage Rage 25 was headlined by UFC Hall of Fame inductee/MMA pioneer: Ken Shamrock! Ken wasn’t the only Shamrock to be stepping into the CR: 25 cage, as he brought his son along to compete on the same card as him for the very first time in his career. That wasn’t the only career first for Ken, as this was the first time Ken would ever compete in MMA on U.K soil.
So, with opportunity to shine and make a statement – how did things go for the young Jake Bostwick? Well, Jake would step into the Cage Rage cage against a very tough, durable, also hard hitting – John Phillips.
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After Cage Rage 25 – Jake would return to Cage Rage Contenders for two more bouts, before stepping back up to Cage Rage and facing his ‘big stage foe’: John Phillips once again. Is there a point to be settled here? Let me ask Jake.
GS: Was the rematch booked to secure a definitive outcome between you and John, or was it booked to settle a point of some kind between you both?
JB: The rematch was a short notice fight, for the both of us; Basically on two weeks notice. Dave O’ Donnell – I believe , lost his main event and wanted to replace it with two (heavy) hitters like john and myself . And seeing as the previous fight was a no contest, it was good for the pair of us. So there was no point to be settled – we were super cool; even having a cup of tea together before the fight.
After Elite XC came crashing down, thanks to a Seth Petruzelli short left hook to Kimbo’s chin Dave o’ Donnell found himself fighting for the Cage Rage name. In the meantime – UCMMA was born!
Jake would be an instant must have for Dave’s freshly created UCMMA – selecting talent from some of best reputable MMA gyms in the U.K, including: Keddles gym; London Shoot, and Team Trojan. With money tight and the funds to attract international talent gone, it gave the younger talent like Jake, a chance to showcase his skills without the pressure of being cut from the roster or left without a fight. Dave adopted towards an entertaining night of fights approach, meaning: win or lose – you’ll be back if you leave it all in the cage and put forth your best effort. Dave would seem instrumental to Jake’s career – with Jake amassing a 7-1 record, and picking up a the UCMMA Welterweight belt before going up in weight and capturing the UCMMA Middleweight title in the process. Dave would always be the entertainer and know how to promote. Jake would feature alongside Dave in several skits & videos from Dave o’ Donnell. Not to mention several UK1 bouts – that included a fight against one of the hottest names in UKMMA at the time: Alex Reid.
GS: How instrumental was Dave o’ Donnell to Jake Bostwick’s career?
JB: Dave O’ Donnell was a big influence in the start of my career. I think I had over 20 fights with him: MMA and K1. And I thank him for that!
After building a 7-1 record in the UCMMA cage – it was time for Jake to take a step up that ladder.
Now with Intensiti management, and in with the Cage Warriors management – Jake really had the platform to showcase what he could do inside of a confined hand-to-hand war-zone.
The English flag draped over his back and lifted proudly as he made his way to battle in the Cage Warriors cage. Jake looked different; different he was! Now, coming to the cage dressed as the Bane persona from Batman – Jake was symbolising a very powerful force; a powerful force he was!
Jake went 3-0 in the Cage Warriors cage. Unfortunately his last bout for Cage Warriors against Philip Mulpeter was cancelled as Jake failed to make the required weight limit. Jake did admit to liking a good Christmas, and spoiling himself, and unfortunately – did not meet the requirements to fight.
GS: Are you still contracted to Intensiti Management?
JB: Nope, I am currently not contracted to any management team.
Jake would fight four more times since leaving Cage Warriors, competing for Harry Shoebridge and his WFS promotion. Also Jake competed twice for the very reputable: ACB.
Jake has been absent from the cage in 2017, but Jake has been very busy in his personal life – which has seen a vast amount of change, including marriage. Jake would normally travel to ATT to train with fellow team-mates: Brad Pickett, Luke Newman & Bola Omoyele. With Brad retiring, and Jake’s personal life completely changed – have his priorities?
GS: With watching a close friend retire, and finding the love of your life, also approaching 30 years of age (perfect age to begin a family). Is MMA a part of your focus at all?
JB: My concern right now is getting stable and on my feet here in the states – as I’ve had some really big changes considering still in the process of immigration (Its very complicated and a very long process). But with that being said – MMA is still my main focus; I am still training; I am still active and I look forward to a very busy and active 2018. As far as Brad retiring – it doesn’t affect me. I miss seeing him in the gym but I understand he made his choice for himself and his family.
GS: What’s your wife’s opinion in regards to her husband fighting?
JB: My wife is a big supporter of my career. She obviously gets a bit nervous when she watches me fight, but she supports me 100%.