Jack Claffey sat down with us after his triumphant Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut at BKFC 25. Known around the world as Gentleman Jack Gallagher for his previous career in professional wrestling, the former WWE athlete breaks down his first experience in the Squared Circle, and what BKFC fans can expect from him moving forward.
Simply enough, what brings you to the world of bare knuckle boxing?
I’ve always thought of myself as a martial artist, primarily as a hobby. Now I’m just looking to turn it into an actual career for myself, and BKFC honestly just sounded like a lot of fun. Bare knuckle boxing is something that I thought would be a novel experience, but there’s a lot of depth to it. I really, really love the clinch rule in BKFC.
Now that the dust has settled a bit from your debut – a third-round KO victory or Rick Caruso – have your thoughts on the sport changed at all?
I like to think it’s evolved. Now I’m operating on a lot more experience, whereas previously it was like theory. I was working on theory, in terms of how these fights work. Now that I actually have that first professional fight under my belt, I have a lot more to work with. Having a last-minute opponent change and getting caught early on – there are a lot of things I can learn from. By the time I get to my second fight, I’ll show that experience.
So you’re here to stay?
Absolutely. I’ve signed a three-fight deal with BKFC. I’ve always wanted to make it clear that this isn’t some kind of little stunt or a promotional move. This is something that I’m genuinely interested in.
What would you like to accomplish in that time? You can cover a lot of ground in three fights.
True. But I don’t necessarily feel like I have to rush either. I’m looking to get the most out of every experience. And, just because I’ve got those three bare knuckle fights on my contract, it doesn’t mean that I’ll only have three bare knuckle fights.
Do you see yourself going back to the world of professional wrestling?
At the current time, no. I really want to pursue fighting to the best of my ability and see where I can go with it. I think the only thing that could drag me out of my wrestling retirement is a 205 Live reunion tour, but I have to wait for a few of my friends to get out of contracts before we can make that happen (laughs).
What would you like BKFC fans to know about you?
I’m here to put on good fights. I’m here to have fun. And I’m not afraid of my own blood.