Jacob Conliffe Knows No Limits

From Submission Grappling To Professional MMA To K-1 Kickboxing… Jacob Conliffe Knows No Limits

Within 4 weeks, Jacob Conliffe took 1st place in the Advanced Heavyweight division at Joslin’s Open Grappling Tournament in Hamilton… made his professional MMA debut and earned the TKO World Heavyweight Championship in Montreal… and made his K-1 sanctioned professional kickboxing debut in Colorado. “He is the most natural fighter I train,” says Shawn Tompkins, of the 21 fighters in his stable. For the reserved Conliffe, it’s all about competition “I love seeing myself improve and overcoming hardships,” he said. The Ontario, Canada, fighter was a very calm, passive child growing up, not involved too much in sports, but the University of Western Ontario philosophy major is now on the varsity wrestling team. Having trained in judo and kyokushin karate in the past, the 20-year-old has been training in MMA for a year and a half, which includes kickboxing and wrestling. “He’s very much one of those fighters that is truly well versed in all aspects,” says friend Jason Beatty, “plus, he’s got a great head on his shoulders. Very much a thinking man’s fighter.” Conliffe is scheduled to defend his TKO title for the first time on January 29 against the massive Icho Larenas at “TKO 19: Rage.”

JC: How did you become involved in MMA? JC: Through watching it when I was young. I was incredibly interested in it. Then at my judo club in Windsor, my instructor and friend, Mike Nomikos, got me officially involved in pursuing a career in it.

JC: When did you start training in MMA? JC: I guess officially I started a year and a half ago in Windsor.

JC: Do you train in other disciplines? JC: I’ve trained judo and kyokushin karate in the past. Kickboxing and wrestling now.

JC: Do you train in a Gi? JC: In the past, I trained very often with a gi. Not so much now. But I would still like too.

JC: Where do you train? JC: Team Tompkins Muay Thai and Submission

JC: What is the name of your fight team? JC: Team Tompkins

JC: What is a typical training day for you? JC: I get up, got to my classes, I’ll run right after. Go to wrestling from 4-6, then kickboxing from 7-8:30. Very hectic days.

JC: Do you train for an opponent or to fight? JC: Pretty much for the fight, I might do a few things for a certain opponent, but I honestly don’t have that much experience yet.

JC: What is your competition weight? JC: Currently heavyweight (weigh in at around 216), but in the future it will be light heavy (205).

JC: What is your fighting style? JC: I’d say it’s a blend of kickboxing and wrestling, but I like my submissions too. I like fighting on my feet though.

JC: We met at Joslin’s Grappling Tournament in early November. You took 1st Place in the Advanced Heavyweight division. Do you grapple often? JC: I wrestle 5 days a week. I only grapple when I have the chance to.

JC: When and where was that MMA fight? JC: TKO on Friday, November 26, 2004, in Montreal, Canada.

JC: How did it go? JC: I won by rear naked choke. (Conliffe defeated Todd Gouwenberg to earn the TKO World Heavyweight Championship)

JC: This was your MMA debut while your opponent, Todd Gouwenberg, had 5 fights with 3 KO’s on his record. What were your thoughts going into the fight? JC: I knew that I was the underdog, but I was training so hard leading up to this fight, I felt that I had to win, but I was also extremely nervous and had some doubt being my first MMA match against an undefeated fighter.

JC: What were your thoughts as you stepped into the ring? JC: I first though “why the hell am I doing this?” until the bell rang, then I felt like I had to win this fight.

JC: How did you feel when it was over? JC: I was ecstatic that I won, and by looking on my teammates faces, that made me really happy.

JC: I spent a lot of time in the locker room with you and your team. Your team mates appear to have strong training ethics and are very much for the team. Comment? JC: Team Tompkins is an amazing team in that everyone is their for you, no man is for themselves. We do not celebrate until everyone has finished fighting. We all train hard together, so being there for your teammates is of vital importance.

JC: How does it make you feel to have your team go undefeated for the night? JC: That just put the icing on the cake, it was incredible, the whole team was on a natural high, we were the champs.

JC: What would you like to publicly say to Shawn and your team? JC: I would like to thank Shawn for seeing the potential in me, for believing in me and taking time to train me. To my team, the help and training they gave me was priceless. I’d never be in the position I am today without them.

JC: What has been a high for you in MMA? JC: Winning the TKO Heavyweight title was currently my greatest high in MMA. Hopefully, there will be more in the future….

JC: Why is that? JC: I was the underdog in that fight, and I didn’t even expect to get to fight for a title so soon, especially on my first MMA fight.

JC: How far would you like to go in MMA? JC: As long as my body holds up, the sky’s the limit.

JC: Do you have a preference between a ring or a cage? JC: I have never fought or trained in a cage, so I’m going with the ring.

JC: Are you employed outside of MMA? JC: No, I am not.

JC: What do you do outside of school and training? JC: I like to spend time with my girlfriend, my friends and my family. I like to relax when I’m not training by watching movies, reading books and playing video games.

JC: How are you academically at the University of Western Ontario? JC: Average, but I know I could be doing better (lol).

JC: What drives you? JC: I love competition, and I love seeing myself improve and overcoming hardships.

JC: What is next for you? JC: In MMA, defending the (TKO) title of course, but dropping to light heavyweight and winning there is my primary goal.

JC: What is one thing about you that would have people saying “hmmm... I didn’t know that about Jacob Conliffe?” JC: I really don’t like hurting people, so I guess it’s funny that I’m involved in a sport such as MMA.

JC: Is there anything you’d like to say? JC: I’d just like to thank SPRAWL for their support which I value very much. I’d also like to thank Team Tompkins and Shawn Tompkins for helping me realize my dreams. And also thanks to everyone who has helped me develop my skills in the past; Mike Nomikos, William Grant, Jan Kazsuba, Micheal Montague and Shihan Albert Mady.



TTT for Jacob !!!

Great interview Joseph !


Can't wait to see your first title defense on Jan 29.

Thx, Jason... he was a great subject.





great interview! TTT for Jacob

good guy.. he thanked his old karate instructor.. pretty rare nowadays but refreshing to see someone who doesnt forget people who have helped them in the past.. ttt

I agree, sasaki kojiro.

super nice guy but he hits hard"MAN MY NOSE HURTS"

paying Conliffe 10 bucks for the "Mency hit"

Heh heh heh...


What you think will happen Jan 29?

Jan 29th KO..................

"What you think will happen Jan 29?"

I think Icho will look across the ring like so many fighters before him and think "That's a baby face kid...I'm gonna kill him"

Then Jacob's gonna hit him....

Icho will go for a take down and then realize Jacob's a monster on the mat too....

JHR is correct