The fistic fireworks emanate from Miami-Dade Fairgrounds in Miami, Florida. The pugilistic proceedings are broadcast on Fite TV as well as the Bare Knuckle TV app.
Lindsey spoke with Dylan Bowker of Bare Knuckle News leading into this championship collision. Excerpts from the chat are below.
This seemed like it was on the radar when we were last talking just with the 165-pound belt being vacated by Luis Palomino. What were your thoughts when this title fight offer versus ‘Gogo’ came your way–
“Well, honestly I knew it would kind of work out this way from the get-go. Because I think they already had; I think they were having issues with getting (Luis) Palomino to fight even before ‘Gogo’. Because he recently fought for the number one contender’s slot. But at that point, I already had a contract for a fight with Connor (Tierney) for the number one contender’s slot.”
“So I put two and two together. It’s like well they’re already having issues with Palomino fighting and defending his title. So I knew probably about a year ago it would be me and ‘Gogo’ fighting, not me and Palomino.”
The last time we spoke, you thought Gorjan’s name was Gogo Slavik. Have you indulged in a certain level of additional tape study on your opponent since we last discussed him?
“Yeah, you know what I mean. He’s fought on the same cards with me. I’ve seen him fight live. I’ve watched all of his fights. We’ve been on the same podcasts and interacted a few times. I’ve watched some video on him, some BKFC video. They’re all up his ass because he’s really popular and I mean rightfully so. He has all the right qualities to be a popular fighter. But yeah, I’ve done tons of research on him and I feel great about the matchup.”
“Here’s the thing, I’m gonna do one of my little rants. Kind of off-topic but it’s on the subject. Here’s the thing about this; people every time they fight a guy they go oh you know, I see these holes in his game, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Every fighter fights about the same about eighty percent, like you have habits. If you’ve been fighting more than five, six, seven, eight, nine years you have habits and you’re going to do the same habits.”
“It’s not about seeing I would say holes in someone’s game, it’s about looking at their habitual behaviors. Because when you’re in a fight and once you get into it and things get intense, you’re going to always revert. You can have the best gameplan but if the gameplan is not something you do normally then the second you get cracked the gameplan’s out the ******* window. You’re going to revert to your normal way you fight.”
“So what you do is you find things that you do naturally that are effective against what he does naturally. For me versus Gogo, it just so happens to be there’s a lot of things I do all on my own just the way I fight that kind of counters some of the things he does. But at the same time, I’ve evaluated his strength too. You have to be real careful with him. There’s things he can do that are effective against things I do. So you kind of have to evaluate all that.”
Without overlooking Slaveski here, if you get your desired outcome in this title fight, who do you think you’ll be defending this welterweight title against for the first time?
“Rico Franco, absolutely. There’s no way. If they match me against anyone else, that’s a disservice to him. If I get in there, and do what I can do, just be myself, and win the belt then yeah it absolutely has to be Rico Franco. Like there’s no way. That guy’s deserved it for years. I think hes’ on like a seven fight unbeaten streak. He fought twice more.”
“He fought on the same card I fought Connor (Tierney), he’s already fought three more times. Had four fights in the time it’s taken me to get one. So I mean that guy, it has to be him. It doesn’t make sense, I mean there’s no one else. Who else is there? Nobody. If Kaleb Harris beat him then it would have been Kaleb Harris. But he took care of Kaleb pretty handily. So it’s got to be Rico Franco.”
Jake Lindsey vs Gorjan Slaveski
When we first met, you captured the Unified MMA super welterweight title and garnered mixed martial arts gold at 165 pounds. How much of a capstone achievement would it be to capture 165-pound gold on a world level within BKFC as we’re heading into this vacant welterweight title fight?
“I mean I would love nothing more than to go out there and win that belt, to be honest with you. Not just for how esteemed the belt is because I think BKFC is the best; clearly the best bare-knuckle combat sports organization. But also just for my own personal I guess combat sports journey, it would be something that I’ve been pushing towards for years. When you’re a fighter and you’re kind of in that spot where you’re not fighting with anybody.”
Jake Lindsey continued, “I went through a lot of years where like I was still fighting really tough guys and training kind of like I said all on my own, that fire just kept burning. This wouldn’t put the fire out at all. It would probably make it bigger but this is something I’ve been working towards, whether I’ve known it or not, a long time. So this would mean the world to me to win this belt. I’m coming, coming hard. I’m excited, I’m getting all; My heart’s starting to beat now. Ready to roll, let’s go.”