Isaac Doolittle bested Jay Jackson via unanimous decision at BKFC Wichita. The rising title contender is undefeated as a bare-knuckle boxer and is streaking under the BKFC banner.
I spoke with Doolittle after his sophomore BKFC victory and excerpts from our chat are below.
Competing with an ACL and MCL tear in the last BKFC performance
“Oh no, it’s a full ACL tear. I don’t currently have an ACL or a lateral meniscus. That was torn in my last fight. But apparently, the musculature of my quad and the limb length that I have is so short and so dense that it compensates pretty well. I don’t need surgery unless I go back to MMA and it’s gonna get attacked. But as for how it felt in the ring, it was a little stiff here and there. It was a little bit tired, but nothing that was unmanageable. There were a few angles that I had difficulty a couple of times cutting. The movements would have put me off balance.”
“But we put in probably three weeks of hard footwork just to try and compensate. Most of our fight camp was actually testing to see if that knee was actually going to hold. So I’m glad it did. That’s part of the reason why I’m waiting till next year to fight. Because we were in fight camp for almost this whole year. Except for the one month between my last fight, we let the knee heal a little bit. So I didn’t really do anything for about a month. But then we were right back into fight camp. We had something like six, seven, or eight backouts this year. So I’ve literally been in fight camp since January.”
Wanting that 185 lb title shot in the looming new calendar year
“I’ll just be watching the division to see who I’m going up against. I’m really, really curious to see.”
If a 175lb title is in focus or if the competitive title aspirations lie in higher weight categories more so
“Well, I’ve always competed at 185. It’s a lot easier of a cut and 170, generally just leaves me drained. It’s a doable cut from an outside perspective. It always leaves me tired in the later rounds. I’m dense, so it’s a lot harder for me to shed that extra weight. 85 is more comfortable, I compete a lot better. The guys are generally longer, a lot longer. But I have to go down to almost 145, 155 to reach guys that are my height and my limb length. So that’s never going to happen.”
The motivations of Isaac Doolittle in fighting an action-heavy fighter like Jay Jackson at BKFC Wichita
“Oh, yeah. I like being the underdog. Because it takes the pressure off. You aren’t supposed to win. You shouldn’t win. So go have fun. I’ve had fights, like one or two fights, where I was supposed to win. I was just so nervous that I had to come out the victor. I much prefer to be the underdog. There’s no chance of me winning. So we’re going to go out and we’re going to have fun.”
Being the betting underdog for his Jackson clash and how that’s a microcosm of his combative career
“My entire amateur career and my whole pro career. I was always a last-minute fill-in against the hometown heroes. So I was always the meat for the fodder. We had a couple of promotions that stopped using me because I was giving their undefeated guys their first loss. I don’t think I’ve ever fought a guy with a perfect record that I haven’t beaten.”
His girlfriend Jessica Link also competing at BKFC Wichita and the collective feelings post-event
“We went and we celebrated. I won, pretty much the internet thinks she won. So she’ll be back at it. She had a blast. I had fun. Yeah, she lost the decision, but it was a split decision. The judges saw different things. If there was another three set of judges, they probably would have seen three different things. It’s different when it’s like a unanimous or a majority. Because the judges agree more. I’ve won by a few split decisions but I’ve never felt like I’ve won those.”
“Because you could have had a judge in a different part of the ring and he could have seen something completely different. And you’d have lost. I think the fifth round was the most contested on hers. Think she landed more strikes. I think she did a lot more damage. Before the fight, I compartmentalized it. I didn’t watch her fight. Didn’t go out of my locker room. I was warming up and then after the fight. I went and I watched it. It was a war. I was proud of her.”
Parting thoughts for Isaac Doolittle
“I just want to appreciate everybody that supported me thus far. Hopefully, we’ll get a title shot here in the near future.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.