Undefeated Union City, TN native Jake Underwood (3-0) will make his XFC debut Friday, April 13th at the Oman Arena against Dan Bulkley. Underwood will be a part of a stacked undercard featuring fighters from West Tennessee. Of all the fighters on the card, none are more polarizing across the state than the outspoken Underwood.
The baby brother of Strikeforce veteran Zach Underwood, Jake seems to have escaped his brother’s shadow and forged his own path in the sport, since turning pro in February. ‘The Pride of Union City’ is known for two things; his willingness to fight anyone, and his mouth. Known for calling people out and being a straight shooter, Underwood insists he wasn’t born with the filter that goes in between the brain and the mouth. “People say I talk a lot but I haven’t been wrong in a long time,” explained Underwood. “They’ve been trying to prove me wrong and shut me up since I turned pro, but no one has been able to do it yet. Look, we all know I’m the best 145er or 155er Tennessee has to offer and nobody around here can beat me. And that includes my brother too, I can kick his ass and he knows it! I’ll fight anyone dumb enough to sign a contract to face me. I’ve never said no to a fight. I’ve been called out by guys from East TN and then when I say I want the fight, all of the sudden they don’t want to fight anymore. I may have to go to 170 one day to finally get some competition.”
Jake Underwood may be confident but he is adamant about his respect for his opponent at ‘Apocalypse’. “Dan Bulkley deserves not just my respect, but the respect of everyone in our country. He’s a brave man who served his country and fought admirably overseas, I take my hat off to him. With that being said, that won’t hinder me from handing him an L in the record books, in front of thousands of XFC fans, on April 13th. I think I’m more well rounded that Dan and wherever it goes, I see me having the advantage. I’d really like to get the knockout, but I’ll take a submission too.”
As a professional, Jake Underwood hasn’t gone past 1:23, finishing every opponent in the first round of the fight. It wasn’t always easy wins for Underwood however. After a disappointing showing in his final amateur fight last year, Underwood learned that he was allergic to gluten and his body was unable to produce testosterone and cortisol; leaving him unable to recover quickly, causing him to get winded very easily. Now, with a new diet and a training camp at Roufus Sport in Milwaukee, Underwood believes he is ready for the next step in his career.
“I used to have a hard time with cardio,” admitted Underwood. “But once the doctor explained to me about gluten and how it affected my body, it really made a lot of sense and I changed my diet completely. I have the same condition Dennis Hallman has. I could go full throttle in a fight for two minutes, but after that I couldn’t recover and I was done. Now my diet is straight and I can go five rounds no problem if I need to. I’ve spent four months training at Roufus Sport and I’ve had a lot of one on one time with Anthony Pettis and Ben Askren. Getting to train with guys like that consistently elevates my game. My striking has really improved and I’ve learned a lot from Askren about wrestling and takedown defense.”
Now that Underwood has his health problems behind him and is training with some of the best athletes in the sport he feels he will be ready for Dan Bulkley at XFC 17. “I’m glad the XFC is coming to town,” said Underwood. I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to ruin the night for all of Dan’s fans. I encourage everyone to buy a ticket to root for Dan because when I lay down my pretty head later that night, I’ll sleep so much better knowing several hundred people are still cussing me.”
XFC 17: Apocalypse will take place at the Oman Arena in Jackson, TN on Fri. April 13th and will air live on HDNet. Tickets are on sale now through the OfficialXFC website & Ticketmaster. To learn more about the XFC, please visit www.officialxfc.com, “Like” them on Facebook (/officialxfc) and “Follow” the promotion on Twitter (@officialxfc).