Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You wouldn’t normally think of someone with a doctorate degree in metaphysics, as the rough and tumble type.
But as book smart as 47-year-old Jim Clark is, he’s equally smart when it comes to mixed martial arts.
Most guys in their mid-40s don’t spend their days wrestling and boxing men in their early 20s. But then again, most guys aren’t like Clark.
“Take downs are big so if you can take someone down it helps in a fight,” said Clark.
Three decades ago, Clark was a very good high school wrestler. His dad was a pro boxer who taught him to box. That combination led him to the Crystal Fight Club, where he has combined those skills to surprise a lot of people.
At 47, Clark is more than twice the age of some of the fighters he competes against. But in some ways that may be an advantage.
“I go against him and he’s stronger than most of the other 20 year olds I go against. I think he’s just reaching his prime,” said teammate Damion Hill.
And it’s showing. Clark was supposed to be a tune-up fight for a 21-year-old top contender at 185 pounds. Instead he beat him straight up.
“Everybody thought I was going to lose. The only people who thought I had a chance at winning were me and my team,” said Clark.
He then went on to beat the second-ranked contender in a knock out. And now, he’s set to fight for a title in the five-state area.
“He’s not as tight as he used to be, but when he gets in the cage and he just dominates these guys my age, 19, 20-years-old, it’s just ridiculous. They just don’t give him the respect he deserves and he makes them pay for it,” said teammate Stephen Watt.
Not bad for a guy who has taught metaphysics to college students and has only been doing mixed martial arts for three years.
“Just the opportunity to fight for the title — that’s enough for me. I’m happy I got the opportunity. If it doesn’t extend beyond that I’m fine. I wanted a title shot and I’m fine,” said Clark.
Clark’s overall record is 7-3 and he will fight his title bout on June 2 at Myth Nightclub in St. Paul.
And at 47, he will be the oldest MMA fighter ever to fight for a title. He credits his teammates for helping him prepare for this opportunity.