The head coach and owner of Pura Vida BJJ/MMA in Milwaukee, Jake Klipp, joined us to chat about how the pandemic has effected his ability to run his popular gym, train his fighters, and put on MMA events in the state of Wisconsin.
Klipp trains a variety of fighters including popular UFC mixed martial artists Zak Ottow, Ode Osbourne, Leah Letson, and many others. The pandemic caused Klipp to shut down the gym for two months. Klipp explained: “As the pandemic started up we had an in house discussion. The decision makers on the team are me, Zak and Solo Acosta. We decided regardless of what the law said or what the public opinion said, what the health department and the CDC said, was what we were going to do. So we actually shut our gym down a day or two before the state of Wisconsin ordered a lock down. We were closed for two months then started with a slow open, lost some members because they were out of work and life hit them. We were fortunate enough to have enough members keep making their payments so we weren’t in danger of closing but it was really tough. This has been my full-time job for ten years now, so to not be able do what I consider the most important part of the job, teach, was really tough”.
Klipp also runs his own promotion called Pure FC. As you can imagine the pandemic caused him to shut that down for the time being as well. Klipp elaborated on this situation. “We are working with our state commission right now because they have guidelines and rules. They are working with me to see how to safely hold in event. There are shows in the state scheduled for September and I’d love to be the first show back. It’s not official just yet but I’m hoping to hold an event as early as August if I can get it done”.
Another fighter Klipp coaches is surging bantamweight Montel “Quick” Jackson (9-1) who has a big fight coming on July 18th against Brett Johns. We asked Coach Klipp how he expects this monster bantamweight match up to go down. “We have known Brett for a while now, I think they fought back-to-back one night and we shared a locker room with him. Very friendly guy, we got along with him good. I think we are ready to pass that test and we will find out on the 18th”.
“One of the reasons I love this fight is because Brett and Montel are both top-25 guys. One of them is ready to make a push to get into the top 15, of course we think it’s us. But the time to have a test like this is right now. Montel is a destructive force. Nobody that has ever fought him has walked out without being hurt. Even Ricky, losing that fight we got to put our beating out there and plant our flag a little bit. I hope Brett is ready to take a thumping. I know that he is good and talented and going to bring a tough fight to us, but we are going to put a beating on him. There’s all kinds of different violent things Montel likes to do in the cage and hopefully we get to show them off”.