Undefeated welterweight Jake Constantinou is expecting the best version of Harry Marple this Saturday when the two meet at Golden Ticket Fight Promotions 18.
Jake Constantinou vs. Harry Marple will be one of many excellent fights scheduled to go down in Wolverhampton at the K.K. Steelmill. Thomas Paull and Perry Goodwin will headline the card, who battle it out for GTFP gold. Before the main event, GTFP has put on a well-matched amateur and professional card.
I had the pleasure of speaking with one man who’s among the action in Jake Constantinou to get his thoughts on his first outing of 2022.
Interview With Jake Constantinou
Golden Ticket Fight Promotions 18 is just around the corner. You’ll meet Harry Marple. Tell us, how excited are you for this contest and the opportunity to be competing for the light welterweight championship?
Very excited. I’m a Midlands based fighter. GTFP is the best show in the Midlands and slowly becoming one of the best in the country. I must become champion on the promotion as I see it on my stomping ground.
Last year we saw you return to competitive MMA after a three-year hiatus from the sport. How well did it feel to be back competing?
Great, it was the best I ever felt going into a fight, relaxed, fit and ready to do the job. I enjoyed the whole process, the weigh-ins, the fight day. Everything was fun for me.
What did you miss about the sport in those three years, and was the plan always to come back?
I missed the push, the hard work, and seeing progress daily. I missed proving a point to myself, my coaches, and everyone, the point being that I’m good. Now watch how good I am.
The plan was always to come back. I just needed some time off to do some other stuff in my life that felt important to me. I was off longer than expected due to the pandemic, but everyone is in the same boat there.
On the topic of your last performance over Rick Selvarajah at GTFP 16, considering the time away, were you pleased with your overall performance on the night? Anything you weren’t happy with?
I was happy. I felt busy, pushed the pace and mixed up my game well. Rick’s known for his striking, but I feel I dominated that area of the fight. My only regret would be not getting the finish, but that’s always the case with decision wins. Also would have liked a couple more takedowns. That would have made it Unanimous. The judge who scored it a draw was blind. I felt I won every round comfortably.
I like to ask people I haven’t spoken with before their background in the sport and why it’s a path they decided to go down?
Long story, but I came to a point in my life where I needed to take up a hobby, something I could achieve. Growing up, I was a huge pro wrestling and had always liked the guys with an amateur background like Kurt Angle. So I looked for amateur wrestling in Leicester but couldn’t find anything, but I did find submission wrestling. I thought that would be fine. I already know an ankle lock. One day I saw MMA on the class timetable. I had no idea what it was but thought I would give it a go, and it all just snowballed from there.
Jake Constantinou Talks Pro Wrestling Career
I’m fascinated by your professional wrestling journey after looking at your social media and doing some research. How did that come about, is it something you’ve always been a fan of, and do you actively still compete in Wrestling? Talk to me about the whole experience of competing under the WWE banner. Must it feel like a dream for any pro wrestling fan?
I have been a pro wrestling fan my whole life. It’s why I started grappling, and grappling is why I started MMA. Towards the end of my amateur career, I found a school in Leicester and thought, why not. It turned out to be something I really enjoyed. I was lucky enough to work for the WWE a few times, and all were great experiences. I’ve never worked for a company on that scale before. The manpower going into each show is impressive. Yes, I still wrestle locally around Leicestershire.
Although totally different sports. Are there any similarities or key principles between the two that have helped you evolve in both sports?
Being an athlete and having a grappling background helped me take to pro wrestling quickly. I was lucky enough to find a school that is based on the old British style of Wrestling, the catch based style handed down from Billy Robinson and others. So a lot of my grappling crossed over well.
As stated earlier, you’re up against Harry Marple, who hasn’t fought since 2016. Because of that, what are you expecting from Marple come March 5th? With so long away from the sport, do you feel that falls in your favour?
Hard to say. It depends on what he’s been doing for the past five years. Obviously, he’s got old fights I’ve seen, but a lot can change in 5 years. I don’t worry too much about what the other guy is going to do. I focus on myself, put the work in, and fight the way I want to fight.
Regarding it working in my favour, that’s on Harry. Everyone deals with ring rust. Differently, it’s never affected me. I’ve seen it affect others badly. So we will just have to see how Harry deals with it on the day. I know he’s talented and got skills, so I’m expecting, and hoping, for a challenge.
If victorious at GTFP 18. When can your followers expect to see you back? How does Jake Constantinou calendar look for the rest of the year in competition?
If there is one thing I’ve learnt in this game its not to plan too far ahead. I enjoy the journey and don’t look to rush or overlook anything.
Featured image credits to Jake Constantinou