In the MMA cage, the stakes are high. One knockout punch or submission could easily make or break your fight record, which makes you wonder, why would an Ivy League graduate with a steady job on Wall Street, give it all up for just a few minutes in the cage? This is the story of ONE Championship Superstar Jake Butler, a man who would give it all up just to follow his dream.
Joining wrestling just happened by chance for Jake. After accompanying his older brother to wrestling practice, he did as all younger brothers usually do and joined in the fun. “I’d always want to follow him around and do whatever he was doing,” recalls Jake, “Wrestling became my passion pretty quickly, it became the only thing I wanted to do, all I thought about, I was in love with the sport.” All throughout middle school and high school, Jake continued to be heavily involved in wrestling, making the varsity team and competing frequently.
After graduating, he was offered a place on the Princeton University Wrestling Team, where he would earn quite the stellar record. Unfortunately, this would not happen without tragedy. In his freshman year, Jake would suffer from an injury that would take him out of the entire season. Worried that it would affect his scholarship, Jake worked on rehabilitating his injury and keeping his grades up. After a year of being out of proper wrestling training, Jake was determined to come back stronger than ever – which is exactly what he did. While at Princeton, Jake competed in wrestling against the likes of UFC Champion Chris Weidman, Bellator Star Phil Davis, UFC star Jake Rosholt, and many others. He went on to finish his college wrestling career strong, winning many accolades along the way.
Working on Wall Street with a Princeton degree, it would seem as if Jake were living the American dream. A secure, high paying job, living in New York City, it was a life many people would kill to have. Although Jake flourished at work, he felt that there was something lacking. “I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do, I became increasingly unhappy at work, I was quite depressed. I decided I wanted to pursue professional MMA. It was hard because I was leaving what many would consider a comfortable life, not necessarily a stable or steady career,” Jake explains.
He missed the rush he felt when he was wrestling and yearned to be back on the mats again. “I saw people I was competing in wrestling with, back in the day, achieving great success in MMA. So I thought, why not go for it?” says Jake. Making a living out of doing martial arts — it was a dream for Jake, a dream that would come true after signing a contract at Evolve MMA.
At Evolve MMA, Jake is able to make his dreams a reality. He trains with the most decorated fight team in Asia, pushing him to his limits each day. “For a young, aspiring fighter, there’s no better place than Evolve MMA,” explains Jake. “I can’t imagine where else I’d be.”
Today, Jake holds a fight record of 5 wins and 1 loss, winning 3 fights via TKO. Not too bad for an ex-Wall Street banker. He says: “I look at where I am now and I can attribute everything, the person I am today to my experiences in martial arts and wrestling. I’ve gotten my work ethic, integrity, and honor from it. Chase after you dreams with passion and do what you have to get it.”