PWInsiderXTRA - WWE News, Wrestling News, WWE



By Mike Johnson on 5/25/2023 10:56 AM


“Expect the most charming, charismatic and ginger person you have ever seen in a bullfighting arena”

3 JUNE 2023


Download photos from open workout. Photo credit: Lee Hamilton Cooper / Hexagone MMA

[London, 25 May 2023] Less than two weeks to go before his HEXAGONE MMA 8 bout in France on DAZN, former WWE wrestler, 'Gentleman' Jack Claffey was in training this week at his home gym, Fighting Fit, in a session open to the media.
With his second MMA bout taking place in France's original bullfighting ring, Beziers Arena, against local Yassin Chtatou, Claffey said: “On June 3rd, you can expect me not only to win in style…you can expect the most charming, charismatic and ginger person you have ever seen in a bullfighting arena. I’m going to wipe this man from pillar to post and also, I’m going to take him out for tea afterwards. Because I’m that kind of guy.”
Claffey performed on WWE between 2016 and 2020 with the NXT and 205 Live brands, following a 10-year career on the independent professional wrestling circuit. His break on WWE came with the tournament Cruiserweight Classic in 2016 after which he signed with the promotion. In 2022, the 33-year-old took his first bare-knuckle boxing fight with BKFC to score a KO victory, while he holds a 2–0 record at amateur level in MMA. In Beziers, the Englishman will be looking to recover from the loss he incurred in his pro-MMA debut last year. 

As a child, Claffey was originally inspired by Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and the Japanese anime, Dragon Ball Z. “After I realised I couldn’t fire fireballs from my hands and was disappointed I couldn’t be Peter Pan and fly,” he fell in love with martial arts, taking up taekwondo “very young for 5 – 6 years”. He subsequently switched to pro wrestling because the classes clashed.
His return to martial arts was inspired in his pro wrestling days by a female wrestler who was also a Brazilian jiu jitsu blue belt at Fighting Fit, Jenny “The Swedish Tigress” Sjödin. At the same size as him, she “could beat everyone up”, so Claffey was motivated to start training in Brazilian jiu jitsu and then catch wrestling. He soon found himself helping out Fighting Fit’s MMA team with their wrestling, from which he became interested in kickboxing, “because I got fed up with getting punched in takedowns”. Over time, “MMA naturally became the martial art that I wanted to do.. getting into ‘real’ fighting, though that’s an ambiguous term”. Still a professional wrestler all this time, Jack became renowned for spending his spare time training in combat sports.
The main difference for Claffey between professional wrestling and MMA is that with wrestling there is no end date but an endless cycle of training, while preparing for an MMA fight involves building towards a peak followed by rest and reset periods. Jack believes that the mindset he brings from pro wrestling benefits him in MMA: “I’m able to acknowledge what is being asked of me with a fight. People tend to think it’s a Rocky movie, the most important day of your life, and if it doesn’t happen your life is ruined… but no, I’ve messed up but my life goes on. Life keeps going on. This is my mindset from performing all these years.”
Asked if he is likely to return to bare-knuckle boxing competition, Claffey says: “100% I will go back to bare-knuckle. I was meant to go back but burst a blood vessel in my eye and couldn’t train full contact for a couple of months so it fell to the wayside, and I started getting MMA offers.  But if I can get one (fight) in this year I will be very happy, especially because in my weight class, featherweight, I don’t think they’ve crowned a champion it’ll give me something shiny to focus on.”
But for now, training for his upcoming HEXAGONE MMA 8 bout in Beziers, Claffey is “working on the basics…kickboxing , wrestling…We’re mixing the martial arts, doing some mixingology. I’ve underperformed so far.. but I have some tricks in the bag that haven’t been seen yet“.



Launching in 2021, HEXAGONE MMA celebrated successful first events on home soil at the Paris-La-Défense-Arena and the Zénith, and in the capital of Champagne (Reims). The French promotion went on to make impactful debuts on the international stage in 2022 in Dubaï and in Germany, securing its reputation as a prominent European MMA league.

HEXAGONE MMA offers spectacular mixed martial arts fights at a high level, showcasing international stars and a new generation of upcoming talent.
HEXAGONE MMA is partnered with the “Netflix” of sports, DAZN, broadcasting in over 150 countries worldwide.

For more information, visit:

Follow HEXAGONE MMA on social media: