Meet James! James is the General Manager at Rothwell MMA and one of our lead Kickboxing instructors. He is a patient yet effective Youth Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach who holds the attention and admiration of all of our youth members. In addition to coaching and managing our curriculum, James is a key fight team member. He is a supportive, hardworking teammate who we all can rely on. You’ll always find James in Ben Rothwell’s corner in the UFC. On June 3rd, James will be our main event in the WI Xtreme Cage Fighting fight night.
Here is how James made his way from college football player to professional mixed martial artist: “I started Mixed Martial Arts in 2010. I was looking to continue competing after finishing my college football career. I walked into a BJJ class at Rothwell MMA with a bright red gi on. I was a little embarrassed because I was the only one wearing a red gi, which I borrowed from a friend (and still the only red gi I have ever seen.) However, I was quickly welcomed by Ben Rothwell. Within the first week, I was introduced to Kickboxing. After graduating from Carthage College, I continued learning martial arts, and worked as a high school teacher and coach. I taught 6th grade social studies at Bullen Middle School in Kenosha, from 2013-2015. I also coached wrestling, football, and soccer team conditioning for various local schools.
I trained non-stop for a year before taking my first amateur MMA fight. I kept training and went 8-1 in my amateur career. Shortly after I turned pro in 2015, I quit my job as a 6th grade teacher to train and coach MMA full time. I have been able to chase my dream of becoming a MMA world champion. In between private lessons and teaching classes, I’m able to train 3 times a day. I work on my cardiovascular conditioning and strength training, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Striking at Rothwell MMA. Since my switch to full-time martial artist, I have compiled a 7-1 professional MMA record. I won my most recent Bellator fight and am hopeful for my future.
As a Rothwell MMA Coach, I not only help others learn martial arts, but am able to hone my own skills in the process. I’m always asked ‘do you miss teaching?’ and I say ‘no, because now I get to teach something I love everyday.’ I especially love teaching our members since they are energetic, uplifting, and eager to learn. Visit me in Kickboxing at Rothwell MMA today!“
Want to learn more about our family? Check out previous Rothwell MMA Member Spotlights HERE.