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From unknown to champion: Jacob Maley wins 125-pound title in just his second fight

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Sometimes, an opportunity presents itself that is too good to pass up. That’s what happened to Altus’ Jacob Maley when he was approached about fighting at Rage in the Cage 62 at the Oklahoma City Farmer’s Market.

Maley trains at Altus’ 10th Planet Jiujitsu and had only previously competed in grappling tournaments last year before entering Oklahoma’s competitive fighting circuit at Rage in the Cage 60 in July. On just 12 days notice, Maley accepted a fight against Rudy Del Toro, and with just 30 seconds having passed in the second round, Maley submitted Del Toro via rear naked choke to win his first fight.

But for someone like Maley, one fight is never enough. Instead, the win further fueled his desire to step into the cage and make something of himself. That’s when Rage in the Cage 62 came into play.

Maley, in just his second competitive fight, found himself matched up against challenger Sunny Dass for the 125-pound ameteur title. Dass was 2-0 and looked to move to 3-0 against Maley, someone who still hadn’t had much experience in competitive fighting. But if Dass thought Maley would go down easily, it didn’t take long in the match for him to find out Maley had other plans.

Just under three minutes into the second round of the match, Maley got ahold of Dass’ back and locked in a rear naked choke. He increased pressure until Dass had no choice but to tap out or pass out.

The win and the title belonged to Maley in just his second fight. For Maley, it was an experience like no other, and he said it was a dream come true.

“It felt great,” Maley said. “I’ve imagined myself winning it since I was a little kid. It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice to get here. I’ve spent many hours in the gym. I think I could have been better prepared, but I always see myself evolving. That fight showed me holes in my game that I am working on fixing.”

Maley has never settled. If there is a way he can improve, he is determined to do so, and winning the title only served to prove to many what he had already known — this is what he was made to do.

Part of Maley’s advantage is he is always confident that he will win, no matter who is lined up across from him. He may not have had much experience with just two fights under his belt but he knows what he is capable of, and he knows that he has dedicated as much of his time as possible to his training at the gym.

“Going into that fight,” Maley said, “I had already won before I ever stepped into the cage. There was no doubt in my mind that I would win. During the fight, I felt a lot stronger and faster than him. I feel I’m faster than everyone in my division.”

His strength and speed comes from his work ethic on the mats. He has admitted that he is addicted to training, and so far in his career, it has meant all the difference. When he’s not working to make money, he’s at the 10th Planet gym working to perfect his craft.

Maley was scheduled to fight and defend his belt at Rage in the Cage 63 on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, against challenger Caleb Nutty, but Nutty had to pull out of the fight due to injury, leaving Maley searching for his next big fight.

Until then, Maley said he has plenty of stuff in the works to keep him busy.

“I’m still looking for a fight,” Maley said, “but I’m going to keep working hard, win some jiujitsu tournaments, get a couple of super fights and just keep doing what I do best.”

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