One-handed Calgary Muay Thai fighter looks to turn heads in Las Vegas

Jake Peacock wasted little time in his pro kickboxing debut earlier this year.

The 26-year-old from Calgary knocked Mike Taylor down with a flurry of punches and then, when the American got back to his feet, ended it with a head kick just seconds into the bout.

“Wow. Wow. Unbelievable … That was incredible,” said the Extreme Cage Fighting NYC announcer.

And memorable. The 26-year-old Peacock was born without a right hand or forearm.

The umbilical cord wrapped around his arm while he was in the womb, cutting off circulation so it didn’t grow, he explains.

Peacock took up karate at the age of seven, switching to Kyokushin karate as a teenager and travelled the world competing. At 15, he won the North American title and later qualified for the world championship in Tokyo.

On Saturday, he makes his debut in the Lion Fight promotion when he takes on American welterweight John Garcia in Muay Thai action in Las Vegas. Garcia is making his pro debut.

“It’s a weird situation. I’ve only had three amateur Muay Thai fights but I’ve been teaching and training in Muay Thai for a long, long time,” Peacock said. “So I’m hoping Saturday night people will be able to see my skill level is far greater than three amateur Muay Thai fights.”

The main event of Lion Fight 57 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is a super-welterweight (154-pound) bout between California’s Eddie (Silky Smooth) Abasolo (11-2-0) and England’s Salah (The Beast) Khalifa (38-7-0).

Born in England, Peacock and his family moved to Canada when he was 14. His father Gavin Peacock was a pro soccer player (Chelsea, Newcastle and QPR among other teams) but came to Canmore, Alta., to study church ministry. The family now calls Calgary home.

Jake is head coach at Calgary’s Dunamis martial arts gym, which he founded two years ago. He is in demand as a coach and has had a short training stint at the renowned American Top Team gym in Florida.

“It’s definitely busy but I really enjoy it,” Peacock said of his schedule. “I love being able to work with my wife. We work together at the gym and then I can train whenever I want really. So I’m getting in two, three training sessions a day if I really want.

“Honestly I’m so blessed to have the job and the career that I have.”

Peacock has one MMA fight under his belt, losing to Skye Folsom in June 2016 on a Hard Knocks Fighting Championship card in Calgary.

He says he plans to stick to kickboxing, given his passion for standup fighting.

Noting that Muay Thai is the art of eight limbs (fists, elbows, knees, shins), Peacock says he has simply adapted to his body.

“It’s really just a difference of timing,” he said. “Some people would think it’s a disadvantage. But I’ve been born with it so i don’t know anything different.”

He wears a glove on his right arm, saying: “I’ve just got to find different way to set my right arm up and allow that to set other things up.”

“I’ve found a way and a style that works for me,” he added.

Nick Newell, a Bellator MMA fighter who is a congenital amputee (left arm), was in Peacock’s corner for his pro debut. They have known each other for some years.

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