Local fighter Jared Warren prepares for hometown showdown

Bare-knuckle boxer feeds off adrenaline in and out of the ring
Jared Warren 3.png
Jared Warren 1.png
Posted at 2:34 PM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 21:36:40-04

TAMPA — Tampa's Jared Warren is a firefighter and a paramedic. He's also a mixed martial artist who has a background in kickboxing. Warren said he fell in love with bare knuckle boxing the first time he saw it.

When you look at both his passions, it's fair to say Jared's a sucker for taking risks.

"This is more risky for my pride and ego," Warren joked before a training session. Because whether I do really good or really bad, it’s in front of everybody I know and the whole rest of the world. I like both. I like helping people, and I like being able to go in there and kinda have this side of it, too."

Jared admits not many people give him strange looks when he tells them what his day job entails, but things change when he tells them about his bare-knuckle side gig.

" 'Why do you do this?' I’m like, 'Obviously, something’s not right.' But nah, it’s a part of me. I’ve always liked to fight. I’ve always liked to compete, he said. "The competition of it. What you get out of it when you come out on top. Kind of part of who I’ve always been."

Jared's coach, Jahaad Wingfield, said Warren's success comes from his ability to flip the switch from being a good guy to being a bad guy.

"This is the hurt business. You hurt people, you’re in business," Wingfield said. "Once he’s back out of there, he’s good. He’s the nicest guy in the world. But when he’s in there, he means business."

Warren admits it's not all business during a fight. He likes to have fun, and that's part of the inspiration for his nickname, "Captain Deadpool."

Jared has a striking resemblance to "Captain America" actor Chris Evans, and he also jokes around like the "Deadpool" movie character played by Ryan Reynolds.

"I’ll be inside hitting somebody. I’ll be like, "You’re not my favorite person right now!'" Warren exclaimed. "The fact that I’m never really serious kinda became a thing. That’s how I became 'Captain Deadpool.'"

Warren is preparing to take on JoMi Escoboza at Bare Knuckle Fighting: BKFC Fight Night, tomorrow at the State Fairgrounds. It'll be his third fight in Tampa, and he said he doesn't feel any pressure to perform.

"I like the energy of having friends and family there that cheer for you, that want you to win," Warren added. "I kinda feel that. So I definitely enjoy fighting in the hometown."

Gates open at 7 P.M. tomorrow night, and the fights begin at 8. The action will be streamed on and the BKFC app.