Jack Slack

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Jack Slack is a pen name of an anonymous English freelance writer, analyst and amateur historian of combat sport;[1][2][3][4] most notable as a mixed martial arts (MMA) striking analyst,[5][6][7][8][9] writing detailed, analytical breakdowns of fighters, fighting techniques and strategies, using videos, photos and animated GIFs.

Slack writes regularly for Fightland and occasionally as a guest post writer for other publications.


Slack describes himself as “a martial arts fanatic from the U.K. who got involved in karate very young, then boxing, then most recently jiu-jitsu". Initially he started researching and writing for his own training improvement in order to compensate for his "shortcomings in his own physicality", and later, by motivation to showcase to the casual fan and the mainstream media how MMA is a highly skillful art form.[5][10]

Slack's pen name is a reference to Jack Slack the "Norfolk Butcher",[5] the 1743 Norfolk boxing champion who defeated famed English boxing champion Jack Broughton in 1750 as a heavy underdog and remained undefeated as champion until 1760. Slack has said that he does not particularly admire the man, whose life was "more than a little shady", but that the name has "a ring to it".[11][12]


Slack's first public contribution to analysing striking came in the form of sharing passages from published authors from his book collection. The first one posted on MMASHARE forum August 2011 titled Jimmy Wilde - The Art of Boxing.[13][14] From January 2012 onwards he started to write and publish his analytical breakdown on his newly opened blog FightsGoneBy,[15] while promoting his articles on major MMA forums and gaining popularity.[16]

In January 2012 he started using the pen name Jack Slack, submitting Fanposts regularly to SB Nation's websites Bloodyelbow.com (MMA) and the now defunct HeadKickLegend.com (kickboxing),[17][18] and also writing an article for CagePotato.[19][20] In April 2012, Slack's article was first published on BloodyElbow front page, and soon he became a stipend author for the website.[21][22] In that same month he was interviewed by sports announcer and commentator Mauro Ranallo on The MMA Show radio podcast.[23] from July 2012 onwards he focused his writing on more popular fighters in order to increase his readership.[24]

In March 2013 Slack was hired to write regularly for Bleacher Report; initially as a featured columnist and later as "Lead MMA Analyst".[25][26][27]

The editor of Fightland contacted Slack and offered him a position as a writer. Though Slack's initial intention was to write two articles a month for Fightland while continuing writing regularly for Bleacher Report, which he started doing from November 2013, on March 31, 2014 Slack left Bleacher Report and was writing eight articles a month only for Fightland.[28] Currently Slack writes as a weekly columnist for Fightland.[citation needed] Though a regular writer, Slack was not exclusive to Fightland, and wrote an article for Fighters Only magazine.[1][28][29]

Slack is known for his use of animated GIFs in his articles. Moving to Fightland allowed Slack to embed UFC parent company Zuffa's copyrighted fight footage in his articles.

Striking analyst[edit]

While Slack is known for analyzing MMA fighters, he has also published articles on professional boxing such as Pulling Back the Curtain on Muhammad Ali,[30] on Kickboxing such as The Finest Striker on the Planet: Giorgio Petrosyan,[31] on Muay Thai such as Eight Limbs: The Masters of Each Strike in MMA,[32] on Karate such as Glory 19: Why Karate Doesn't Work in the Ring,[33] on Wing Chun such as Wing Chun and MMA: Controlling the Center,[34] and articles on the history of martial arts such as Interpreting the Bubishi: One Thousand Pounds Falls to the Ground.[35] He has also published semi satirical articles such as Star Trek: The illogical fighting style of James T. Kirk and Street Fighter in the UFC: Hadoukens and Izuna drops.[36][37] Slack also published articles about fighting techniques in the Animal Kingdom such as Jack Slack: Street Fighting Roos.[38]

Slack has stated in his July 2014 article Jack Slack: Four Strikers That Every MMA Fan Should Be Watching: "Top level grappling, boxing and Muay Thai are light years ahead technically of what we see in mixed martial arts competition, but progress in MMA is shockingly rapid."[39]

Slack's popular series of articles titled Killing the King, which break down the current UFC champions weaknesses, and how they could potentially be beat,[40] have spanned through three different MMA websites during his career: BloodyElbow.com, Bleacher Report and Fightland.

Slack lists former MMA Heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko as the top striker on the feet and on the ground, in MMA history.[41] He has published a three part article series titled Analyzing Fedor .[42][43][44]

According to Slack, the 2003 film Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior starring Tony Jaa; "is perhaps the finest martial arts movie of this generation",[45] and that Tony Jaa's multiple attackers scene in the 2005 film Tom-Yum-Goong (The Protector); "[is] the best fight in movie history".[46]

Book author[edit]

Slack has written and self-published four ebooks:

  • Elementary Striking: Strategies for Boxing, Kickboxing and MMA. (2012)
  • Advanced Striking: Tactics of Kickboxing, Boxing and MMA Masters. (2012)
  • Fighting Karate. (2014)
  • Finding the Art: Essays on the Principles, Tactics and Techniques Which Govern Combat Sports. (2015)

And one printed book (published by John Blake Books):

  • Notorious: The Life and Fights of Conor McGregor. (2017).[47]


Since August 2016, Slack is the host of Fights Gone By (FGB) podcast,[48] which he independently finances via Patreon.[49]


Matt Saccaro of CagePotato describes Slack as "by far the greatest assessor of in-cage techniques that has graced the keyboard",[7] and Ben Fowlkes of MMAjunkie describes Slack's work as existing "in that rare sports writing space where the reader comes away with a better understanding of the sport itself, rather than merely the people in it".[5]

Mark Serrels of Kotaku (Australia) describes Slack as a "peerless" writer who is "so on the ball it is unbelievable — to the point where fighters will often approach him for help with strategy or read his articles in an attempt to improve".[50] Former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw stated that he used Slack's article Killing the King: Renan Barao in preparation for his fight against then title holder Barao.[51] MMA coaches, fighters and UFC color commentator Joe Rogan have been reading Slack's articles and have found them to be educational.[7][51]

John Franklin of Combat Press has listed Slack as one of the five best MMA analysts, and stated that "Slack has made Fightland relevant as a place for analysis".[52]


Slack was a World MMA Awards nominee for MMA Journalist Of The Year 2014 award.[53]


  1. ^ a b "Jack's Blog".
  2. ^ "Articles by Jack Slack - Fightland - Fightland". FIGHTLAND.
  3. ^ "Interpreting the Bubishi: One Thousand Pounds Falls to the Ground". Fightland.
  4. ^ Jonathan Snowden. "Who's Better Right Now: Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather?". Bleacher Report.
  5. ^ a b c d "How much can the Internet teach you about fighting? You might be surprised". MMAjunkie.
  6. ^ Fox Sports. "Machida vs. Mousasi is a stylistic treat". FOX Sports.
  7. ^ a b c "MMA Fans "Don't Give a Flying F*ck" About the MMA Media (and That's a Bad Thing) - Cagepotato".
  8. ^ "Man-Cave - Want to learn a bit more about Irish UFC star Conor McGregor's techniques? Look no further. - entertainment.ie". entertainment.ie.
  9. ^ "How Exactly Alex Gustafsson Beat Thiago Silva in Stockholm by Jack Slack". Nordic MMA Everyday at MMA Viking.
  10. ^ "Guest Post: Jack Slack on meta-learning and body-punching". Live Hard.
  11. ^ Jack Slack (19 July 2012). "The Origins of the Name". Bloody Elbow.
  12. ^ "Jack Slack – 'The Norfolk Butcher' - All Things Georgian". All Things Georgian.
  13. ^ "Jimmy Wilde - The Art of Boxing". MMA FORUM.
  14. ^ "Boxing Tactics of Foreign Masters - K. V. Gradopolov". MMA FORUM.
  15. ^ "Fights Gone By: Classic Fights and Finishes".
  16. ^ John Joe O'Regan. "Video Breakdown: Key striking moments in Alvarez vs Chandler".
  17. ^ "New article on Headkicklegend ~ Fights Gone By: Classic Fights and Finishes".
  18. ^ "Jack Slack". Vox Media.
  19. ^ "UFC 143 Striking Breakdown: Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit".
  20. ^ "Jack Slack". Twitter.
  21. ^ Jack Slack (18 April 2012). "I hit the front page!". Bloody Elbow.
  22. ^ "Masthead". Archived from the original on 24 October 2012.
  23. ^ "The MMA Show with Mauro Ranallo".
  24. ^ Jack Slack (11 July 2012). "Taking Current Requests". Bloody Elbow.
  25. ^ Jack Slack. "UFC". Bleacher Report.
  26. ^ "Jack Slack's Sportswriter Profile - Bleacher Report". Bleacher Report.
  27. ^ https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/jack-slack/88/796/568
  28. ^ a b "Jack's Blog".
  29. ^ "Fighters Only". Twitter.
  30. ^ "Gunnar Nelson Analysis – Robin Black & Lawrence Kenshin".
  31. ^ http://exclusivesportsmedia.tv/top-10-kickboxers-in-the-world/
  32. ^ Paul Campbell. "Our favourite things online this week: from Brian Clough to Muay Thai". the Guardian.
  33. ^ "Γιατί το καράτε δεν δουλεύει σωστά μέσα στο ρινγκ". 12 February 2015.
  34. ^ Steven Moody. "Fightland Article About Wing Chun".
  35. ^ "Chinese Martial Arts in the News: June 22, 2015: Swords, Combat Sports and Martial Arts Studies". Kung Fu Tea.
  36. ^ "The Illogical Fighting Style of James T. Kirk". Neatorama.
  37. ^ Mark Serrels. "Watch People Using Street Fighter Moves In Real Life".
  38. ^ "Kangaroo Kickboxing: "More Technical Than Many UFC Main Events"". Caged Insider.
  39. ^ "Jack Slack: Four Strikers That Every MMA Fan Should Be Watching". Fightland.
  40. ^ Jared Loper (28 December 2014). "Jack Slack's "Killing the King" Series". The Jiu-Jitsu Times.
  41. ^ Jack Slack. "Jack Slack's Top 7 Strikers in MMA to Date". Bleacher Report.
  42. ^ Jack Slack (31 May 2012). "Analyzing Fedor: The Striking Of The Emperor". Bloody Elbow.
  43. ^ Jack Slack (4 June 2012). "Analyzing Fedor: Revolutionizing Ground And Pound". Bloody Elbow.
  44. ^ Jack Slack (9 June 2012). "Judo Chop: Analyzing Fedor's Punch and Clutch". Bloody Elbow.
  45. ^ "Jack Slack: Ong Bak in the Real World". Fightland.
  46. ^ "Guilty Pleasure: Tony Jaa Had the Best Fight in Movie History". Fightland.
  47. ^ "NOTORIOUS - JACK SLACK (JOHN BLAKE)". The Phoenix. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  48. ^ "4 Of The Best Martial Arts Podcasts You Need To Start Listening To Immediately". Evolve MMA. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  49. ^ "Jack Slack is creating Fights Gone By Podcast". Patreon. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  50. ^ http://www.kotaku.com.au/2015/09/punch-out-is-more-realistic-than-you-might-think/
  51. ^ a b The Joe Rogan Experience (hour 1.06)
  52. ^ http://combatpress.com/2016/01/the-biggest-difference-makers-in-mma-2015-edition-nos-11-20/
  53. ^ Paul Quigley. "7th Annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards winners list". Archived from the original on 2016-01-05.

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