James Lilley is BKFC’s warrior poet.
When he’s not training for his fights in the gym, Lilley can often be found writing and performing his poetry.
“I’ve been writing for about the same amount of time as I’ve been fighting, I just never really showed anyone or submitted any of my work until the lockdown happened,” Lilley explained.
Since Lilley started putting his work out there, he’s had hundreds of his pieces published in anthologies, magazines and countless websites.
Lilley is at home in the BKFC Squared Circle, but he’s the first to admit that sharing his written words is a much more challenging experience than knuckling up.
“Reading my work is probably the most nerve wracking,” he said with a big laugh. “Once I submitted my first poems, I thought someone would come back and tell me it’s rubbish, and I probably wouldn’t have done anything.
“But the next step was reading them in public,” he added with a chuckle, “and that’s definitely a whole other experience. The poems are so personal, about my life and my feelings.”
Lilley is now going from public speaking to trying to put a public beating on former BKFC title challenger Tyler Goodjohn when they meet at BKFC 27 in London on Aug. 20 at Wembley Arena, LIVE on the BKFC app.
Lilley seems a lot less worried about his fight than his next reading, even though it's a part of the biggest event in BKFC history.
“Fighting is one of the easiest things in the world to do. When you’re in that ring, life kind of stops. You’re dialed in because all of your focus has to be on that moment,” Lilley said. “It sounds weird, but fighting is peaceful; it shuts out the world.”