MMA champion Shiaeine Blake plans 'beautiful victory' as Jamaica sends 8-member team to ICS Championships in St Maarten

By November 28, 2022
Blake with Aeolus Shipping Managing Director Stuart Stultz. Blake with Aeolus Shipping Managing Director Stuart Stultz.

Shiaeine Blake, Jamaica's 155lbs Rough Fight League (RFL) Amateur MMA Lightweight Champion, will be fighting for a kickboxing title at the International Combat Sports Championships set for the LB Scott Auditorium in Phillipsburg, St Maarten, on Saturday, December 3.

Blake will be part of an eight-member team that Jamaica sends to the championships considered to be one of the major combat sports tournaments for countries in the Caribbean and Central America.

The team also includes professional fighters mixed martial artist Kasrie Cassells, who will take on hometown boy Akeem Lewis at 185lbs in the feature bout and Nakia Anderson will battle for a title at 145lbs.

Also in the team sponsored by shipping company Aeolus Shipping, Caribbean Dreams and illmatic Services are amateur MMA fighters, Nicholai Reid and Demar Haslam. Blake fights in the amateur kickboxing category along with Roberto Williams, Chris Daley, and Shanice Blake, his sister.

Radcliffe Cunningham, Blake’s trainer explained that while his fighter does not have a record in kickboxing, his accomplishments in MMA qualify him to fight for a title this coming weekend. Notwithstanding his relative inexperience as a kickboxer, Blake, meanwhile, has expressed supreme confidence at coming home with the 155lb title.

“A beautiful victory shall be had,” he told Sportsmax.TV. “My base is in stand up. The groundwork is the most recent addition.

“I have been training in this for a while so I want to go and execute properly and have a beautiful performance. I want something that people will remember because oftentimes you watch fights and it’s just punches and kicks, I want my performance to evoke emotion. I want to display that artistic side of it.”

Having successfully defended his MMA title five times, including his recent victory over Trinidadian Joshua Jones in Trinidad in October, Blake has good reason to be confident. Having been in training all year, he has maintained his competition readiness. But for this coming tournament, he ramped up his preparation.

“I have been training six days a week for the past six to eight weeks but the training has not stopped all year because I have been in competition all year. Training for this, I have been getting in a lot more running, a lot more sparring than I usually do,” he said.

“So the training has been a little bit rough on the body; thank God Christmas is coming soon so we can get a little break and we can eat and not have to worry about diets and all that - but it’s all been done properly and in good faith that we are prepared properly for this upcoming event.”

Winning in St Maarten, he said, would also be a great way to build momentum into 2023 when he launches his campaign to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

“I believe I am ranked first in the Caribbean so it is a matter of upholding that rank and lengthening the distance between me and the rest of the field," he said.

“Boxing nationals are coming up in January. I want to use that to qualify for other events that lead-up to the Olympics in two years’ time, so that’s the main medium-term goal I am looking at right now.”

Blake’s ambition and confidence has helped him attract supporting sponsors like Aeolus Shipping that in addition to backing the national team, has also built a strong relationship with the rising MMA star.

“We are so happy to be on board. We are definitely fans of boxing and MMA sports and to know that we have Jamaican talent in this sport is something that we want to highlight and spread awareness and we are looking forward to great things from Shiaeine and this brand partnership,” said Jessica Dewar, Marketing Director at Aeolus.

“We couldn’t be happier to be a huge support to his journey and we wish him all the best. Over the last two to three years we have seen him blossom and grow on his journey to become a huge brand representative for the country and in the international sphere. We are looking forward to seeing him do great things.”

He, in turn, expressed his gratitude for the support being provided for him and the team.

“We couldn’t have gotten the team over there without them and it is something that I have been talking with them about for some time,” Blake said.

“They have always supported the fights that I have. Them reaching out to us shows that there is support and their supporting us in this endeavor -  a lot of times when I compete and post things online people are saying is this really happening in Jamaica - the wider community doesn’t really know about it (the sport) so for them to now be on brand with us helping us to get out there to the wider public, we are really happy about it.”

The team departs Jamaica on Tuesday, November 29.

 



 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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