Madtown Throwdown 28: Joe Blake Returns to MMA Action After Two-Year Layoff Against Mike Sanchez
One of the hardest tasks in all of sports is returning after a long absence from competition. There is no exception in mixed martial arts as taking extended time off has often proved damaging to a fighter's career.
Joe Blake, fighting out of Waukesha-MMA under head trainer Reese Shaner, will make his return to the cage on Saturday night in Madison at Madtown Throwdown 28 nearly 30-months removed from his last official action.
Holding impressive record of 4-1, Wisconsin's formerly top ranked featherweight heads back to the cage against Mike Sanchez upon one of the more exciting cards in recent Wisconsin memory.
"Feels great to be getting back into a mma cage," Blake told US Combat Sports. After taking personal time off for classes and work Blake is eager to be competitive on the local scene again. "I wanted to fight in the last two years but didn't want to unless I knew I could train hard and be focused going into a fight."
Blake is known for his hard work ethic, dedication, and passion for the sport. All fighters entering the cage against him know not to take him lightly. The fierce competitor gets after it in practice, and dives head first into all his training.
The former featherweight fighter will throw down at the lightweight division in Madison. He has a slight weight cut to make 155-pounds but doesn't expect weight to be an issue as he maintains a strict diet when preparing for a fight. The Waukesha-MMA fighter moved up a weight class after adding muscle to his frame and now walks around heavier.
Shaner, who owns the gym and trains the fighters out of Waukesha-MMA, continues to produce successful fighters in the local scene. The excellent coaching in the striking department as well of Jiu Jitsu from Shaner, and the addition of Coach Ben Tomes in the wrestling department, should allow fans to see a more rounded fighter in Blake 2.0.
"I have been training all areas of mixed martial arts so I'm ready wherever the fight goes." Blake said. Blake's four victories all come by way of submission. The excellent grappler is capable of submitting any opponent, and has dangerous submission attacks. Expect him to look for an early exit of the cage with a finish.
Blake's return fight is held at the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Doors open at 6pm and cage doors close at 7pm starting the fights. Follow USCS reporter Kyle Carroll for updates on Joe Blake's fight Saturday night via twitter @uscombatsports and @jiblitz77.