Will Bladen is an experienced fighter who has successfully competed across a multitude of combat sports throughout his career, including traditional kickboxing, K1 and more recently Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The Welsh athlete is someone we’ve had a keen interest in over the last few years, and a fighter we expect to go far.
We recently caught up with him to get an insight into his journey to date, his transition into MMA and his ongoing preparations for his next fight this Saturday on Wales’ biggest combat sports promotion, Adrenalin Fight Night.
Here’s what Will had to say…
Will, for our followers who may not have be aware of your career, can you give us a brief overview of your combat sports background and journey to date?
I started traditional kickboxing about 9 years ago. To be honest I had a bad start. I lost my first 3 fights. After that, I found my feet so to speak and started racking up a few wins. I then transitioned over to k1 style, which I had more success with. I gained enough wins to fight for two different Welsh titles, winning one and unfortunately losing the other. I’ve tried my hand at boxing which I really enjoyed but I’ll be sticking with k1 and MMA.
You’ve obviously competed in a variety of disciplines. Can you tell us how it has been transitioning between these and how you be found the move across to MMA?
The transition feels fairly natural with the striking. You need to alter slightly and I’m finding that I can’t get away with low rolling as I could in boxing. However my time in boxing has definitely sharpened my hands and head movement. So mixing that with the aggressive style of k1 helps my MMA striking become quite fluid. My ground game is constantly improving, so I’m not worried if that’s where the fight goes.
Are you finding that your extensive striking background is giving you an advantage in MMA? Do you feel that you are more advanced than many of the athletes you’re likely to face off against?
I feel as though my striking gives me an advantage to some degree. These days nearly every fighter has a solid background in a certain area. So I can’t rely solely on these skills. I believe that I will have the best striking in this weekend’s tournament.
How has the lead up to this fight gone? A training camp that is specifically tailored to MMA is relatively new to you, are you finding it more demanding than your previous camps or harder to structure in any way?
The lead up has gone great. It’s definitely demanding especially going straight from one session into another but I’m constantly learning so it’s keeping me motivated.
You’ll be fighting in a 4 man tournament this weekend. How excited are you for what will undoubtedly be a huge night of fights?
I’m super excited about this tournament. Unlike most, it’s spread over two shows. This means if I pick up a niggle in the first fight I’ll have a lot of recovery time. Both shows are set to be huge. I’m actually pretty disappointed that I won’t be able to watch all the fights live, due to having to warm-up my teammates and myself.
What is your plan going forward? You obviously can’t look too far past Saturday, but do you have long term plans in MMA and goals that you want to accomplish?
My long term goals are to keep fighting in both MMA and k1. Hopefully get a few amateur titles, then turn pro.
Finally, what should the fans expect to see on fight night?
I like to stand and bang, so people can expect a lot of action from the get go. All of the fighter’s on these shows come to fight and everyone gives their all, so you can expect anything from technical master class to all out wars. I’m expecting the latter for my bout though.
Will fights in the first round of a four man middleweight tournament on Adrenalin Fight Night’s ‘Uprising’ show this Saturday. 5 PM, Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli. The show will be taped for S4C and is guaranteed to be a fantastic night of fights.