IT was the experience of a lifetime – and now Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Kaycee Blake is publicly thanking the sponsors who made it possible after she won World Championship silver whilst representing the UK team in Bahrain.

Remarkably it was her first ever set of MMA bouts, and she won through her first two fights to make the final of the 70kg and under division, only missing Gold after an epic contest with Gase Sanita.

The 26-year-old, originally from Hounslow but now based in Pembroke Dock, joined CRA West Wales, Pembrokeshire’s only legitimate Brazilian Jiu Jitsu club, in October 2016.

The club is an affiliate member of the Chris Rees Academy, whose headquarters is based in Swansea, and is run by Stuart Tyrie. Kaycee is trained by Stuart four days a week, as well as two weekly sessions in Swansea.

“When I first joined the club I weighed 82 kilograms (kgs),” admitted Kaycee.

“I started off just doing ju-jitsu classes and then progressed to MMA.

“I had always wanted to get in the ring and have a bout but was never given the opportunity until Stuart set up a K1 fight for me in August 2017. I had to weigh 72kgs so worked incredibly hard with him to make the weight.”

But although Kaycee lost on a split decision to Alice Cockings in Swansea, she impressed to such an extent she was offered trials with the UK MMA team.

She progressed rapidly from there, making the squad before being offered the chance to compete in Bahrain in a World-wide competition.
However, the trip was self-funded, and Kaycee admits it was the generosity of local companies which allowed her to achieve her dream.

“A huge thankyou to Big Brums, Seven Spice, Dean’s Plumbing, Drysdale Properties, and Phoebe Aries – and everyone else who helped me with fundraising.

“Without them nothing would have been possible.”

So in November last year, Kaycee arrived in Bahrain to compete in the 70kgs category.

“As soon as I reached the venue I couldn’t wait to get into the cage. I was up against a girl called Divya from Team India. We exchanged some punches early on but then we went to the floor and the fight was stopped in my favour due to ‘ground and pound’.

“I was elated. I had just won my debut MMA fight.”

Her second contest was against a home fighter called Fatema, which inevitably meant boos from the crowd for Kaycee as she made her way to the cage.

With Chris Rees in her corner, Kaycee blocked an early body kick and after the fight again went to the ground, she escaped an arm hold before again winning via ground and pound.

“My third fight was for the Gold medal against Gase Sanita,” Kaycee explained.

“And all the New Zealand team performed the haka before we fought.”

After a combative first round, Kaycee continued to block the attempted holds of the experienced Sanita, but eventually was forced to tap out in round two after being trapped in an armbar.

But the loss didn’t detract from an incredible start to Kaycee’s MMA career.

“They were my first ever MMA bouts in the biggest event at amateur level, and I finished with a silver in the Worlds.

“I had so much support towards the end of the year and it would be great if it continued.”

Indeed, on Saturday, February 24, Kaycee has a title fight lined up when MMA comes to Pembrokeshire for the first time, as she takes on Julia Dorny (Germany), who also lost to Sanita at the World Championships.

“I have a lot to look forward to in 2018 and my biggest goal is to become a full time fighter.

“I will have to continue to try and get sponsorship so I can make the big competitions.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring Kaycee can contact her via e-mail on