Shawn Bales, center, was a champion in the Cage of Honor Super Heavyweight division of XFI.

courtesy Shawn Bales

Shawn Bales, center, was a champion in the Cage of Honor Super Heavyweight division of XFI.

Shawn Bales, Cherokee-Choctaw MMA Fighter, Makes Comeback Bid Saturday

Shawn Bales holds the Cage of Honor Super Heavyweight Championship title. However, last year his jaw was broken in a non-title fight, and he is having a non-title comeback fight this Saturday, February 15th, when he meets Brandon Harp at “XFI10” at the Convention Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Bales jokingly said the fight is to test out his newly healed jaw.

“The guys that I train with have tested it a few times,” Bales laughed.

The 36-year-old, who is half Cherokee and half Mississippi Choctaw, was born and raised in Oklahoma and still lives there with his wife of 10 years and their 3 children.

Bales studied both Taekwondo and Hwa Rang Do, and competed in martial arts tournaments in his youth. However, it was not until 2011 that a friend asked him to be his trainer for Mixed Martial Arts due to his background.

“Being in his corner for his fight; just walking backstage down to the cage gave me a sensation that I hadn’t felt in years,” Bales said.  “I felt alive.  I hadn’t done anything competitive in over 13 years.”

Around that same time Bales learned he had diabetes.  “I was a good 340 pounds at that time.  They gave me the pills, but I refused to take them.  Instead, I got a gym membership and started working out and dropping the weight.  I weigh about 240 right now.  Last year I had a checkup and my blood work came back clean and clear. It all boils down to exercising daily and eating healthy, cutting out the pop and the fast food – that’s what my body consisted of at the time, fast food stuff.”

Ironically, Bales has lost so much weight that he has to relinquish his Super Heavyweight title March 15th at “Cage of Honor 30” at Missouri Southern State University. 

“I won’t be at that weight anymore: the super Heavyweight division starts at 265 pounds and plus,” Bales said.  “The best thing for me is to drop to the next division, the light heavyweight, which is 205.  The max for the heavy weight is 264.  This will be my last heavyweight fight.”

After his injury Bales thought about walking away from the sport.  “I had posted that I was done fighting, I wasn’t going to do it anymore, but one of the coaches from the team I’m with saw me and talked me into coming down and training with them.  After that I decided I wasn’t ready to walk away just yet.  I know my time is limited in this game; it’s a young man’s sport.  When my coach says I’m ready, I’m going to take a run at the pros and see how far I can go.  When my time is up I’m not going to be saying ‘what if’; when my time is up, I’ll know what I was able to accomplish.”

For tickets and information of Shawn Bales’ upcoming fight visit the Extreme Fighting Inc. website.

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