By Jose Sanchez: It’s been a rough week for the relations between Belize and Guatemala. The death of a child, the recent shooting of a Belizean soldier and tense moments as the Forward Operating Base on Sarstoon Island was inaugurated. But there is a fight that has been planned long before these unfortunate events pulled at the national psyche and made us all proud to say “Belize is for Belize”. There will be punching, there will be kicking.
And according to someone intimately close to the Belize/Guatemala fight, “There will be blood.” Those are the words of Shihan Ray Kelly of House of Shotokan. So no need to get a stroke, please take your pressure pills, this is a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sporting event that House of Shotokan had been planning for several months. Kelly says that the Belizeans involved with the sport have fought against each other and regularly participate in “Tap Out” events in neighboring Mexico. But he felt it was time to get the Guatemalan athletes involved as well. After making the connection in late 2015, two schools of Belize and Guatemala had agreed to meet at the Belize Elementary Auditorium on Saturday April 30th, 2016. The main event is between Adran ’50 Cal’ Ramirez, a fighter who is also attached to the Air wing of the Belize Defense Force. ’50 Cal’ Ramirez says when he’s being a BDF soldier, he is protecting the country. But as a professional athlete, what happens in the ring stays in the ring.
The fights against the Guatemalans will include MMA athletes from the Salam School in Dangriga as well as Prevail MMA in Belize City. Coach Joel Myers, Coach of Prevail MMA says that the athletes at his school have a lot of stamina. So no one is expected to run out of steam half way into the 3 two minute rounds. Specifically he says “One of the fighters did 650 burpees in an hour…they’ve been training 2 months for this fight.”
Tickets are available at House of Shotokan in front of the first roundabout on Princess Margaret Drive. It’s 20 dollars at the door and thirty-five dollars if you want to sit ringside in the Belize Elementary Gymnasium on Saturday night.
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