Cage Warriors 100 – Jefferson George quietly confident of Beating Rhys McKee

Cage Warriors 100

Jefferson “Shadow Demon Blaximus” George was born in the Caribbean.  At age ten he moved to Luton with his family, before eventually settling in Northampton with his girlfriend.  Northampton is not a town famous for its nightlife.  (I have spent a couple of evenings in Northampton’s Crown Casino and Monte Carlo it is not)

Jefferson feels that being in such a quiet town helps him to stay focused and avoid the temptations that big cities offer.  A dedicated family man, Jefferson spends his time outside of work and training raising his “crazy little boy” and relaxing with friends.  A self-confessed “geek,” he enjoys binge watching Netflix, with the Marvel series being his current go to.

Cage Warriors 100

Jefferson’s nickname is every announcers’ worst nightmare, so I felt it only right to ask him about the origin of it.  He told me that the Blaximus part is a throwback to his teenage years, when it seemed as appropriate a “porn name” as any other.  The Shadow Demon part was bestowed on him by his previous Jiu-Jitsu coach, who thought it would add drama.  It’s safe to say Jefferson hasn’t allowed playing on a big stage to diminish his sense of fun.

Shotokan Karate was Jefferson’s gateway drug into MMA.  He studied karate from childhood and at the hands of his uncle, he achieved a black belt.  However, he felt he needed something more.

“I always felt like it (karate) wasn’t enough full contact for me… I grew up watching old school wrestling… Jackie Chan…Jet Lee all them crazy kinda films.  I always thought I wanna do that…So when my friend told me about MMA, I just got into it, I just started watching it and I just wanted to fight.”

The introduction to MMA was made ten years ago when Jefferson was just 19.  Jefferson is currently training at Blood, Sweat and Tears (BST) where he also works nights coaching children and adults.  He has a solid coaching team around him, and certainly spending all his time on the premises, should stand him in good stead.

Although BST have produced other professional MMA Athletes, currently Jefferson is the only fighter at the gym getting ready for a professional bout at Cage Warriors 100. Undoubtedly, he will benefit from the focused attention of his coaches and the support of his team mates.

Jefferson will be fighting Rhys McKee in Cage Warriors 100, on December 8th in Cardiff.  He is going into the fight with a professional record of 10 wins and 6 losses.  Coming off the back of a 4-win streak, Jefferson exudes quiet confidence when he talks about the upcoming test.

“I am really excited for the match.  Rhys looks like a good opponent to have to test me and push me that much farther.  To know that I am ready for bigger things to come.”

The fight will be in the Lightweight division and is set to be fought at 70 kg.  Jefferson walks around at 80-83 kg, and although he assured me that he is

“Feeling really good, everything’s going to plan and I’m on target…just ready,”

my nutrition background makes me nervous for any athlete trying to drop almost 16% of their body weight. The same goes for Rhys.

When I broached the subject of the fight being fought at 77 kg, Jefferson had this to say

If it comes down to it and I win, or if he wins, if there’s a rematch on the cards we can do it at 77 kg or at 70 kg again.  I don’t mind.  It’s one of them things if people like to see fights and if it’s gonna be a good fight just to see who is the better man on the day or whatever.  It’s just a possibility… I’ll be down for it at 77 kg or at 70 kg.”

This raises the question, are these excessive weight cuts cheating spectators out of the opportunity to see these athletes fighting at their peak performance?  Weight classes were originally brought in to level the playing field and to protect the athletes.  Are they now merely sanitizing the sport, and depriving the fighters of the chance to showcase their explosivity?  Certainly, food for thought!

Jefferson is on a one fight contract at Cage Warriors 100 and seemed to me to be a man determined to keep his options open.

“I am hoping to push myself to get to Bellator, that bigger stage, so it’s just a one fight contract with Cage Warriors and see what happens.” 

However, he certainly isn’t ruling out further fights with Cage Warriors in the future. Jefferson is unusual, in that when I spoke to him about his future ambitions, UFC did not come up at all.  I don’t think this is due to a lack of ambition on his behalf, rather a single-minded focus on the task at hand.  He wants to make the most of this opportunity before looking ahead.

“I am looking for that next level fight, that push, that grind… Everyone always wants that perfect fight, to test their skills, test their levels and see how they perform under that pressure.”

It is clear the Jefferson has the utmost respect for his opponent and believes that both fighters stand to benefit from the exposure Cage Warriors 100 provides.  He very much seems to think of Cage Warriors as a proving ground.

Rhys McKee has described Jefferson as a bit of a puzzle and I was curious to see how he would respond to this.  When I put it to him, he said

“yeah, I would agree with that, definitely a puzzle because you never know what I am going to do on the day!” 

He is undoubtedly keeping his cards close to his chest!  No amount of beguiling from this reporter could induce him to reveal his game plan. Jefferson’s karate roots are evident in his fighting style.  He uses a lot of spinning kicks and spends a lot of time air bound.  When I asked how important a part of his game that is, he said

“It’s not really a big part of my game, it’s just expression.  The movement, you’re feeling good, and then you feel like yeah I can do this…That’s my expression of how I am feeling at the time.”

Throughout my conversation with Jefferson, I was struck by how cool and composed he seemed.  Perhaps it is his Caribbean roots.  When I asked him if he had picked a piece of music to come down to, he impressed me with his sense of humour.  No spoilers, just watch this space.

The 2018 MMA calendar is drawing to a close.  No doubt the fighters will be looking forward to taking a bit of time for R&R away from counting calories as we approach the festive season.  I can’t help thinking how much more difficult it must be to maintain discipline at this time of year.  A testament to the dedication of these elite athletes.

Cage Warriors 100 has a packed card and promises to be a night to remember.  I for one am looking forward to seeing these two guys locking horns, and I am excited to see what the future holds for Jefferson “Shadow Demon Blaximus” George.

Written By: Arwen Sheridan – Check out her blog here

 

 

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