PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Washington High School graduate Thomas Blackorby is just 18 years old, but is already an heavily experienced mixed martial artist. Thomas has 13 years of experience in wrestling and muay thai, plus trains in jui jitsu three times a week.
“I’m just getting as much experience as possible. That’s something me and my dad believe in, just constantly going against better competition, pushing your boundaries, pushing your limits,” Blackorby said. “That’s what we have been doing all year.”
Thomas opted out of his senior year of wrestling at Washington to focus on training, but uses the lessons he learned from the Panthers program every day.
“The number one thing I learned from Washington wrestling is mental warfare,” Blackorby said. “They push you to the limit. Each practice is very hard and I think that is helping me tremendously in the ring.”
Thomas trains with his father and former fighter Ryan Blackorby nearly every day. And the hard work is paying off. In June, Thomas won a Thai Boxing Association-Sanction Authority World Expo championship belt. And in Febuary, he won a kickboxing tournament in Nashville to earn a spot on Team USA.
“Actually I leave for Italy and the World Tournament in October. I made Team USA and I will be competing on the Team USA kickboxing team,” Blackorby said. “I dreamed about it since I was little, and I made my dreams come true.”
With five fights under his belt in 2021 and the prospect of more, Thomas Blackorby is getting as much experience as possible for what he hopes can lead to a professional fighing career.
“I would say MMA is my long term goal, make it to the UFC,” Blackorby added. “I’m going to fight hopefully two or three more times and get the amatuer belt for Caged Agression for MMA and then turn pro.”
Blackorby’s next scheduled fight is in September.