12-year-old MMA fighter to appear on national stage

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 10:45 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A local mixed martial artist who is just 12 years old is taking the octagon by storm and will compete on the national stage next week.

Landon Jaski has been a fighter for most of his life. He started with classes at Jungs Taekwondo in Belvidere at five years old. Shortly after receiving his black belt, Landon tried wrestling and enjoyed the grappling aspect of the sport. Later he tried jiujitsu and earned his first jiujitsu belt at the expert level when he was 11 years old.

Over time Landon became known as “The Body Snatcher.”

“When I was little, I would just took kids out and I was just snapping their bodies,” says Landon.

Just recently he picked up MMA and trains seven days a week at five local facilities in hopes of becoming the next best MMA fighter. He won his first career MMA fight in March in Waukesha, WI and now qualified for the Youth MMA National Tournament on Saturday May 20 in California.

“I was pretty excited because I know I’m going to win and when I do win I’ll be able to go to Abu Dhabi. so that would be cool.”

“He puts in more work than professional fighters do at this stage, so it’s pretty cool to see the dedication,” says Landon’s coach Mitch Britt.

But those he faces in the octagon aren’t his only opponents. In august 2022 he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, something his mom was previously diagnosed with.

“It’s not as bad as everybody thinks,” says Landon.

However, Landon isn’t letting that stop him from being the ultimate fighter.

“I wasn’t too worried about it because I knew I would be the same.”

“He’s got a talent and he’s going to show everybody what he’s got,” says Landon’s dad Jeff Jaski.

Britt says It wasn’t until recently that kids younger than 18 years old can compete competitively in these kinds of sports. Thanks to this opportunity, coach Britt says the sky is the limit for Landon.

“This is a huge opportunity and we are excited to put Rockford in general back on the fighting map,” says Britt.

If Landon wins next week. He can earn a spot to represent Team USA on the global stage in August in Abu Dhabi.

Travel to these tournaments can get expensive so Landon has his own clothing line called ‘Body Snatcher Fight Gear’ to help with those costs.

Landon is also a state qualifier in wrestling and occasionally trains Wako team USA in kickboxing.