Breaking News: Shawn Blanding Dead at 16

Written By: Barry Laminack

Details are sketchy at this time, but reports are that Shawn Blanding (Kingwood MMA) has passed away. Blanding passed away in the late evening on Monday January 2nd from apparent suicide.

Shawn trained out at Kingwood MMA and was considered by many to be a very promising prospect in Houston MMA. He looked great at a recent 4oz Famly Fun Day and was considered by many in Houston MMA to be a hot prospect.

Shawn was born on February 1, 1995 and would have turned 17 on February 1, 2012 (the legal age necessary to compete in Texas as an amateur in MMA).

Shawn was there for the Houston MMA community when first started. He participated in our very first community event when we went out and fed the homeless. He was a nice kid that didn’t say much during the event, but once we got to know Shawn, we all learned taht he was a great kid who LOVED MMA and fighting.

My greatest memory of Shawn will always be from that “Feed the Homeless” event we had. After we had finished passing out food, we all met back at the Mezzanine Lounge. While we were hanging out, we all took turns punching a punching machine that measured how hard you punched. Names that tried included Drew Ratichek, Ricardo Talavera, John Malbrough, Craig Gardner, Arron Barringer, Greg Bellamy and many other Houston MMA fighters. Of course this 15 year old kid that nobody had ever heard of would out punch everyone.

I spoke with his long time team-mate, best friend and mentor John Malbrough briefly. John wanted to express his deepest condolences to the Blanding family.

“I love him so much man. He will always be remembered,” Malbrough told me.

Malbrough also mentioned that Shawn’s mom was going through some financial difficulties so we are hoping to help raise some money for the Blanding family to help them give Shawn a proper burial. We at have contributed $150 to the fund and hope many of you out there can give what you can to help his family.

Donate to our Shawn Blanding Memorial Fund
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT DONATED! We were able to present Shawn’s mom with a check for $855 at his memorial event on Wednesday. 

Here is a video of Shawn at the 4oz Family Fun Day.

Here are some pictures of Shawn:


Shawn will be missed. Rest In Peace Shawn. 

Shawn Blanding (Feb. 1, 1995 - Jan. 2, 2012)