Photo: Jeff Sherwood


Christopher Schnake -- best known to mixed martial arts fans by his ring persona “Big Poppa” Schnake -- died Monday morning. He was 37.

Sherdog.com confirmed the news with Schnake's longtime friend and business associate, Victory Jay, who wished to be referred to by his alias.

Jay learned of Schnake's passing on Monday, when he received a call from Schnake's roommate. Schnake was returning from a trip to Texas, where he announced King of the Cage “Kingpin” on Saturday, Aug. 27. Jay recounted the days surrounding Schnake's passing to Sherdog.com on Thursday evening:

“[Schnake] called me after the show from his hotel room, just to shoot the s--t. We were catching up, and stayed up until about two in the morning watching the ProElite stream,” Jay told Sherdog.com. “And he mentioned that he had collapsed at the show. He told me, 'Man, I gotta get my diabetes under control. But that was it. It wasn't so serious. It was just him saying, 'I really feel like s--t, you know?'

“He flew out to Milwaukee the next day. I tried getting a hold of him, but his phone went straight to voice mail. I didn't think much of it. Then I tried calling [later] about five times and even left him a Facebook message. Then I got a call from his roommate at about four in the morning on Monday.

“Schnake lived between Chicago and Milwaukee. It's about an hour drive. He pulled over to a rest stop to take a rest and just passed away in his sleep. There aren't really any details yet. The family is doing an autopsy, and that hasn't come back yet, but I have to assume it was health-related just given that he spoke to me the night before about getting his diabetes under control.”

Known for his colorful on-air persona, Schnake served as both an in-cage announcer and a radio personality. Before becoming a cult icon in the MMA world, however, he was working for little-to-no pay at local shows in the midwest.

“Back in 1996 or 1997, when we got our start, neither one of us were promoting. We were setting up the cage and tearing it down. I got my start selling T-shirts, and he would announce,” recalled Jay. “Probably for the first three years [of our relationship], we would travel show to show, and that's where we developed our friendship, in the trenches.

“We were living out of my van, sleeping at rest stops. It wasn't until about 2002 when I started promoting my own show that Schanke would announce those shows. And then it was really kind of a co-op business. But even today, Schnake wasn't in this for the money. He loved the sport. He is MMA.”

Shortly before his passing, Schnake started a business with Jay called CageTix, a service designed to effectively streamline the selling of tickets for local shows. Fighters forward friends and fans to the website, with the fighter receiving a cut from every ticket sold at no extra cost to the promoter.

Jay hopes that the company will serve as a lasting legacy for Schnake's impact on the sport and will also serve to benefit the surviving members of Schnake's family.

“We put our heads together and agreed that there are still [things] wrong with MMA promoting, and asked ourselves what we could do to fix them. This is what we came up with, and it works brilliantly,” said Jay. “On his end, Schnake was bringing in all the shows that he promoted and would receive a kickback from that. Now that he's no longer here, I still want to honor that.

“For any show that Schnake dealt with, or any show that wants to be a part of Schnake's memorial fund, we're going to donate to Schnake's family for every ticket sold. The service is at no cost to the promoter, and this is a way that Schnake's family can continue to receive donations for years to come.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

No ceremonial weigh-ins, but fans invited to Thursday's UFC Fight Night 104 open workouts

  • 26 days ago
  • 10 views

Fight fans can get an up-close look at this week’s UFC Fight Night 104 competitors on Thursday at open workouts.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Tom Sayers, the Only Fighter Fans Actually Paid to Stop Fighting | FIGHTLAND

  • 23 days ago
  • 5 views

"Championship of England and America" by Jem Ward,1860 (Wikimedia Commons) Fighting isn’t historically a sport for life’s winners. Pick a boxing story at random and it’ll start with someone with noth read news >>

Tom Sayers, the Only Fighter Fans Actually Paid to Stop Fighting | FIGHTLAND

  • 23 days ago
  • 2 views

"Championship of England and America" by Jem Ward,1860 (Wikimedia Commons) Fighting isn’t historically a sport for life’s winners. Pick a boxing story at random and it’ll start with someone with noth read news >>

Fortaleza card continues to pack a punch

  • 22 days ago
  • 0 views

Fight fans in Fortaleza, Brazil will certainly circle Mar. 11 on their calendars, as the card for the UFC Fight Night event at Centro de Formação Olímpica de Fortaleza continues to fill up with intri read news >>

Fans invited to this week's UFC 208 workouts, Nurmagomedov Q&A and ceremonial weigh-ins

  • 19 days ago
  • 17 views

In New York this week for UFC 208? The UFC has a number of activities that are open to fans.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Jacare says Bisping is ducking; aims for post-UFC 208 rematch with Romero

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 views

Jacare Souza isn't worried about that his fans and countrymen think he should fight for the title next. He's focused on staying busy and showing he deserves to be the champion. read news >>

Chas Skelly wants spot on UFC 211, promises screaming fans in sleeveless shirts

  • 18 days ago
  • 4 views

HOUSTON – After a dominant display at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 104 event, Chas Skelly warned his featherweight colleagues: “These guys don’t understand they need to fight me now because I’m improvi read news >>

Sold-out UFC 208 draws announced 15,628 fans for $2,275,105 live gate, Barclays Center sports record

  • 13 days ago
  • 1 views

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Saturday’s UFC 208 event drew an announced attendance of 15,628 fans for a live gate of $2,275,105.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Fans invited to this week's Bellator 172 weigh-ins, tailgate party with Ortiz, Gracie, Davis, Henderson

  • 12 days ago
  • 19 views

Heading to the Silicon Valley this week for Bellator 172? The promotion has some chances for you to get up close and personal with some of its stars.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Fans invited to this week's UFC Fight Night 105 Ben Rothwell Q&A, ceremonial weigh-ins in Halifax

  • 12 days ago
  • 2 views

If you’re in Nova Scotia or headed there this week for UFC Fight Night 105, you can spend your Saturday before fight night with the UFC. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>