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Mustang local competes on “Forged in Fire: Knife or Death”

By Jess Kelsey
Managing Editor

-Courtesy of HISTORY
Mike Cleveland of Mustang competes during the HISTORY network’s “Forged in Fire: Knife or Death” episode that airs Oct. 17 beginning at 9 p.m.

Joining the ranks of America’s top blade-smiths, marital artists and knife experts, Mike Cleveland of Mustang will stab and chop his way through some of the most daunting obstacle courses ever seen during Wednesday, Oct. 17’s episode of the HISTORY network’s “Forged in Fire: Knife or Death.”

Slicing through flying watermelons, hacking through massive ice blocks and severing various types of ropes, tubes, metals, food and item-filled crates, Cleveland will put his own blades and skills through the test while he competes for a cash prize and a spot on the season finale during the episode.

Cleveland said he developed a love for knives at a young age and began learning how to create his own blades after being inspired to build one as a gift for a friend.

This passion eventually led him to open and run his own business, Half Life Knives in Mustang, where he creates custom hunting, tactical and chef’s knives.

“I make every type of blade under the sun,” said Cleveland. “Whatever someone can dream up, I can make it.”

Cleveland said he wanted to test his blades and prove his skills, so he decided to apply to be a part of “Forged in Fire: Knife or Death.”

“I wanted to challenge myself and showcase what my knives were capable of,” said Cleveland.

“The experience was very impressive,” continued Cleveland. “They are very thoughtful in how they pick the participants for this.”

“Forged in Fire: Knife or Death” is co-hosted by WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg and Special Forces Veteran and Edged Weapons Expert Tu Lam. The series also features two-time “Forged in Fire” champion Travis Wuertz as the sideline blade specialist.

According to the series, competitors bring their best blades to compete in two different timed courses, “Knife Fight” and the “Dead Run.” Each obstacle challenges competitors to test numerous facets of their blades from strength, durability and sharpness to the speed, precision and overall technique of the blade wielder.

Cleveland will be featured in Wednesday, Oct. 17’s episode beginning at 9 p.m. (CST) on the HISTORY network.

More information on his craft and business can be found on

1 Comment

  1. George Brackett on October 17, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    I forge all my weapons of of high carbon steel. I’m ABS trained, and have traind three to the point they could take their intro class with out failing it the first time…

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