More than athletes: RUFF Super Fighters outside the cage

Press Release: Thursday, 17th January 2013

With the RUFF 2013 RMB 1,000,000 Super Fight just a little more than two weeks away, the ten hopefuls contending to become China’s first MMA national champions have increased the intensity of their training regimens, upping their preparations to battle for five round fights on February 2 if needed.

While these athletes have refined skills in all facets of mixed martial arts, outside of the cage, they are young gentlemen with varied interests and hobbies, passions, and aspirations.

“Recently I bought a guitar to start learning how to play,” comments featherweight contender Wu ChengJie. “But mostly now I rest at home, watch DVDs, and listen to music, because I’m a very tired from all the training.”

Wu ChengJie’s opponent in the Super Fight, division leader Wang Guan, is also currently in the midst of his own heavy training schedule at Xi’An Sports University. As calculated with his thoughts as he is with punishing strikes, Wang expresses an interest in seeing the world.

“[In my free time] I read. But I want to travel,” explains Wang Guan.

Much like his Xi’An teammate Wang Guan, flyweight Zhang MeiXuan has little free time to devote to commitments other than training. Still, he finds a way to maintain important personal relationships, and partake in various activities.

“I spend time with my girlfriend,” states Zhang. “I also like to watch movies, go online, and sing.”

For bantamweight challenger Irshaad Sayed, training is his way of life. A personal trainer in Hong Kong, Sayed coaches Muay Thai by day, while simultaneously undergoing a rigorous routine of BJJ and cardio, with the hope that he will finally top his rival Jumabieke Tuerxun and hoist the 61 kg national championship belt. Constantly in search of fitness, Sayed frequents Hong Kong’s outdoors scene during his down time.

“I’m a pretty relaxed person. I don’t go out much. It doesn’t go hand in hand with the lifestyle of a fighter . . . I don’t drink . . . I stay away from all kinds of nightlife,” offers Sayed. “I prefer to go hiking and mountain biking, wakeboarding, or go to the beach.”

Henan native, flyweight Liu PingYuan, 19, is the youngest Super Fight competitor, and while he spends the majority of his time training with coach and mentor Ao HaiLin, PingYuan uses his free time to reflect on life, showing poise and maturity beyond his years.

“Every Sunday I go to church,” states Liu PingYuan. “I would love to travel, but right now I do not have the time because of training. Mostly I rest and watch DVDs.”

Opposing Liu PingYuan’s youth is light heavyweight Zhao ZiLong, 32, the elder statesman of the Super Fighters. A family man who not only looks after his wife and daughter, but also his parents, Zhao is focused on reversing his fortunes against opponent Li JiXiang, determined to score a positive outcome at the February 2, Super Fight.

“I recently read a book called Positive Energy. It was very interesting,” comments Zhao ZiLong. “Outside of training I spend time with my parents and go to play with my daughter. [Eventually] I want to travel and relax.”

Teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu five times a day at Hong Kong’s JAB MMA, lightweight Rodrigo Caporal is another fighter who spends an overwhelming majority of his time preparing for the 2013 RMB 1,000,000 Super Fight. Determined to remain undefeated in RUFF competition and defeat opponent Wu HaoTian for a second time, Caporal keeps it simple outside of the gym.

“When I’m not fighting I like to stay with my family,” explains Caporal. “Traveling with my girlfriend and my friends . . . that’s what I do when I’m not fighting.”

For all ten Super Fight competitors, hoisting China’s first MMA national championship belts is the top priority in their lives, aware that the title, along with the 1-million RMB can open new doors and opportunities in the future, allowing them greater ability and freedom to pursue new dreams and passions.

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