The super-heavyweight division has always been a popular “weight class” in Japan and overseas. Japanese laws do not require a weight class system, so many superheavyweights fight in Japan. Las Vegas, the home of the UFC, is the training ground for “The Don” Trap Gambino. He waits in the mist for his time to enter the super-heavyweight division and make the others, “swim with the fishes.”
As many and fighters do, MMA was introduced to Trap Gambino through the UFC pay-per-view path. “Growing up I was always into shows that had to do with martial arts. My first obsession was Power Rangers. I grew out of the Power Rangers and had my Dragonball Z phase like a lot of 90’s kids,” Gambino told MMASucka. “Loved the concept of training to get stronger. Then along came WWE, WWF back then. That’s what REALLY took over my life! I was a fan all through the ‘attitude era.’ Triple H and Brock Lesnar were my favorites.”
The final step in the introduction to MMA came from a larger than life 265lbs heavyweight superstar, Brock Lesnar. “One day my brother called me and invited me to his place to watch a UFC PPV. He informed me that Brock Lesnar would be fighting, and I couldn’t believe it! ‘Brock Lesnar in a real fight!?’ The night was UFC 87 and Brock was in the co-main event facing Heath Herring. At the time I knew nothing of MMA. I just remember hearing everybody doubt Lesnar for being a ‘fake fighter.’
Lesnar’s impressive performance amongst his doubter was a huge inspiration to Gambino. “From then on I had to follow his career. I was not a fan of real fighting and what Brock could really do. Seeing a big boy go in and kick ass gave me inspiration.” From that day forward, Gambino began to follow MMA closely.
Taking the First Steps Toward MMA Competition
Gambino began his training simply as a way to lose weight. As he began to post videos and photos of his progress, along with the love came the hate. “I would credit the people who doubted me for 99 percent of my progress,” Gambino told MMASucka. “With no intentions on pursuing fighting as a career, I started posting videos of me hitting the bag. Along with the love came a few haters.”
Gambino is taking the approach we should all take with distractions and hardships we face in our lives. “They said I wouldn’t do this and I wouldn’t do that. I HAD to prove them wrong! If it was up to me only, I’d probably still be in Ohio hustling dime bags to pay for rent. My haters inspired me so much.”
If anything, Gambino hopes we can be an inspiration to others. “I will use myself and my journey as an example that you can push through any amount of hate. Over the years I’ve gained lots of it! It’s welcomed. I love my haters because they give me endless fuel.”
The Relocation from Ohio to Las Vegas with the Mob Wife
Not only does “The Don” indulge in the MMA lifestyle, but so does his wife Ashlee “Mob Wife” Gambino. Ashlee is currently 0-1 in her amateur career but took her debut fight on 12 days’ notice in the Tuff-N-Uff card in March 2018.
Trap was in her corner and helps her with her training. Both also currently training at Wand Fight Team in their home of Las Vegas. Vegas was not always home. The two packed up and left their life in Ohio to chase the MMA dream in the MMA capital of the world. Ashlee and Trap were recently on an episode of Las Vegas Live with Ninon, a popular show in the Vegas area. Ashlee also appears on Fremont Street in Vegas for the Fremont Street Experience.
She is extremely interactive with fans and appears to be a favorite of Nick Diaz, who often shows her on his Instagram stories.
Trap Gambino: The Future of the Superheavyweight
In the next five years, Trap is looking to be competing in Japan. He hopes to have a few pro bouts under his belt before then so look for the Wand Fight Team super-heavyweight to start making his way through the cage. If anything, Trap’s story should be one of inspiration that anything can be achieved regardless of what the outside world may tell you.