I was 18 and had just dropped out of high school when my cousin brought home a DVD of mixed martial arts fighters who were fighting at a boxing gym in Cyrildene. One of the guys in the video was quite a big deal back then as MMA was just starting to become interesting as a sport to watch.
I was so fascinated to see how strong and agile the fighters were. It was not a messy fight. I loved it.
The video was the first time I had heard of MMA and, because I was no longer at school and I am not the kind of person to simply sit and do nothing, I thought this would be something for me to do.
I went to gym and the trainer asked me if I had any kind of similar training before. I said I had, when I was back home in Angola.
I was much younger then, maybe nine years old. I was taught capoeira because we had to learn how to protect and defend ourselves and our family. Things were so hostile and we eventually left the country.
But not before my dad died, fighting for the Angolan army. One day he went into a rebel area and never came back. I think the athletic fighting I do now is in my blood, because my father had quite a hot head, from what I have been told.
In the 11 years since I watched that MMA video, my life has been centred around fitness, boxing and mixed martial arts.
Repeat, repeat. I used to be an MMA fighter but now I am moving towards pure boxing, which is an art form in its own right. I am a personal trainer in between all my training and my newfound love for boxing. — As told by Simon “Silverback” Domingos to Athandiwe Saba