KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 — There will be blood spilled at Stadium Negara this Saturday when Malaysia-based Brazilian Jiu Jit Su World champion Marcos Escobar goes against Rodrigo Praxedes at the ONE Fighting Championship.
After all, it is a mixed martial arts fight! Escobar spent five months back in Brazil training with Nova Uniao, the best mixed martial arts (MMA) team.
He came back to Malaysia about a month ago and I had a chance to speak to one of the pioneers of Brazilian Jiu Jit Su in Malaysia.
Marcos Escobar started martial arts at the age of 10 and he's a big fan of Bruce Lee and Rocky Balboa, the character played by Sylvester Stallone in the movie “Rocky.”
“I was a very active kid. One day, my grandpa took me to the gym, there was this martial arts academy. I did water polo as well but when I started doing Brazilian Jiu Jit Su, I stopped water polo. And it has been 20 years since I started Brazilian Jiu Jit Su,” said Escobar.
Since coming back to Leverage Combat Academy he has been training three times per day, and the regime includes weights, physical training, wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jit Su.
Leonardo Castello Branco, the coach who awarded Escobar his black belt, is one of his biggest inspirations alongside Andre Pederneiras who is one of the best MMA coaches in the world as stated by the official MMA media. His students at Leverage are also a source of inspiration as well and his teammates at Nova Uniao.
Despite having a busy schedule, Escobar is a family man and his wife and daughter give him great joy. He is counting down the days to return to Brazil after his competition to give them a big hug.
As an athlete, there are many challenges Escobar has to face.
“The biggest challenge is trying to stay motivated because when you are always winning it is easier to think about training but when you face a loss for example, you can't stop. You just can't give up. You have to keep pushing yourself.
“People from outside don't understand that a win or a loss is a result or the prize, you don't have many results.You can win or you can lose. Sometimes we have a draw.
“For the athletes, when they win it is the peak but when they lose, it is the bottom. After you win you can enjoy, but after you lose you still have to stay focused and keep pushing yourself,” he said.
The ONE Fighting Championship has pitted Escobar versus a fellow Brazillian Jiu Jit Su black belt champion with mixed martial arts experience. Escobar feels that the fight with Praxedes will be a good one because Brazilians don't give up so easily.
A good friend of Marcos Escobar's, Adam Kayoom, will also be participating at the upcoming event in Stadium Negara.
“He will be fighting another Brazilian, Gregor Gracie. Adam is a great Muay Thai striker and also a Brazilian Jiu Jit Su black belt and I'm sure it is going to be a great fight. Adam has very good chances to bring this win for Malaysia,” enthused Escobar. For a world champion in martial arts, at the end of the day, he puts family as priority alongside his passion.
“After ONE FC I'm going back to Brazil to train some more and spend time with my family. I'm going to go back to the gym and train again for the next fight.”
For information about ticketing please visit http://www.onefc.com
To find out more about Marcos Escobar and Leverage Combat Academy, check out http://www.escobarbjj.com and http://www.leveragemma.com.