Nelson Paes

By on August 01, 2015
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Nelson Paes

A pioneer in Goa’s mixed martial arts (MMA) scene, Nelson Paes recently won his debut fight at Combat Cage Fight, the first entertainment sport event in India. The 28-year-old fighter was the main card of the night, and took down his opponent with a knock out in front of his home crowd, making history by becoming the first Goan achiever in MMA

On discovering martial arts…
I was about 23 when I initially started my training in Pune. At the time, I was working for a BPO to stay afloat and I was frustrated with the job. Then, someone introduced me to Muay Thai and I just fell in love with it.

On deciding to take up martial arts professionally…
About six months into my training, I realised that I was getting better at it pretty fast, so I decided to train harder. I left the corporate life and decided to train in my beloved Goa.
There were auditions for an
MMA league being held in India at
the time and so, I decided that should be my goal.

On finding the right coach and the initial challenges he faced…
The accessibility to good coaches was another reason why I moved to Goa. Here, I trained with renowned coaches like Edgar Noordanus who honed my Muay Thai skills and Fabrizio Petroni taught me the nuances of boxing.

I had all the will and determination that I needed to fight the best in my division. I even cracked my way through the only MMA league in India at the time, only to discover that they were shifting base to USA, leaving all the fighters and my dreams shattered. I waited for one year for a fight! That was my biggest challenge, to hope for hope.

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.
Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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