By Mark Elezaj
What is Mixed Martial Arts? Well, for starters, it is a full contact combat sport that allows striking and grappling, both standing and on the ground, using techniques from different combat sports like boxing, kick boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling and martial arts.
For many years, MMA was considered by many to be nothing more than a brutal “blood sport” without rules.
Boy were they wrong.
Today, thanks to people like Dana White and the rise of the UFC, as well as Bellator, just to name a few, the sport of MMA has gradually emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing spectator sports.
The world of MMA has expanded into gyms all over the world. It has become a phenomenon that continues to grow to this day, giving many something to look forward to. It’s not just a gym to some, it’s a home. The person across the cage is not just a sparring partner, he or she is my family. That is what MMA means to many today. It is what makes the sport a beautiful thing.
BRONX NEW YORK
I had a chance to sit down and speak with Steven Maestre, the head of the Maestre Elite fight team, located in the Bronx New York. His passion for the sport shows from the minute you see him. He’s all about the fight game, and is all in when it comes to his team.
Maestre is currently working with a group of up and coming amateur fighters who are focused and determined to leave a mark in the MMA universe. A fighter turned coach, Maestre makes sure to instill discipline into all of his brothers, as they prepare for future fights. A proud man, Maestre wants his fighters to remain focused, instilling the notion of HARD WORK and DEDICATION into each session.
How did you get into the sport of MMA?
I got into the sport by watching the first UFC, and watching Royce Gracie submit everybody with jiu jitsu so me and my brother at the time decided to find a jiu jitsu School. We found one in the Bronx, Renzo Gracie academy, and started training. I wanted to test my skills in MMA, I went 6-0 and the rest is history.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration are the Diaz brothers, but now that I’m a coach, I’m a big fan of Greg Jackson and his coaching philosophy.
Tell us about Maestre Elite?
MaestreElite is a family team. We are brothers, win lose or draw. We have champions in MMA and K1 and every time one of my guys step in the ring or cage we want people to know you go against one of us, you go against us all.
What does it mean for you to be a trainer?
It means everything for me to be a coach, I love giving back and showing all of the years of my experience, showing what hard work is about and watching my fighters grow and succeed.
You have a team of young up and coming amateurs who are dedicated to the sport, what would you say are their biggest strengths?
Their biggest strengths are there will to win, their toughness and showing every time that they step into the ring or cage, they give it their all. I have a saying, “if they lose a fight if we lose.” We LEARN, it’s a part of the game.
What are your ultimate goals for Maestre Elite?
Our goal is to make it to Glory kickboxing, Bellator MMA and of course the UFC.
Why MaestreElite, what can one expect training with you?
If anyone comes train with us, you can expect hard work, passion and a family environment. We can take you wherever you want to go, it is all up to you. We teach Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, Muay Thai kickboxing and MMA.
If you, Steven Maestre, could have a dream fight with anyone, who would it be against?
A dream fight for me would be at 135 lbs, where I went 6-0, and it would be against Henry Cejudo.
What do you want your team to be remembered for?
I want MaestreElite to be remembered as the best MMA team in the Bronx, with great group of fighters that always leave everything in the ring or the cage. And I want us to be remembered for what we are, a family.
The next big event for The MaestreElite family takes place on September 29th, at the Salsa Con Fuego, located at 2297 Cedar Ave, Bronx NY, 10468. We here at The Fighting Voice wish coach Maestre and his team continued success as they continue to move closer to their dreams.
~ The Fighting Voice ~