Student Fights His Way Into Education And Competition
Miami Dade College student Carlos Vivanco, 23, is fulfilling his dream of pursuing a career in mixed martial arts.
Vivanco became interested in the sport after he joined the wrestling team at Hialeah Senior High School. After graduating in 2006, he enrolled at MDC.
“In high school I tried wrestling; it’s where I got my first taste for competition,” Vivanco said.
However, Vivanco said his dream came to a halt when he discovered his mother Dermi Pozo was diagnosed with cancer.
“My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Vivanco said. “I had to work two jobs to [make] the house payments. I started caring less about life and gave up on my dreams of going to school.”
After five years of chemotherapy, Pozo is doing better.
Vivanco is once again pursuing his dream. He trains with Howard Puig, a martial arts teacher and owner of Padrinos M.M.A. gym located in Hialeah.
“It’s a nonprofit organization that helps kids by giving them new meaning to their lives,” Puig said.
Thanks to rigorous training such as cardio, strength lifting and endurance, Vivanco has posted a record of 4-1 with Alpha Fights Premiere MMA at the light heavy weight division.
“He has what it takes to become a professional fighter,” Puig said. “The kid is like my son.”
His family is also proud of Vivanco’s endurance through the rough times. Vivanco hopes to make it to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“It shows his ambition,” his brother, Christian Vivanco said. “I look up to him.”
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