Volume 1, Number 12 - April 11, 2011

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Saeli  Gutierrez
Saeli Gutierrez
Sports Writer

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Student Fights His Way Into Education And Competition

By Saeli Gutierrez

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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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.