Monday, August 11, 2008

Respect and Devotion: Interview with Ivan Salaverry

Originally posted by

Ivan Salaverry has been a long-standing fan-favorite mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. In a sport full of glowering monsters, Ivan is all charm and smiles—frequently celebrating victories by blowing kisses to the audience and performing a cartwheel, or even clicking his heels together like giant pugilistic leprechaun. An exciting, strategic fighter, he picks apart his competition with his striking and submission wrestling—not in a panicked flurry, but methodically and on his own terms.

I was disappointed to learn of his recent retirement, but knew he had also opened a brand new gym in Seattle and was taking students. If anyone would make a perfect MMA instructor, it would be Ivan Salaverry. I was lucky enough to get a moment to speak with him about his philosophy, his experience and balancing his fitness, family and athletic business life.

Hella Sound: I've read the bio on your site as well as other interviews, and my first question is how does a nice guy like you get in a sport like MMA?
Ivan Salaverry: (laughs). Wow. Well, slowly. I've been doing martial arts—western style martial arts, like wrestling—and from there I went over to jiu jitsu. From jiu jitsu I went over to MMA through AMC and started my career from there. Once I got to see what MMA was all about in the early 90s I just fell in love with it. Watching Royce Gracie was an amazing situation for me.

Click to read the rest of the interview on

We would like to give a special thanks to John at Check out this article and more at their website.



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