Michael Morales Born to compete in martial arts in some way.
The UFC rookie, just 22 years old, will make his promotional debut on Saturday at UFC 270 in Anaheim, California. He will face veteran Trevin Giles in a welterweight contest. Morales (12-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) may seem like they’re just starting their martial arts career, but Ecuadorians have more than a decade of experience.
Morales started fighting from an early age, all thanks to his parents. Both are judo black belts.
“Everything started with my family, mostly my mother,” Morales told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I started judo when I was about five years old. My mom is a judo teacher and my dad is. But I like this (martial arts) and my mom takes me to her competition. I started it when he gave me.
“I started training in judo. That’s how everything started when I was 5 years old. After a while (in judo), they weren’t me, so when they were 10 years old Put me in wrestling. I started playing in youth tournaments at the age of 13 and after a while I was able to play in national competitions. Then at international level. At the age of 15, my dad was close to me. He took me to the (MMA) gym in the town. Then I fought (amateur) at the age of 14, 15 and made my professional debut at the age of 16. And that’s the beginning of everything. It was a long orbit. “
Morales’ mom, Katy Hartad, has a judo hierarchy between her parents. She is a third-tier judo black belt who retired from competition at the age of 42. Currently, I am an international referee for judo.
Hartado has greatly supported Morales’ mixed martial arts career.
“At first she didn’t like it,” Morales explained. “When I was 15, she was watching me spar and she thought it was too violent. But after my first fight, she Really started to support me. She never refused this. She was just worried and told me to be careful. And now she likes it. She Is my number one fan and is always looking for me. “
Morales unanimously decided on Nikolai Beretennikov in the Dana White Contender Series and won a ticket to the UFC in September. He is currently the second Ecuadorian to be promoted, alongside pioneer Marlon Vera.
Morales currently lives in Tijuana, Mexico and is training at the Entram Gym, home of UFC champion Brandon Moreno. Morales made his debut with the largest MMA organization on the planet and is excited to represent Ecuador with an octagon.
“It’s very difficult for me to leave the country, but I have to follow my dreams,” Morales said. “It’s great now that we have the support of the people of Ecuador, the support of our trainers and, more importantly, the support of our mother.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was told to fight to start and debut this year in the UFC 270. This whole experience is incredible and it’s important to my country. It’s big. That’s big. I always said I didn’t expect to debut (for the UFC) at the age of 22. I thought maybe 25, 26, and even older. But things are. It worked like this, and I’m ready for the war. “
– MMA Sports
How Michael Morales’ Judo Black Belt Parents Stimulated a Career
https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2022/01/ufc-270-michael-morales-debut-sparked-by-judo-black-belt-parents How Michael Morales’ Judo Black Belt Parents Stimulated a Career