Champion Heavyweight Boxer Goes Vegan for Comeback

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He’s got an English accent. He’s buff. And now, he’s vegan too. David Haye “The Hayemaker” recently told The Independent that he’s planning to make a big comeback after some serious injuries, an out-of-control alter-ego, and major surgery. “I’ve only got myself to blame.” He said. “To be as injury-prone as much as me isn’t bad luck. It’s the way I’ve trained in the past.”

Regarding his decision to go vegan, he said:

“I watched a TV documentary about how animals are farmed, killed and prepared for us to eat,” he explains, shaking his head. “I saw all those cows and pigs and realised I couldn’t be a part of it any more. It was horrible. I did some research to make sure I could still obtain enough protein to fight and, once satisfied that I could, I stopped. I’ll never go back.”

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The Discerning Brute contributor and nutritional expert Matt Ruscigno, RD weighs in on Haye’s new regimen and its chances to rebuild a heavyweight champ:

“All plant based foods have some protein, especially beans and grains – and as long as Haye is eating enough calories to fuel his workouts, he will get more than enough protein. Plant-foods like beans are full of calories to provide all the energy he needs, as well as all the amino acids he needs to continue building muscle in order to create and maintain a heavyweight physique. The additional benefit of the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables will aid in his recoveries. Experts know from extensive research that vegetarian and vegans live longer, and many nutrition experts are exploring the idea that the same principles that make us live longer may also help someone like Haye recover more quickly from injuries.”

BRUNO CARVALHO: Vegan Warrior Royalty

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Bruno Carvalho is 32 year-old welterweight MMA champ who is a Brazillian transplant living in Sweden, training with Team Carvalho at Allstar Training Center. His warrior lineage is no surprise, with a grandfather who was a seventh Dan in Judo and founded the Itapagipano de Judô Club in Brazil in 1966,  a great-uncle who was a Vale Tudo legend, and an five black belt uncles, one of whom gave Bruno his black belt in Jiu-Jitsu in 2003. Bruno went on to win more than fifty trophies in Judo, Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Wrestling, among them four BJJ State Championships and a Silver Medal at the European Championships in Jiu-Jitsu in 2007.

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Bruno had an eight-fight unbeaten run from 2009 to 2011 which culminated in capturing the Middleweight Championship of World Freefight Challenge, the biggest and most professional Mixed Martial Arts organization in Southern Europe – but Bruno’s last fight in October of 2013 ended with Carvalo knocked out. For the last several months, Bruno has been training hard, preparing for his next fight against Norwegian Moshen Bahari on March 22, 2014. Part of Carvalho’s edge is that he has been vegan for over two years, and credits his veganism for the seemingly limitless endurance that he displays while training seven-day weeks.

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Bruno took a break from training to have a quick chat with me:

Joshua Katcher:  Bruno, when was your last fight and how did it go? When is your next, and what are you doing to prepare?
Bruno Carvalho: My last fight was in October of last year [2013], it didn’t go so well. I’ve been dealing with lots of injures and personal stuff. I’m fighting Moshen Bahari on March 22, 2014 in Denmark, and I’m preparing very well, all the shit has passed, and now it’s full focus!

JK: You grew up surrounded by martial arts. Your family is a sort of ‘martial arts royals’. What was that like, and did you ever consider doing anything else?
BC: That was and is the best thing I can think of and wouldn’t ask God for something else! Never considered doing another thing, that’s how my family lives and that’s what I love to do!

JK: Outside of fighting and training, what are you up to?373796_10150394156766336_322591490_n
BC: I read a looooot about everything, love to read on nutrition, health… All vegan related book and athletes, also successful people’s biographies. From them we can always learn!

JK: You moved from Brazil to Sweden. Was that a bit of culture shock? Did it have anything to do with your veganism? How long have you been vegan and why have you chosen to be vegan?
BC: It was a big shock in all areas! I came here to teach and train, I wasn’t vegan at the time (unfortunately).  I started as a vegetarian and feeling the progress in my life and training, the vegan tradition came along and now it’s been 2 years.

JK: MMA is a hyper-masculine world. Caring about animals and being vegan isn’t necessarily seen as “masculine” by the mainstream. How do your family, friends, teammates and competitors respond to your veganism? Have you experienced any misunderstanding, bullying or ridicule because of it?
BC: Well, there’s always lots of jokes and questions, but the results and my performance show them the reality! I really don’t care when they joke, I just love to prove them wrong.

 

JK: You captured the Middleweight Championship of World Freefight Challenge. What does your training regimen look like as far as food and exercise in order to be a champion?
BC: I love to train very hard, and as much as I possibly can every single day. That’s one reason I became vegan, because it gives me the advantage to recover faster and train harder! I train every day of the week, even on Sundays I do a complementary sesh! Diet wise, I eat lots of fruits, salads, veggies, shakes…. You love to eat too!

JK: I do love to eat too, but I don’t work out as much as you do! What issues do you care about the most, and how do you address them?
BC: I care the most about health and performance… But of course I’m an animal lover and having watched many vegan videos and movies, I just can’t be contributing to violence against animals. We must respect all kinds of life!

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JK: Do you know any other vegan athletes? Do you guys ever talk and trade advice?
BC: Yes! My good friend Akira Corassanii in NY is a vegan fighter, and I always talk to other vegan and vegetarian athletes and check their FB pages for news.

JK: What is your signature move?
BC: I have good throws because of my judo background, and on the floor I always get omoplatas and triangles!

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JK: You’ve traveled a lot for work. What are you favorite places you’ve been, and where is the best vegan food int he world?
BC: I loved Thailand, and Middle Eastern countries are very attractive too! Best vegan food? Hmmm, always at home!

AMC’s ‘Game of Arms’ features Rob Bigwood

Rob Bigwood, championship arm wrestler and vegan, is one of the subjects of the new AMC series Game of Arms, premiering in February of 2014. This is definitely going to be an awesome show to watch.


right, Rob Bigwood, official vegan badass

Day in the Life, MLB Grub, Rip Returns & Make You Beg

• Have you guys checked out the incredible athlete video-series by The Discerning Brute contributor and RD Matt Ruscigno called Day in the Life? If not, sit back and prepare to get inspired and charged. Here’s episode 5 featuring ultramarathoner Donovan Jenkins:

• There is a comprehensive new resource for Major League Baseball fans who are looking to get their grub on. The Venue Vegetarian Guide on VeggieHappy.com lists all MLB teams and what their stadiums offer, from veggie dogs and black bean burgers to salads, guacamole and corn on the cob. Also check out Peta’s top-10 veg friendly ballparks!

• Powerhouse authors Rory Freedman  (Skinny Bitch, Skinny Bastard) and Texas firefighter, Rip Esselstyn (Engine 2 Diet) have some new must-read books out. Beg is a battle-cry with a cover to drool over (yes we’re judging) that jujitsu’s the fascination and love we already have for our best-friend cats and dogs to help all animals. My Beef With Meat is an essential read to give to your dad, your brother – and even that obnoxious uncle who’s always poking fun at your kale chips. There’s a firefighter on the cover, ok? Who’s gonna argue with that?
My Beef with Meat 

Vegan MMA fighter Diego Lopez Wins


photo: Diego Lopez, Fightland (Vice) for the article “MMA’s Golden Gloves” by Jimmy Jolliff

269265_10151623344521328_257996087_nWe’ve had our eye on rising MMA star and long-time vegan, Diego Lopez of the Williamsburg MMA Academy for a while now. Last week, Lopez won his fight at the “Kings of New York” MMA, Presented by Fighters’ Source. He walked out to Johnny Cash’s, “When the Man Comes Around“, and proceeded to win in the first-round with a wicked triangle choke. He is the first fighter featured in the video below, which recapped the night. Check it out, and also check out his pre-fight interview (in Spanish) with Telemundo NY 47 where he teaches the anchor to put him in a choke-hold. You can hear Lopez speak Wednesday April 3, 2013 at the Jivamktea Cafe in Union Square by RSVPing the event “Athletes and Plant-Based Nutrition” with headliner and TDB contributor Matt Ruscigno, RD. The panel of athletes will include Diego Lopez, Tracey Katof a pilates trainer and dancer, Erin Red Grayson a nak Muay fighter and instructor, and Zachary Koval, a fittness buff and PETA’s 2012 “Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door”.

Follow Lopez on Twitter: @diegolowpez