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BRAVE CF star John Brewin details why he took up Mixed Martial Arts over Rugby

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon13 May 2020

Rugby is the most popular sport in New Zealand. And that’s not by chance. The New Zealanders are among the most successful nations worldwide in the sport, individually and collectively, and the national team, the All Blacks, is arguably the most recognized brand in rugby.

So, naturally, while growing up, BRAVE Combat Federation’s John Brewin never thought he would be traveling the world and fighting inside a cage, he envisioned himself wearing black from the top to the bottom with a silver fern on his chest.

“When I was a teenager I went to King’s College here in Auckland, which is a prestigious institution here in town, I started playing rugby and I knew that if I did my best I could earn a place at the University through it”, Brewin said in an Instagram Live interview with BRAVE CF’s Jason van Schalkwyk. “But that was it. Honestly, I didn’t think too much about the future when I was growing up, I didn’t have any goals, really. I got into a bit more trouble than I’d like, at least now when I look back at it (laughs). Especially considering the institution that I was in”.

ALSO READ: BRAVE India CEO Akbar Rasheed talks MMA in India, future plans and more

The place granted not only education to Brewin but also gave him a place to be afterward, as the fighter is now living and training within the premises of the school during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. “This is a boarding school, that’s where I am now, I’m living here in a compound, within the school’s premises. So, there’s so much tradition, so many good values, so much to learn but the truth is that back then I wasn’t really invested, I didn’t take it into account. From that time on, I wanted to be a rugby player, I wanted to become an All-Black. I believe, maybe, I have a tendency to self-sabotage, I don’t know… Because it’s easy to say those things but to will it for real, it’s completely different. We have the power to do it, but it’s more about if you’re willing to exercise that power or not. Go through everything it takes to make that dream come true”.

And that’s exactly what John Brewin did when he fell in love with another sport: Mixed Martial Arts. All the passion, investment, and interest that he hadn’t found yet with his childhood dream of playing rugby, the same one shared by millions of his fellow countrymen, he ended up discovering when he first got into Mixed Martial Arts.

“Unlike my All-Black dream, to which I never gave everything, trained with 100% dedication, or, honestly, fully believed, I found myself when I got into MMA”, John said. “It made me shake off some of those old habits. I started as an amateur and I instantly knew that this is what I wanted. This is what I was meant to. And when I turned pro I remember thinking to myself ‘ok, now you have to commit without any restrictions. This is it. Otherwise, what is the point of being punched in the head every single day? (laughs)’”.

And John Brewin really dove in headfirst. With most of his professional career spent under BRAVE Combat Federation banner, “Trouble” knew that he hit the jackpot early on and made the best out of it, with four wins in five bouts and three stoppages, going from a prospect to a headliner in no-time.

More recently, Brewin was supposed to be a main eventer on his second consecutive BRAVE CF fight night, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the BRAVE CF 36 card in Romania ended up being postponed. Still unknown about how long this hiatus will last, given the volatility and uncertainty of the international scenario, Brewin finds comfort in the historic rhymes he sees between his past self and his current status: “It’s crazy because I’m back here to the school where I once was, but I’m nothing like that time, I’m on a completely different journey, it’s rather poetic, isn’t it?”.


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