Professional Mixed Martial Arts is one of the most demanding careers in terms of time dedication by fighters, in terms of training or travelling for competition, and sometimes it takes a heavy toll on its athletes, meaning that they’ll miss out on important moments of their family and friends in order to pursue their careers.
In times of Covid-19 pandemic, this usual absence has been replaced by longer periods with relatives and the almost unique chance of closely living special moments alongside your loved ones, which has been pointed as the only silver lining in the current crisis by many Mixed Martial Artists.
Despite the common trend among the category, though, a few can say that they feel more content about the way things have unfolded in detriment of the crisis as BRAVE Combat Federation’s Steven Gonçalves.
Originally scheduled to compete in April, but having its fight indefinitely postponed due to the escalation of the Coronavirus worldwide spread, Steven is using the extra-time to seek personal and professional improvement.
“The training is going as good as it can get under the current circumstances”, Guts said during an Instagram Live interview with BRAVE CF’s Jason Van Schalkwyk. “I have my brother here with me, he is not a professional fighter but he fights hard and we can get some drills done. I got keto balls, I do some shadow boxing. It actually is giving me some time to rethink and work on some aspects of my game that I didn’t have before, obviously during a fast-paced training camp and fighting routine I wouldn’t be able to do so. Right now I can sit back, analyze, and see what went wrong in the past, I can work it out, and make things better for the future. As bad as the whole situation is, this single aspect of it is a blessing in disguise”.
But that’s definitely not the only thing on Gonçalves’ mind right now, as the South African fighter is splitting his time between the intense routine and the preparations for the arrival of his first daughter soon.
“Of course the time of social distancing is a time of introspection, of self-reflection. So it comes as a source of mental strength, I’d say”, Steven continued. “I have enough time to get to know myself better, as an athlete but also as a person. I’m blessed that all is well with me and my family, I have all of them by my side, my wife is pregnant now, and I’m being able to spend all this time with her and our future daughter. I’m always very close to them, regardless of the situation, but now, obviously, it’s been even more”.
“We still have two and half months left, the due date is July”, he continued. “So, my wife and I are obviously very, very excited about it and we can’t wait to bring our little one to this world. It’s unbelievable because my brother also became a father less than a week ago. When my daughter comes, she will be greeted by a little cousin of hers. It might be just on my side of the world but I feel like there’s a lot of babies being born these days (laughs)".