Maria LOBO, red-haired warrior
By Julien LANCHAS , Monday January 23, 2017
Portugal's Maria LOBO is much more than just Diogo CALADO's girlfriend. This short-red-haired fighter is a tremendous warrior. In our interview below, she tells her story.
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MUYTHAITV : You train at Dinamite team with Dina PEDRO. How is it to be trained by a woman?
Maria LOBO : It’s awesome. I can have the best of both worlds. On the one hand I have someone who understands my mood variations and bad temper and knows exactly how to deal with them (sometimes that involves telling me to fuck off and relax). On the other hand I have a great coach with no fear of pushing boundaries and with a toughness hardly comparable. And I even have the priceless perk of seeing other people faces when I tell them she’s a coach, my coach.
Your teammate Diogo CALADO is also your boyfriend. How did you start dating each other ?
That’s actually funny. We met at IFMA World Championship in Thailand in 2007. At that time Portugal had two Muay Thai federations at war for the lead and as a result there were two rival teams representing Portugal in that championship. We were each in a different rival team. Because we athletes did not partake in that federation war we started supporting each other during the competition and that’s when I first talked to Diogo. When we returned to Portugal we started exchanging daily messages and from there to dating was a quick step.
Is it compliacted for LOVE to exist in an atmosphere of "fight", "strikes", "blood" etc ?
It’s quite the opposite actually. I believe the main reason our relationship works so well is because we know what existing in that “atmosphere of fight, strikes, blood…” implies. We understand the sacrifices and choices that this career requires and we support each other in that choices. If one of us had other kind of career it would be very difficult to coordinate schedules and even to understand why this sport requires so much of us. Not to talk about the bad mood we dive in when dieting or even the lack of social life… As a partner we want to be present and fulfil the other person needs and if both did not have this same way of life it would be nearly impossible to have a stable relationship at this stage of our careers.
How did you get into muaythai ?
I get into Muay Thai by chance. My parents wanted me and my brothers to know how to defend ourselves in school and Muay Thai was the better option near our home. We were already in Judo but for my parents it was not a violent sport and failed to teach us a more aggressive approach in case we need it.
Not being a personal choice it was not love at first sight. All my friends were in judo so I exchanged a lot of Muay Thai classes for Judo ones (they were in the same sport complex and had the same schedules). When I was 17 years old my Muay Thai coach asked if I wanted to fight. As a result I started doing more Muay Thai and slowly stopped Judo. Spending more time learning new techniques and seeing the complexity behind this sport turned a simple curiosity in passion.
What has been the greatest moment in your career so far?
I think I cannot talk about a “greatest” moment because this last years have been filled with personal achievements. I can say however that I’m very proud to be part of the upcoming World Games. Due to that I’m starting to open a lot of possibilities in Portugal to other athletes such as myself and that is priceless.
What has been the worst one ?
I was knockout the fight before entering Dinamite Team and that took me to the rock bottom. But looking back I can’t consider that fight a lost cause.
Because of what happened I finally had the determination to leave the team I was in and fight to recover the passion I had been losing for a time. I found the starting point in Dinamite Team, under the wise and refreshing guidance of Dina and the rest is history. So, was that KO the worst moment of my career? Not by any chance, but definitely was the harshest one so far.
Your next fight in vs Anissa MEKSEN in France. It is a rematch. What have you learnt from your first fight ?
I’ve learned first hand she’s a superb fighter and I’ve learned I definitely want to be in that same stance.
What will you do differently to defeat Anissa ?
The fight rules will be different so my approach will be different as well but I cannot tell anything more or I would ruin the upcoming show, haha.
You fought several times for Portugal in IFMA or WMF championships. How important is it for you to represent your country ?
It’s always important to represent one’s country but unfortunately in Portugal our sport has little importance and all the medals the athletes bring home fall into oblivion.
Do you like this kind of competition ?
Yes, It’s always cool to change the routine and spend a week in a championship. The environment, the adrenaline, the contact with other cultures is always welcome. Besides, we can have more that one fight in only a week and that’s great to gain some more experience.
What medals/titles have you got ?
- Gold medal -57kg (WMF World Championship, 2013)
- Gold medal -57kg (WMF World Championship, 2014)
- Gold medal -57kg (WMF World Championship, 2015)
- Gold medal -57kg (WMF World Championship, 2016)
- Gold medal -54kg (IFMA European Championship, 2016)
- Silver medal -57kg (IFMA European Championship, 2010)
- Bronze medal -57kg (IFMA World Championship, 2010)
- World Champion k1 Pro -58kg WTKA
How could you describe your style as a fighter ?
I would say I’m a very good corner listener… Not joking now, I think I’m a technical aggressive fighter.
You also have your own style with short red hair. How did you decide to adopt this style ?
I have a crazy boyfriend who supports my even crazier ideas… When I was young I had a crazy punk phase that my mother never let me fulfil. That punk phase is gone but the desire to dye my hair never really went off. Adding to that desire I have Diogo who always preaches you must be true to yourself and do the things that make you happy. Well, having this kind of support and nuts ideas ended up in my pink hair.
What is you main goal in your career, in your life ?
I always say that in my career is to collect top athlete names in my curriculum. I want to be able to fight even with those top athletes, regardless of the fight result and, hopefully one day, be one of those top athletes someone wants to defeat. For me the most important thing is to be happy no matter what and live this life as I do is priceless. My goal in my life is living to the fullest an be able to enjoy every second of it.
Do you talk about a baby with Diogo ? For sure, he/she will be a great fighter ha ha !!
Haha. Definitely is a thing we both want but not for the nearest future for sure. Our careers are evolving and we want to enjoy them as much as we can so there will be no regrets when the time comes. At the end the baby will astonish us all and be a great scientist, hahaha.