Written By: Zach Champ
Cover Photo Originally By Mike The Truth
Article Photos Provided By JP St. Louis
One of the most popular sports in the world right now is MMA or mixed martial arts.
MMA has revolutionized competitive fighting, and today large leagues like the UFC have become big-name brands and are widely recognized alongside MMA’s top athletes such as Daniel Cormier, Randy Couture, Anderson Silva, and others!
Hoodie Goodies wanted to learn more, so we recently met with one professional fighter from the DMV named JP St. Louis who is working their way up the ranks to the big leagues!
We took the time to interview JP and discuss with him how he first got involved in martial arts, the relationship between fighting and art, the challenges to becoming a professional fighter, and more!
Read JP's story below in our ‘Interview with the Artist’ article, only on Hoodie Goodies!
HI, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US!
CAN YOU START BY TELLING US WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU COME FROM?
JP St. Louis: “Hey everyone, my name is Jean-Pierre Saint Louis a.k.a JP Saint Louis.”
JP St. Louis: “I currently am a professional fighter training out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Roufusport MMA Academy.”
JP St. Louis: “Originally, I’m from the DMV. I was born in Baltimore, Maryland which is where my family lived for most of my childhood, as well as nearby Montgomery County, Maryland.”
JP St. Louis: “Around the time I was a teenager my family moved again, this time south to Fredericksburg, Virginia where I would eventually end up graduating from high school and living for a few years as a young adult."
CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
JP St. Louis: “Sure thing! As I mentioned before, I am a professional fighter. I currently train out of Roufusport MMA Academy located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I moved to Wisconsin from my hometown in Virginia in late 2015 to pursue my dream of being a competitive fighter and have been here ever since.”
JP St. Louis: “I like to refer to myself jokingly as a ‘barber', haha, I give people ‘fades’ *lol*.”
JP. St. Louis: “I have always had an interest in Martial Arts ever since I was young. A year after I graduated high school, I began training at local gyms in Fredericksburg, Virginia as a hobby.”
JP St. Louis: “Training at these gyms, I began to learn more about the world of competitive fighting. I knew that Mixed Martial Arts was a growing sport, and of course, I had seen UFC fights on television and pay-per-view with friends and family. I found myself becoming increasingly intrigued by the idea and thought it would be cool to one day fight competitively for sport.”
JP St. Louis: “At the same time, I was also hesitant and a little reluctant to express this goal of mine. I didn’t know where to begin my journey, or what to focus on. I just had a desire to learn how to fight.”
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH MIXED MARTIAL ARTS?
JP St. Louis: “I started training and practicing Mixed Martial Arts when I lived in Virginia.”
JP St. Louis: “I’ve always been interested in fighting. When I was younger, I would participate in play boxing and bathroom fights for fun with other students and my friends after school.”
JP St. Louis: “When I was in Virginia, a year after graduating high school, I found a gym called The Cave which was located near the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds. I began training here with two friends of mine from high-school.”
JP St. Louis: “At first, we would just mess around with the kicking bags and gear. We were not taking classes or being taught by a teacher. Instead, we were just taking advantage of the training space, equipment, and indulging this side-interest of ours, and easing into the whole sport at our own pace. It was more about having fun and doing something new rather than being serious.”
JP St. Louis: “After a few weeks of playing around in that one gym, I decided that I wanted to learn from a skilled and experienced mentor. I had researched and discovered another gym in the area called Fredericksburg Judo Club (now called Wall to Wall Martial Arts).”
JP St. Louis: “While training at Wall to Wall Martial Arts I found that I enjoyed the martial art of Judo. This further spurred my interest in learning mixed martial arts.”
JP St. Louis: “A few months after I joined Wall to Wall Martial Arts, I met a fellow student, Dean Lavin, who was a kick-boxer."
JP St. Louis: "Dean was trying to start a kickboxing class at the gym and other students were encouraged to participate. I took the class out of curiosity and fun and I found that I enjoyed kickboxing as well! This officially began my interdisciplinary approach to training in martial arts.”
JP St. Louis: “When I was training at Wall to Wall Martial Arts, I had initially told my coach that I had no interest in competitive fighting. Instead, my goal was to learn martial arts for self-defense and combat.”
JP St. Louis: “In order to get the level of training I desired I began practicing with the competitive fighters in our gym. My coach would even have me test my skills and spar with some of the gym’s local fighters.”
JP St. Louis: “To my surprise, I discovered I could hold my own pretty well against these other fighters. I even was even getting the better on a few of my opponents!”
JP St. Louis: “Seeing my potential, my coach tried to convince me to give amateur kickboxing a shot.”
JP St. Louis: “I was still a student working on getting my associate’s degree at Germanna Community College during this time.”
JP St. Louis: “I had asked my Dad in the past about amateur and professional fighting and he wasn’t a big fan of it."
JP St. Louis: "My Dad immigrated to America from Haiti, and he has always been a huge role model for me growing up. He’s always worked hard and ever since I was a kid, he’s stressed the importance to me of getting a good job or career to make a living from. He didn’t think sports were a serious occupation."
JP St. Louis: "He thought fighting was too risky and wasn’t consistent enough. Instead, my Dad suggested I should focus on school. I was living with my parents at the time, so I didn’t want to risk upsetting them.”
JP St. Louis: “So I respected his wishes and focused on school, but I was still training in my free time and I just knew that I wanted to do MMA.”
JP St. Louis: “However, I learned one day about an upcoming local fight event. Fighters from the area were encouraged to sign up, and I knew I really wanted to participate. I decided to put my name down and register for the event.”
JP St. Louis: “When I eventually told my Dad, he got really upset with me and we argued. I felt really bad, yet at the same time I was still determined to participate in the fight.”
JP St. Louis: “During my first fight I was very nervous. I wasn’t sure what would happen, whether I would win or lose. Then within the first few moments of the match, I was able to get a TKO on my opponent, and his assistant in the corner of the ring immediately threw in the towel… suddenly the crowd was hype!”
JP St. Louis: “At this point, I was going to myself, “Oh shit this is fun!” and I was hooked! I knew I wanted to keep doing amateur fighting right then and there.”
WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE FROM VIRGINIA TO WISCONSIN TO PURSUE MIXED MARTIAL ARTS & PROFESSIONAL FIGHTING?
JP St. Louis: “After going to Germanna Community College for two years, I got accepted to both Virginia Commonwealth University and George Mason University. While most people would normally be excited about these opportunities, I was stressed out because I didn’t know how college would affect my ability to keep training to become a professional fighter.”
JP St. Louis: “I decided eventually to drop out of school and focus on fighting. I honestly felt this was the best decision for me at the time. I wasn’t interested in school at the time and still wasn’t sure of what I wanted to study and get my degree in. I just knew I liked fighting and just wanted to do what I enjoyed doing.”
JP St. Louis: “Shortly thereafter, in 2013, I learned about a kickboxing clinic that was going to be held in Milwaukee Wisconsin at the Roufusport MMA Academy. Duke Rufus, who was the head coach, was considered to be one of the best Muay Thai and kickboxing coaches in America. He also is regarded highly for being an expert striking instructor.”
JP St. Louis: “I had heard of Roufusport MMA Academy before this because they were known for having trained some of the WEC’s best fighters including Erik Koch and Anthony Pettis. They were legit! The caliber of their fighters was top notch. I wanted to train and fight as they did!”
JP St. Louis: “I told my kickboxing coach at Wall to Wall Martial Arts about the event to see if it was something we would be able to plan for and attend. He was excited about it as well, and we went ahead and made our reservations.”
JP St. Louis: “In order to save money for the upcoming clinic, I worked a holiday job with UPS and worked as a server part-time at Applebees. I did this for like two months to save up enough to travel to Milwaukee.”
JP St. Louis: “When we finally went, we were all excited. Our visit would last all weekend long, so we arrived in Milwaukee early Friday morning."
JP St. Louis: "That Friday afternoon was the professional fighting team's practice training session, and I was lucky enough to be able to participate."
JP St. Louis: "During the training session, they held a handful of sparring sessions and I got a chance to test my skills against some of the fighters. I had my ass handed to me several times… they were tough!”
JP St. Louis: “The next day on Saturday was the kickboxing clinic. The kickboxing clinic was a several hours long session of learning different drills and techniques, working with expert instructors, and then finishing with more sparring to implement and practice the newly learned kicks and moves."
JP St. Louis: "The majority of the training was partner-based and I learned a lot from Coach Roufus. I distinctively remember Coach Roufus being cool very approachable, and super friendly, even inviting me back any time I wanted to visit. It was a great experience!”
JP St. Louis: “My experience at the open clinic made me realize that Roufusport MMA Academy was where I wanted to train, especially if I was serious about wanting to be a professional fighter."
JP St. Louis: "I had never gotten the same kind of in-depth and focused training that I received while participating in the open clinic. It was after I got home and was reflecting on how much fun I had and how much I had learned that I decided I was going to move to Wisconsin.”
JP St. Louis: “So I started planning and even got a job at Geico so I could earn enough money to save for my new goal. Working at Geico also helped me gain valuable job experience working in an office environment, something I made sure to plan for in case fighting didn’t work out for me. During this time I also got corrective surgery done on my arm from a past injury so I would be fully prepared to train and fight. It was all a matter of working and patiently waiting after that.”
JP St. Louis: “I ended up moving to Wisconsin on June 26th, 2015.”
JP St. Louis: “When I packed up and moved to Wisconsin I had no job lined up, I had no house or apartment to rent. The only thing I had planned was when I got there I was going to head straight to the gym. I told myself that I would figure out where I was going to sleep after I got out of practice at the gym!”
JP St. Louis: “That’s how dedicated I was, and I’ve been here ever since.”
HOW IS FIGHTING AN ART?
HOW IS FIGHTING A LIFESTYLE?
JP St. Louis: “Most forms of art are about expression, and fighting for me is the ultimate form of physical expression alongside dance and maybe athleticism.”
JP St. Louis: “You are only focused on the other person when you are in the ring, you have no one to help you... it’s just you, your body, and your mind. It’s the ultimate test of your abilities and character.”
JP St. Louis: “I believe fighting reveals who you REALLY are, what your true nature is.”
JP St. Louis: “Are you a quitter? Are you a warrior? Do you dominate, or do you get intimidated? Do you crumble at adversity or thrive under pressure? These are the types of questions that become answered when fighting.”
JP St. Louis: “I compare fighting to a human chess match or like a dance. You have to understand the rhythm and tempo of the action. You want to control the pace of the action and the back and forth between offense and defense. You have to find stability in the chaos and get in the groove of things.”
JP St. Louis: “Fighters are not violent or scary people. We are not mindless barbarians bent on causing destruction and hurting people. This is just a misconception. Professional fighters are athletes, and like with any other sport, we are motivated by the same goals as any other athlete.”
JP St. Louis: “We all want to be the best, we want to prove our worth, we want to develop our skills to the next level, we want to put our hometown on the map, we want to make our families proud… all of these are motivating factors for us as professional fighters.”
JP St. Louis: “Quite a few of my teammates and peers have college degrees, and we all work in other jobs outside of fighting. Many of us are members of our community here in Milwaukee, and many of us also raise families.”
JP St. Louis: “I don’t have to be a professional fighter. It’s not like I am forced to do this for a living or occupation because I have nothing else available to me. I have other skills and talents that could take me far in life."
JP St. Louis: “The reason I choose to fight is that I LOVE FIGHTING! It’s a thrill for me, and I want to become the best!”
JP St. Louis: “Humans at their core are violent. We are animals after all.”
JP St. Louis: “People generally get excited and aroused by three main things: by sex, by fear, and by violence. In fighting, we get aroused by the fear and the violence. Perhaps this is why MMA, UFC, and other combat and fighting sports are becoming widely popular in America and abroad."
JP St. Louis: “People love to watch fights, and they always have. Just consider the ancient Romans and the gladiators fighting in the coliseum... Or think of how popular boxing has been in America for decades. Fighting is part of being human. The rise and growth of MMA and prizefighting reflect this.”
JP St. Louis: “I enjoy the tense, anxious moments before a fight. It’s like the calm before the storm... then suddenly, bam! Those are the moments I want to be good at and in full control of. I guess you could call me an adrenaline junky.”
JP St. Louis: “Everyone likes to run to watch or record a fight when they are in public, but people rarely will try and intervene to break them up. It’s human nature for us, we like to watch moments like this even though they are not socially accepted.”
JP St. Louis: “However, there is an important point I want to make to balance everything I just said about our fascination with violence… I don’t think mixed martial arts encourages violent behavior or condones it for that matter.”
JP St. Louis: “All the martial arts I have ever participated in have always stressed the key importance of having strong, well-defined morals and ethics like self-discipline, self-control, respect towards others and elders, patience and tolerance, and so on. I don’t think there is a single martial art out there that doesn’t emphasize teaching it’s students a code of ethics."
JP St. Louis: “Young men will often try and act tough around other people to impress their friends and peers. I don’t feel like I have to prove my manhood by disrespecting other individuals to feel tough. I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I’ve proven myself several times in the ring. I know my true power, so I don’t have any false sense of bravado.”
WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES TO BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL FIGHTER?
JP St. Louis: “In my opinion, becoming a professional fighter is easy, I don’t think people should think it’s not a realistic personal goal."
JP St. Louis: "Anyone can become a professional fighter if they are determined and committed to this goal.”
JP St. Louis: “I only had 10 amateur fights total before I became a licensed fighter, so it’s not a long process by any means.”
JP St. Louis: “Getting your actual professional MMA license, is very simple and easy. When I lived in Virginia, professional fighting was one of the careers which fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of Occupational Regulations (DPOR).”
JP St. Louis: “To apply for a license to be a professional fighter, you have to complete and submit an application with the Department of Occupational Regulations whose main office is located in Richmond, Virginia.”
JP St. Louis: “The biggest challenge to becoming a professional fighter is commitment and consistency even in the face of adversity.”
JP St. Louis: “You have to be willing to sacrifice to grow. I moved to a completely different state that I never had lived in, where I had no family or friends to pursue my dream.”
JP St. Louis: “At the end of the day, any fighter has to realize that pursuing the professional route is a grind."
JP St. Louis: "There are no early rewards or big payouts unless you are somehow able to become famous and make a name for yourself quickly. Even then, you can’t expect to gain clout right away, even if you are extremely talented."
JP St. Louis: "You just have to focus on training, practicing, and staying persistent in your routine.”
JP St. Louis: “I started my practicing mixed martial arts as a young adult. You have to realize that there are athletes out there who have been training in martial arts since they were young kids! One day they will get a contract with my name on it, and if I am facing an opponent like that then I don’t want to have slacked on my own training.”
JP St. Louis: “With that being said you are not going to win every fight. This is something I experienced myself last year going into this year. Defeat can be crushing, but you have to stay mentally strong, you can’t give up when faced with tough obstacles.”
JP St. Louis: “In 2018, I lost both of my professional fights, and up until that point I had never lost any of my professional fights. I thought I was invincible until those fights… my confidence was completely shattered!”
JP St. Louis: “I realized you have to bounce back and just focus on becoming better. Yet, it took me a long time to heal because of my hurt pride and ego. I wasn’t confident enough to start my training again. My mental health suffered, and I was definitely depressed.”
JP St. Louis: “I had to take the time to think deeply, process my thoughts and feelings, and meditate. My teammates were very supportive and helped me during this time. They provided me with constructive criticism and knew how to give me my space and help me move past the losses.”
JP St. Louis: “Ultimately though after working past all my negative emotions and self-doubt, I started thinking about how I could redeem and improve myself, and continue my goal of becoming the best fighter I can be. I just got back into the gym and started training on the skills I needed to develop and began taking more classes.”
JP St. Louis: “My parents always told me no matter what you do, be the best at it (even though they didn’t know that would end up being MMA and fighting) *lol*."
JP St. Louis: “My opportunity to reclaim victory came on March 23rd, 2019 when I had to fight against an opponent that was on a 4-0 win streak!"
JP St. Louis: "I had some self-doubt because I still wasn’t sure if I would be able to win again after my back to back defeats... but I had previously committed to participate in this fight and several resources had by this point been invested in the event. I think I had anxiety for the first time in my life!”
JP St. Louis: “Despite the odds, my hard work and training paid off when I won the fight! After my hiatus, I was now back on track to accomplish my goals."
JP St. Louis: "I ended up finishing the rest of the year defeating all my opponents, and reclaiming a name for myself as a legitimate prospect!”
WHAT IS BEING A PROFESSIONAL FIGHTER LIKE?
WHAT NUISANCES DO YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT YOU DIDN’T REALIZE WOULD BE PART OF PROFESSIONAL FIGHTING?
JP St. Louis: “The level of training required to become a professional athlete can be intense. When you are constantly training every day for weeks on end it can become tedious and time-consuming.”
JP St. Louis: “I train 7 days a week, Monday through Saturday, at Roufusport MMA Academy. My head coaches are Duke Roufus, Scott Cushman, Daniel Wanderley, and Joe Nichols. Typically, my training includes Jiu-Jitsu classes as well as an additional ‘pro practice’ class where I work with fighters from other disciplines.”
JP St. Louis: “I also do strength training twice a week, generally waking up and getting ready for the gym by 8 am. When I am strength-training I will train for 2 hours before going home for lunch and prepare myself for the afternoon’s practice.”
JP St. Louis: “Sometimes Roufusport MMA Academy will have guest teachers from other schools come to visit and share their unique martial art or athletic training. Those days are fun and I love attending those classes. That’s why I like Roufusport MMA Academy so much, they have such a diverse group of people that come and train here from all over. You can learn so much here.”
JP St. Louis: “I train hard and take different classes so I can become the best fighter I can. My goal as a fighter is to have as many different skill sets as possible. Fighting is a science, and there are many skill sets related to fighting for students to master. A professional fighter always has a new skill to focus on developing and mastering.”
JP St. Louis: “When I am preparing for an upcoming fight, most of the time I will focus my training specifically around the opponent I will be facing and their fighting style. I look at what kind of techniques they rely upon the most. I try and center my training around drills that will allow me to anticipate and react to those actions.”
JP St. Louis: “However, training like this can be very time consuming, and I may not always have the time to prepare for fights in this manner. As a result, I try to just consistently focus on practicing in a way that allows me to become a well-developed, comprehensive fighter skilled in a variety of disciplines. In this way, I am continuously investing in my future.”
JP St. Louis: “Most of our students at Roufusport MMA Academy are regular everyday people with an interest in martial arts, self-defense, and health & fitness."
JP St. Louis: "Not everyone there is a professional fighter, despite the fact that our gym offers specialty training and classes for pros.”
JP St. Louis: “At Roufusport MMA Academy, we focus on helping train people in core competencies and to help them develop and focus on their form and technique. We have a variety of fighters from all backgrounds, trained in a wide variety of martial arts.”
JP St. Louis: “One aspect of professional fighting that most athletes may overlook is that there is a decent amount of medical paperwork involved with every fight.”
JP St. Louis: “Every fighter has to receive a full medical examination including a physical and eye exam before they are permitted to step into the ring. There is a huge liability for both companies, venues, and the fighters themselves, so this is taken very seriously. It is not unheard of for people to die in MMA. Fighters are also required to have blood tests performed to verify that they don’t have any blood-borne diseases. If you are fighting in the ring, you are taking definitely a risk... anything can happen.”
JP St. Louis: “For an adrenaline-inducing and action-packed sport, there can be plenty of mundane, and downright boring matters that fighters will need to consider before starting training and practice.”
JP St. Louis: “Most fighter’s don’t have the luxury of being able to jump right into a professional career for a living. You will still need a day job as a professional fighter. Most professional fights only have payouts ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, and those winnings have to be split amongst the fighter, his manager, and gym fees. It can take several years to develop enough clout to fight in more prominent leagues.”
JP St. Louis: “Because fighting requires several hours of practice every day, I had some difficulty finding a job that would work with my training schedule.”
JP St. Louis: “Luckily, because I focused on completing school as my Dad had insisted, I was able to get my bachelor’s degree. Using my degree, I was able to gain a job as a Network Operations Technician.”
JP St. Louis: “Working in Informational Technology I discovered was perfect for my side pursuit as a professional fighter because most of my work is done overnight. I’m able to keep my daytime schedule open for training and working out.”
JP St. Louis: “Besides, working in IT allowed me to gain essential white-collar office skills that I can rely upon if I ever got injured and couldn’t fight anymore. In all regards, I consider myself very much a normal working person, just I train full-time on the side to fight professionally as my passion.”
JP St. Louis: “As fighters, we are responsible for handling all of our marketing, advertising, and transporting ourselves to and from events. Generally speaking, the role of your gym is to provide a place to practice with training resources and expert instructors. Therefore if you are trying to become a professional fighter you also have to learn about how to develop your brand as a fighter and create a following from that brand.”
JP St. Louis: “In the world of professional fighting there are several organized leagues that fighters can compete in.”
JP St. Louis: “This includes the LFA (Legacy Fighting Alliance), the PFL (Professional Fight League) and the UFC. All of these leagues have significant jackpots and cash prizes for competing fighters, making them highly lucrative ventures for athletes.”
JP St. Louis: “Winning just one of these fights in these premiere leagues can be well worth the time and energy invested in training and preparing for the fight… and then some!”
WHAT HAS MIXED MARTIAL ARTS AND COMPETITIVE FIGHTING TAUGHT YOU AS A PERSON?
JP St. Louis: “I think Martial Arts has taught me a little bit about everything to be honest... *lol*.”
JP St. Louis: “One thing that stands out for me, is that from a young age my dad would constantly try to force me to think critically about things. As a professional fighter, I have to apply this mindset both in and out of the ring. You have to think critically about your training, your opponents, your fights, everything.”
JP St. Louis: “I mentioned before you have to invest in yourself. This is part of having a growth mindset. You want to constantly be creating small goals for yourself and working towards completing them. Developing basic goals and incrementally challenging yourself towards more ambitious goals is the key to well-paced success. You want to build your vision for yourself on a foundation of smaller accomplishments.”
JP St. Louis: “For any serious, lifelong passion or pursuit, I think you need to have a sense of what real sacrifice means. Not everyone can afford or has the time to pursue their goals every day as I do. To chase your dream you have to be willing to sacrifice in order to achieve.”
JP St. Louis: “To become a professional fighter I had to move away from my home state and leave everyone I knew including my friends and family. I have to train every day. I have very little free time to pursue other hobbies and interests.”
JP St. Louis: “Becoming a professional fighter is a commitment. It requires hard work. You have to constantly be focused on growing and becoming a better version of yourself, physically and mentally. Even learning martial arts as a normal student requires this same level of dedication and perseverance.”
JP St. Louis: “Not everyone that starts Karate or Taekwondo gets there black belt… only the most committed do! The same goes for professional championships and tournaments.”
JP St. Louis: “My time training in martial arts and competing as a professional fighter has taught me to appreciate the little things and to express gratitude more in my life.”
JP St. Louis: “Mixed martial arts and professional fighting have taught me humility. I can remember when I had my first pro practice at Roufusport MMA Academy and I was sparring with all the different fighters. I got beat up by everyone!”
JP St. Louis: “I’ve used to being one of the toughest dudes back home in Virginia and when I had that experience during my first pro practice it shocked me and made me realize that there is always someone stronger and faster than you.”
JP St. Louis: “I’m very self-aware of my emotional health, and believe it is important to be in tune with your feelings. I think most men lie to themselves about how they feel and it’s unhealthy.”
JP St. Louis: “When I lost both my fights, they were live-streamed online so all my friends and family back home witnessed what happened. I was embarrassed, but at the end of the day, its moment’s like that are either going to break you or you overcome them and move on to do bigger and better.”
JP St. Louis: “When I lost both of my fights back to back it felt like for the first time in my life I had a real insurmountable obstacle or challenge. I was completely crushed! Yet, despite all the obstacles I was able to persevere and become stronger because of my experience.”
JP St. Louis: “No matter what happens, I have to keep pushing forward because I have sacrificed so much to get to where I am today. I moved away from my home to pursue this dream, I can’t come back with my tail between my legs!”
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2020?
JP St. Louis: “This upcoming February 21st I have my first fight of the year, which is with the Legacy Fighting Alliance. I am looking to extend my cumulative win streak from 3 fights to a 4!”
JP St. Louis: “In the meantime, I am working on getting better every day, and focusing on being the best fighter I can. I want to let the time I’ve spent preparing and training, in addition to my skills as an athlete to speak for itself.”
JP St. Louis: “To this date, I have never won an MMA fight without finishing someone. I don’t intend to break that trend any time soon.”
JP St. Louis: “One thing I ask myself all the time is “Fighting is an entertainment sport, what is setting you apart from everyone else?”
JP St. Louis: “I think this is the secret formula that many fighters are missing… If we focus on providing more entertainment with our fights this will make the sport grow through increased attendance and new fans!”
JP St. Louis: “My goal for 2020 is to keep developing myself into a smart fighter who is extremely dangerous. I want to be a master of my craft, and I still have a ways to go.”
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
JP St. Louis: “I wanted to mention this if possible… As a Haitian and Black Man, one of my goals is to set an example for all the kids from my community and from other minority communities.”
JP St. Louis: “I want black youth who may be reading this to know that you too can be book-smart, educated, and highly intelligent (and you should strive to be!); but that you can also still use slang if you want! You can still do all our dances, wear du-rags, sag your pants a little, and do all the things that are normal in our culture but frowned upon by the mainstream and privileged society. Don’t be afraid to embrace your culture!”
JP St. Louis: “You don’t have to hide parts of your culture to assimilate. And being someone who is in corporate life (my job is a Fortune 500 company), I’m also someone who is deeply connected and in touch with my people’s culture. Not to mention that I am a competitive fighter… you can still be you and do the things that you want to do! Don't be afraid to express who you are, you can always still be successful in life and be who you are.”
JP St. Louis: “I hope that my story that I shared with you all today is an inspirational example about how possible it is to chase your dreams and still work a normal ‘big-boy’ job. You don’t have to live your life just in a box. Be yourself, and chase your dreams, and always rep the culture!”
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