One of the few men I have gotten to know since I have been a part of the MMA community and admired is Eddie Lallo. I once got-in-ear that he had a very interesting up bringing and was interested in finding out what his journey to MMA was like. Interesting enough, what I heard was not the half of it yet.

Here is what he had to say.

My name is Eddie Lallo, I'm a BJJ and MMA coach residing in Grassy (Grassy Park).

I had a bit of a difficult one - Speaking about is childhoodI grew up in Vrygrond a poverty stricken informal settlement near Muizenberg. My father and mother working hard to keep us afloat. Both my parents were alcoholics due to bad decisions made, but they did the best they could for us. People normally laugh when i tell them that, I use to eat with pigs, thinking I'm joking. As kids we would wait for the guy that use to drop the pigs food, so that we could also have a little to eat.

You would have to wrestle with pigs for their own food. No food in the house, going around to the "rich" peoples houses to beg for bread you know. Going to school with broken shoes and clothes, man it was hard..sjoe you taking me back now...wow

Yet here I am today man, by the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ man. He has brought me a mighty looong way..wow amazing. I think we all need to go back sometime, just to know how grateful we should be.

Growing up I was always saying to myself.."I don't want this, I can do better"
My motivation now is Christ, my family and people that influence me in any form or way.

I was always fascinated by the fighting arts. One day coming from school in Valhalla Park, I saw these young guys boxing outside and got hooked. - Boxing was Lallo's introduction to combat sport.

Do you remember the very first time you competed? Yes I do, I fought at a Dragon Power event. It was nerv wrecking. I was winning the fight handsdown, then got knocked out..lol..crazy

If I am correct, then you are predominantly a BJJ practitioner. Do you have
any titles and what grade do you currently have?Yes I do, I have won a few comps in my division, the latest being the Mother City Summer Open, The Winter Open, Gass Advance 1 division,etc.
I am a (Topgym/Gft)Purple Belt under Gft Black Belt Prof Quinton Arendse based in Hong Kong.

When speaking about people that supported him, he said...
I would have to put my wife Cheress Lallo up there. My current instructor and previous instructor Bjj Black Belt Prof Jadyson Costa. Last but not least my amazing students past and present, they keep me motivated to do what I do. 

Eddie Lallo still competes and currently trains out of Top Gym/GFT and they are located in the Southern Suburbs.

Gary Joshua(Cfl Bantan weight champion), Gary Bailey, Kurt Diest(K1) are a few of the fighters training under Lallo. He also has a few BJJ champions that train under him.

Outside of MMA, Lallo is a devoted christian that lives his life by the Word of God.

I devote a lot of my time in ministry, Gods word and the preaching thereof. I am also a musician,(my first love believe it or not...lmk 

Everything has a season,it will not always be the way it is now. I definitely believe that your past should not dictate your future. I also believe that above all things God wants us to prosper, you just have to believe in yourself.

Some people will at first not believe in you and your silly dreams, UNTIL you fulfill them! Reminds me of the BJJ Nationals in 2005.

Top Gym stopped training for a couple of months(moral was down). Then I decided to compete without training for 4 months, just to lift the guys spirits a bit (with only two supporters, my wife and baby girl Jodi). I lost to Abdul Hassan in the finals. But that changed Topgym forever.

It will be hard you know,because sometimes those close to you wont even believe in you. One just has to press through, believe, persevere and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you Eddie Lallo for sharing with us. True, sometimes no-one believes in you until you already reached your goals.

I truly find this inspiring, and hope someone out there, that's busy giving, feels the same and decides to persevere.

Article by Justin Smith

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