Five in Five with Ata Fakalelu

How did you get into martial arts and fight sports?

I got banned from rugby and suspended from league at the same time, so for a few months, I had nothing to do...(laughs) I ended up going to a fight gym instead, and picked up kickboxing first. My family and uncles were boxers, so I already had a bit of a boxing background growing up in the islands."

Can you tell us four words to sum up a great fighter?

A great fighter...would be dedicated, with the right attitude, an open mind, and a decent trainer.

In your opinion, as a fighter and champion, is it better to be respected or feared?

It's better to be respected, because fear doesn't last long but respect does, it can last forever, plus, the respect goes down to your kids too!

Your favourite fighter is Ramon Dekkers?

Yep, because he was very smart and very technical, you know? And he fought anyone, and asked questions later, like the people in my village back in the islands!"

How important is it to watch your opponent's old fights (on YouTube, for example)?

It's very important, so that we can see what we're working with, and so we don't walk in there blind

Catch all the action this Saturday in Wellington at Roar Fight Night 3 -

Written by Sam. S