New York Times: MMA packs Brazilian churches

by Alexei Barrionuevo | source: new york times

Fight Nights and Reggae Pack Brazilian Churches

The atmosphere was electric at Reborn in Christ Church on “Extreme Fight” night. Churchgoers dressed in jeans and sneakers, many with ball caps turned backward, lined a makeshift boxing ring to cheer on bare-chested jujitsu fighters.

The church, whose name means snowball in Portuguese, was founded 10 years ago by avid surfers. It now claims some 100 chapters and has thousands of members.

They screamed when a fan favorite, Fabio Buca, outlasted his opponent after several minutes. They went wild when Pastor Dogão Meira, 26, took his man down, pinning him with an armlock just 10 seconds into the fight.

With the crowd still buzzing, Pastor Mazola Maffei, dressed in army pants and a T-shirt, grabbed a microphone. Pastor Maffei, who is also Pastor Meira’s fight trainer, then held the crowd rapt with a sermon about the connection between sports and spirituality.

“You need to practice the sport of spirituality more,” he urged. “You need to fight for your life, for your dreams and ideals.”

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Recent Comments »

CJJScout site profile image  

9/16/09 10:17 AM by CJJScout

Won't register, but want to read article. Decisions, decisions.

Krakatoa site profile image  

9/15/09 9:42 PM by Krakatoa

Submit to Jesus !! Great article

Hillary site profile image  

9/15/09 6:58 PM by Hillary

There were a lot of free church youth jiu jitsu programs I encountered down there. To each his own, better than on the streets/sketchy places I suppose.

jaseprobst site profile image  

9/15/09 6:55 PM by jaseprobst