Five Lesser-Known Facts About Joshua Culibao

Oh, the tales of transformation and the rich lore that shapes a fighter’s legacy in the Ultimate Fighting Championship are something else. Let’s talk about Joshua Culibao. This guy’s journey from a hefty 220-pound frame to stepping into the UFC octagon is nothing short of captivating.

Culibao, hailing from Australia, made his mark with an impressive eight-fight winning streak. What’s surprising? He transitioned from potentially fighting in the middleweight or light heavyweight divisions to making the 145-pound weight class his domain. However, his latest fight didn’t go as planned, suffering a unanimous decision loss to Lerone Murphy. This was a bit of a setback after bagging three straight wins from 2021 to 2023.

Now, “Kuya” Culibao is on the edge, gearing up for a chance to climb back up. He’s set to face Danny Silva at UFC Fight Night 239 in Las Vegas. Before we dive into the fight, here are five intriguing tidbits about Culibao you might not know:

1. Filipino roots run deep in Culibao’s veins. Born the youngest of four in a Filipino family, his mom’s from the picturesque Boracay, while his dad’s from Pampanga. His nickname, “Kuya,” was coined at Sydney’s Igor MMA gym, a place known for its tight-knit community and Filipino traditions.

2. Talk about a drastic weight cut. At 15, Culibao tipped the scales at 220 pounds. He turned to Brazilian jiu-jitsu during the football offseason, aiming for fitness and self-improvement. Little did he know, this was the beginning of his love affair with mixed martial arts. Fast forward a year, and his dedication had not only shed the pounds but also caught his coach’s eye, earning him a spot in the cage.

3. Culibao’s heroes played a big part in his journey. A chance encounter at a seafood restaurant with a flyer changed his life. Inspired by martial arts legends like Bruce Lee and the iconic Manny Pacquiao, Culibao saw a path to both financial stability and personal fulfillment.

4. He wasn’t just a fan; he was a student of the game. Growing up, Culibao looked up to pioneers like Royce Gracie, Georges St-Pierre, Matt Hughes, and B.J. Penn. He spent countless hours watching old fights, absorbing every technique and strategy. This deep dive into the sport’s history wasn’t just a pastime; it was preparation for his future in MMA.

5. Culibao knows a thing or two about juggling priorities. Before MMA took center stage, he was an electrician, clocking in over 40 hours a week. Yet, he never let his dream of fighting fade away. Balancing a full-time job with intense training sessions, Culibao’s story is a testament to his resilience and determination.

So, there you have it. Joshua Culibao’s journey is a blend of hard work, heritage, and sheer will. As he prepares for his next bout, it’s clear that every step he’s taken has been a building block to where he stands today.

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