‘I Got Into That Ship Knowing I Could Die’- MMA Fighter Opens Up About His Journey to Brazil in Hopes of Chasing His Dream

Published 12/25/2021, 8:00 AM EST


Many of the fighters that we see on the UFC roster have fought their way from rags to riches to get to where they are today. Not everyone has it easy. Some have starved and slogged and have done the oddest of jobs to make ends meet. Some famous examples are Charles Oliveira, Francis Ngannou, and Conor McGregor. Another inspiring story we have for you is the one of Mohamed Camara. 

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Another lesser-known fighter who shared his inspirational story with the media is the African fighter, Mohamed Camara. Camara was born in Guinea, a country in West Africa. He grew up with very little money and risked his life to chase the dream of being an MMA fighter.

According to a report from MMA Junkie, the fighter risked his life and snuck his way into Brazil to follow his MMA dream. 

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Camara said, “I looked for the best way to get to Brazil, but never had the chance. I would always go to the port with food in my backpack looking for an opportunity, but never had one.”

One day, Camara went down to the port and saw a ship that was heading to Salvador, he gave the guard all his money and snuck his way into the cargo ship. “I got inside a deck crane and stayed over a propeller fan. That was, by far, the scariest thing because I didn’t realize it was a machine until it turned on,” he said. “It almost cut my belly open. I was afraid of slipping and getting stuck in there.”

He even said, “I got into that ship knowing I could die.”

He saved himself that day as the crane stopped but was stuck on the ship with no food for over six days and 22 hours. The captain later found him on the ship and was about to throw him out. They kept him locked in the room and fed him once a day. 

How Mohamed Camara started fighting out of Brazil

When he landed in Brazil he went to juvenile court, where he apparently lied about being 17 even though he was 14. Camara did this to save himself from being deported. After beating his case, the African joined a football club.

He played well for the Associacao Atletica Banco do Brasil and got offered a spot in one of the biggest clubs in the country. But he turned it down to chase his dream of being a fighter.

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Camara told his adoptive parents about his dream. He went on to join Luiz Carlos Dorea’s Champion team in Salvador and trained hard at the gym. Camara joined Nova Uniao in Rio de Janeiro under the wing of his trainer and then competed in Brazil’s famous MMA promotion ‘Shooto’. His professional record stands at 3 wins and 1 loss.

What do you think of Camara’s journey? let us know.

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Pranit Punjabi

296 articles

Pranit Punjabi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. A third-year psychology major, this Khabib Nurmagomedov fan merged his interest in psychology with his deep passion for MMA and was intrigued by this new angle to help him get closer to the action. Pranit aims to look through the violence and chaos, into what makes MMA truly beautiful, the deep and rich psychological aspect of the game.

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