Prospect Watch: Joshua Culibao

Joshua Culibao’s martial arts journey started when his parents enrolled him in taekwondo classes to lose weight. A self-described “fat kid” who had a proclivity for white rice and second helpings, the undefeated featherweight prospect recounts how the extra kilos on his waistline paved the road to a career in MMA.

“Growing up in a Filipino house, every meal is rice,” he told, laughing. “You wake up to eggs and rice at breakfast. For lunch, you’re having chicken with rice. For dinner, you’re having another meal with rice. Every meal! We even have dessert that’s made out of rice! My parents didn’t know better. If you’re a kid, you’re getting fed the same as everyone else. It tastes nice, you want more.”

“So I was a pretty big kid growing up,” he said. “And [taekwondo] was something to do to help me lose weight and boost my confidence. As a teenager I wanted that confidence. I started to lose weight, started to feel good. Not only that, I was starting to beat up a lot of the adults in the class. That was a massive boost of confidence.”

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