ALEXANDRIA, Va. (ABC7) — In many different aspects of life, your mind and body tell you to quit.
Your heart will tell you to fight.
And that’s exactly what one Alexandria resident is doing and doing well.
“People they call me a lion because blood doesn’t scare me anymore,” Amine Ballafrikh said. “I just think about the person in front of me. I got to beat him mindly and physically.”
Amine “The Lion” Ballafrikh (boll-ugh-freak) is like an animal inside the ring.
He is a professional Muay Thai fighter in the lightweight division.
“I cannot picture a scenario in which he does not finish a fight,” trainer Rafferty Kelly said.
“You’re going to have to almost kill him to stop him,” Kelly said.
Born and raised in Morocco, Amine moved to the United States to follow a dream.
He had no money and couldn’t speak any English.
Now, he gets paid to fight.
“I feel like my mind is so strong when I say I want to do something, I don’t be lazy,” Ballafrikh said. “I get up and do it no matter what.”
The ring here at Capital MMA is basically Amine’s second home.
He’s here every day training, getting better and getting stronger.
Already a champion, Amine isn’t close to being satisfied as he wants even more.
“My goal is to be someone people can remember, someone who people can look to and inspire to have a good life,” Amine said.
The 26-year-old does that by helping train the next generation of fighters – a full circle experience of paying it forward.
“I look back and say, ‘Wow look where I was,’” Amine said. “This is nothing for me. I have nothing to lose. I just keep going, that’s what keeps me hungry.”