“The Max Murderer” Maximo Blanco is a star in the world of Japanese Mixed Martial Arts. The 27 year old Venezuelan first made his name in the world of Combat Sports as a freestyle wrestler. He won a bronze medal in the 60kg division at the 2007 Pan American games and earned a scholarship to wrestle at the college level in Japan.

After failing to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic games, he made the jump into Mixed Martial Arts by being recruited by Sengoku, and began training at the legendary Yoshida Dojo in Japan. He became an instant star and has won over fans worldwide with his brutal and exciting brand of fighting. With help from my friend Nick Hernandez, Maximo Blanco was able to take some time out of his busy schedule to talk exclusively to you readers here at LowKick.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview Maximo. For those who don't know, how did you discover martial arts?

Before we go further in this interview, I would like to thank you guys for this opportunity and for telling so many people about me. To me, Martial Arts is everything and I’ve been wrestling for many years.

Before entering the world of Mixed Martial Arts, you wrestled in school. Why did you decide to enter MMA professionally?

I was a nationally selected wrestler in Venezuela for 3 years, 2005 to 2008 until I lost the qualifications to go to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It was then when I decided to retire from wrestling and fight in Mixed Martial Arts.

All of your professional fights have been in Japan and today you live in Tokyo. What is life in the Land of the Rising Sun like?

I still haven't had the opportunity to fight outside Japan but I hope to soon. Life in Japan is good, but if you have money it's great. Without money, it's a little difficult. What I love the most about Japan is the food, the sushi is the best! I also really love the convenience of many stores and restaurants being open 24/7.

Venezuela is a country known for its soccer players and baseball players. We also can’t forget the world class boxers that have come out of Venezuela. What is the combat sports scene like today in native land?

I’m not really sure, but I do know that many people have started to train and fight MMA in Venezuela.

If you could fight anyone in history or fiction who would you fight?

If I could fight anyone? Hmmmmm…..I would like to fight in the movie 300, maybe have a part in 300 II and defend Sparta from the Persian Empire!

Do you have any interest or ambition to fight in the United States? If you could choose, would it be for the UFC or Strikeforce?

Of course! I'm dying to win in the United States. If I could choose, I would pick the UFC.

A friend of mine was tweeting with Strikeforce ex-champion Josh Thomson and he asked Josh about a potential fight with you. He answered with, "Who's Maximo Blanco?”. You're a very popular fighter in Japan. Would you like to say something to Josh Thomson or those who haven't seen you fight yet?

Hi Josh, my name is Maxi! I'll do the rest of the talking in the octagon (laughs). 

Do you have any fighters that enjoy watching or admire?

Yes, I admire Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, Frank Mir and Georges St. Pierre.

Who would you like to fight in the future? Anyone specific?

Tatsuya Kawajiri!

The fans have given you the nickname “The Max Murderer” and a lot of people compare your style to the legend Wanderlei Silva. What do you think about that? Do you like the nickname?

It's good, I like it a lot!

Before we finish off this interview, do you have anything to say to your fans, any shoutouts?

To all my fans, I’d like to thank you for all the praise you've given me and I hope you continue to support me. In my fight this past December against Wong Sik Park at Soul of Fight, I received a small injury to my knee and for that reason, I haven't fought since. But I'm recovering now and improving my techniques every day!

I'd like to thank Nick Hernandez for setting up this awesome interview and translating from Spanish to English. I encourage you all to follow him on Twitter @HurrkaDurrp

Photo taken by Taro Irei