ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

Gage Zupke photo

Gage Zupke photo

Gage Zupke photo

Gage Zupke photo

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Name: Gage Zupke 

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Major: Electrical Engineering

Sport: Muay Thai, MMA (mixed martial arts) and Wrestling

When did you start martial arts? 

I was a wrestler in high school, then I joined MMA here [at UW-Platteville], and I’ve been doing Muay Thai in Dubuque for a year and a half now.

Do you remember your first Muay Thai match?

My first fight was last summer at the GBA Muay Thai tournament. I lost the first match versus the guy who ended up winning. He said I was the hardest fight of the tournament.

How do you prepare physically and mentally for a fight?

Physically, you have to compete against yourself. You look at yourself and need to be better than the day before. Mentally, I couldn’t tell you. Everybody has their own thing. [For me], it comes from confidence and practice.

Do you have advice for new people taking up martial arts? 

I would say it looks intimidating, but if you give it a shot, it can be a lot of fun. It looks like a lot of guys punching things but there are a lot of opportunities to learn and compete. Don’t be intimidated by it.

What’s your favorite part of MMA club? 

I really enjoy watching people come in, and in a semester, you can see the progress they made. It’s awe inspiring. This one kid came in knowing nothing, no background or anything, and now he’s one of the best in the club.

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