By Felix Rodriguez | Cover photo via Jermaine Anugwom
Coxinha gearing up to make a run promoting fights in the near future
COLLEGE STATION, TX, May 14, 2014 – Where would Texas be without the progressive coaches, promoters, etc. who do much of the work behind the scenes? Those individuals need to be recognized for their efforts in making Texas what it is in reference to combat sports, and so TXMMA.com will be profiling some of these individuals from time to time.
In focus today is Windy Sport and Fitness’ Jermaine Coxinha Anugwom.
The Muay Thai scene in Texas is slowly growing more and more in popularity. Practitioners like Saekson Janjira, Kru Pong, Michael Chase Corley, Saul Soliz and Bob ‘The General’ Perez, among many others across the state have done their part to spread the love for the Art of Eight Limbs across the region.
Jermaine Coxinha Anugwom is a Houston native who is also doing his part to help Muay Thai grow in Texas. Born and raised in Houston’s Third Ward, Coxinha has travelled the world seeking out instruction from some of the most knowledgeable combat sports instructors in order to evolve as a martial artist. Anugwom is getting ready to transition from predominantly being an MMA and Muay Thai instructor/pro fighter to taking the leap and becoming Texas’ newest fight promoter. His focus of course will be Muay Thai –his first love.
TXMMA caught up with Anugwom during the recent Europa Super Show in Dallas to discuss his views on the current state of Muay Thai and how he is preparing to enter the high-risk/high-reward world of Texas fight promotions. Here is what he had to say:
Interview – Jermaine Anugwom (Windy Sport and Fitness)
TXMMA: Great talking to you Jermaine, for our readers who don’t know you, can you introduce yourself and give them a little bit of your background story?
JA: Well, my name is Jermaine “Coxinha” Anugwom. I was born and raised in the Third Ward Area of Houston, TX. I’m the Owner of Windy Sport and Fitness in College Station TX. I’m a professional MMA and Muay Thai fighter, and I teach different styles of martial arts at the gym.
TXMMA: What does Coxinha mean and why did you get that nickname?
JA: [laughs] Coxinha is a Brazilian snack -kinda like a hush puppy here. You can fill it with dessert treats or [savory ingredients] like chicken and rice. I’m addicted to them. My Mestre gave me that name when I became a Professor in Capoeira De Regional.
TXMMA: Can you tell us a bit about your Muay Thai background?
JA: I can say I truly started Muay Thai under Kru Yai Ali, but I’ve trained with some of the best coaches dating back to 2004. To name a few Paul Gonzalez, Jeff Reno, Brook Johnson, Heath “Cowboy” Harris, Darren Levine, Chuck Levine, and the list goes on.
TXMMA: You’ve developed a bit of a reputation as a Muay Thai purist who is not afraid to travel far and away to seek knowledge in places like Thailand and Turkey. How were your recent experiences training in those places and what techniques did you learn abroad and bring back home?
JA: I travelled to Thailand recently. I was in the Province of Rangsit Thailand, training under Master Moa at the MTI Rangsit Camp. I plan on going back during the fall of this year. [When in Turkey I noticed that] Turkish Fighters are MONSTERS! They’ve very strong bases while throwing punch, kick combos. They don’t pivot a lot, just big precision shots [laughs]. You can’t compare any scene to Turkey.
TXMMA: You’re primarily known as a striker specializing in Muay Thai, when was your last fight in this style and when do you plan on fighting Muay Thai again?
JA: My last Thai Fight was against Charles Bisset, last year November. We were the Main Event at Showdown 5 Muay Thai in Seattle Washington. The Fight was cancelled the day of though due to Kidney Stones!
TXMMA: You mentioned that you run your own school, how is your gym doing and what can you tell us about your school?
JA: Windy Sports and Fitness is doing amazing, we have a very diverse range of students here mainly because of all the Martial Arts styles we offer. We’re very family oriented, and offer a chilled vibe as you train. We have a lot of talented guys and girls here, plus we’ve produced some good fighters already on the Texas MMA/Muay Thai scene.
TXMMA: When was your last MMA fight and when do you plan on stepping in the cage again?
JA: Oh God, I believe everyone remembers my last Fight!! It was against the hulk Chris Reed, full out brawl and I got caught with a nice uppercut at the end of the first round [laughs]. Great Fight!
TXMMA: You’ve fought in the cage and ring, you’re a business owner and martial arts instructor/ ring corner, now you’re looking into taking on a whole new role as fight promoter. What spurred this decision?
JA: Well, I haven’t started my promotion just yet. I’m continuing to learn the ropes from leaders in the Fight business. I’m getting people excited right now by hosting sparring events, and giving potential fighters a chance to cross spar with others gyms, and styles. The big show is coming though. I am applying for my license at the end of this year. I’ll be a pure Muay Thai promotion offering a different product to everyone.
TXMMA: Of all the combat sports we enjoy in the Lone Star state, Muay Thai seems to have the most trouble maintaining sustainable promotions and shows. What do you think is wrong with the Muay Thai scene in Texas, why does the sport struggle to gain popularity here when compared to places like Turkey, Holland and, of course, Thailand?
JA: Nothing is wrong with the Texas Muay Thai scene. We have plenty of pioneers here in the state. It really breaks down to a revamp on Muay Thai Rules and Tournaments in Texas, and who’s willing to invest their dollars into their own promotion.
TXMMA: Can you build on that idea for us; what do you think can be done to improve the scene here in Texas?
JA: I believe if we’re allowed to have Muay Thai tournaments in Texas, similar to Karate/ Tae Kwon Do style, we can build the talent pool from kids to adults. We’d never have a shortage of fighters again.
TXMMA: Is there anything you’d like to add?
JA: Thanks for the interview, and don’t forget to Checkout Spar Wars 2 on May 17th in College Station!