I wasn’t the most efficient at 120 kg on a soccer pitch
It was by chance that Paul-Emmanuel Gnaze discovered a predisposition for martial arts. Powerful, combative and thoughtful, he has all the prerequisites to perform at heavyweight. Next objective: the HEXAGONE MMA belt, on June 17 in Reims.
“In the evening, when I come home late from training, it hurts to see that everyone’s asleep. MMA is a big part of my life, and involves a lot of sacrifice.” Computer engineer, family man and fighter. At just 30 years of age, Paul-Emmanuel Gnaze wears multiple hats, and tries, as best he can, to go from one to the other without a hitch. In his deep, calm voice, he explains that he got into martial arts by chance: “I don’t have the same background as the others; I started late. I used to play soccer, but when I finished my studies, I realized that I wasn’t the most efficient at 120 kg on a soccer pitch!” In the end, MMA suited him perfectly. “I chose this sport because it suits my temperament. Without going into too much detail, let’s just say that I had a difficult and tumultuous childhood, which required a lot of fighting spirit. From my very first training sessions, I understood that this sport required resilience, and I happen to have that in me.”
“I could be meaner and more violent”.
In six years, Paul-Emmanuel Gnaze has gone from discovery to confirmation. At heavyweight, a rather open category, he makes his fist-and-foot boxing speak for itself, with five victories before the limit, all of which came in the first round. Aware of the work he still has to do, he is now focusing on making up for his shortcomings in wrestling, and also wants to develop his ground game, to “set up some submissions”. But his other area for improvement is his mental approach to fighting. “In my everyday life, I’m known as a very nice person. And I find it hard to change my state of mind when I enter the cage. I could be meaner, more violent, my coaches often point that out to me. So I’ve got to change that, to transform myself into a monster in front of my opponent. Of course, always respecting the rules!”