Todd “The Black Hulk” Stoute, 36, did not stop training while spending the quarantine time in Toronto, Ontario, Canada while the world is battling against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Trinidadian-Canadian mixed martial artist trains at Rival Boxing Gym and Grant’s MMA in Ontario with Jayden Pietersen, Steve Wilshire, Ergys Sigeta and Ryan Grant.
“It’s happening to everybody,” Stoute said of the COVID-19 pandemic in an exclusive interview on July 25, 2020. “It’s happening all around the world and people are deciding how they deal with that. Some people decided to, you know, just sit around. I decided to train.”
“I was very lucky that my coaches Jayden Pietersen, Steve Wilshire, Ergys Sigeta and Ryan Grant, that they were, you know, still open to seeing me and training with me safely, of course, and that’s what I did,” Stoute continued. “I was honing my craft. I got myself ready because, you know, when this is all done, I knew that fights are gonna come. I knew that there’s gonna be an opportunity and instead of sitting on my hands, I wanted to be ready.”
“That’s why when BRAVE signed me to a new contract, I said, ‘I wanna be on the first card back,'” Stoute added. “I wanna be ready. Well, they asked me, ‘So you’re ready?’ (and I replied,) ‘Yeah, absolutely.'”
On July 27, 2020, Stoute will fight Cristi Constantinov, 23, of Bucharest, Romania in the main event of “BRAVE CF 36” at Berăria H in Bucharest. They will battle it out at a catch weight of 104kg.
When I asked Stoute whether or not he was satisfied with how the government of Canada dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, he said he is one of those who assess governmental decisions in times like this. He explained, “I’m more about how I handle it, you know.”
“They had to do the things that they had to do,” Stoute said of the Canadian government. “I can’t sit here and talk about conspiracy theories and government and all that s— but I’ll be honest with you. That doesn’t matter to me.”
“I care about how I’m being handled in BRAVE,” Stoute added. “I care about how I’m being handled with my coaches. I care about how I handle my own business.”
Before going to Romania for “BRAVE CF 36,” Stoute became a father for the first time. He has many things to focus on and arguing with the government is not one of them.
“At the end of the day, what are you gonna do?” Stoute asked. “You cant argue with them, you know, and I’m not one of those people that try to make an argument. It’s a fight you’re not gonna win.”
The fight that Stoute is focused on right now is his upcoming catchweight bout against Constantinov. “BRAVE CF 36” marks the Trinidadian-Canadian MMA fighter’s third outing in BRAVE CF while his Romanian opponent is making his debut in the Bahrain-based MMA promotion.
“If they say, okay, ‘This is close-door. Gyms can only have… can be open’ and now they’re coming back with ‘Gyms can only have 10 people including staff’ and all that s—, what are you gonna do about it? You know what I mean?”
Stoute is coming out of a unanimous decision loss to Mohamed Said Maalem, 37, of Geneva, Switzerland at “BRAVE CF 33” in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on December 27, 2019. The Rival Boxing Gym and Grant’s MMA product said, “I focus on me.”
“I focus on my family,” Stoute continued. “I focus on the things I can grow, you know. In times like this, there’s opportunity. You just gotta look for it. If you’re too busy looking at everything’s that wrong, you’ll miss everything that’s right.”