Todd “The Black Hulk” Stoute, 36, is the first ever mixed martial artist from Trinidad and Tobago to compete in the Bahrain-based MMA promotion BRAVE Combat Federation. He now trains at Rival Boxing Gym and Grant’s MMA in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
When Stoute was a young boy, he moved from Trinidad and Tobago to Canada with his family. In an exclusive interview on July 25, 2020, I asked the Trinidadian-Canadian MMA fighter about his MMA idol.
“My MMA idol?” Stoute answered. “I don’t have MMA idols. I am the MMA idol.”
As an MMA fighter, Stoute has been competing professionally since November 2009. He made his BRAVE CF debut in November 2019.
“There are people in other sports that inspire me and stuff like that,” Stoute explained. “But as far as MMA, I have respect for other MMA fighters and I have respect for other MMA fighters that have come before me and legends of the game, you know, and so on but I don’t have any idols.”
Since Stoute does not have an MMA idol, I changed the question and asked about his dream opponent. He answered, “A dream opponent?”
“No, I have a dream goal,” Stoute continued. “The opponents are meat. That’s it. I’m hungry. They’re meat. The goal is the dream. That’s what I dream of.”
Moreover, I asked Stoute to give advice to younger MMA fighters who are still new to the game. He said, “My advice to them? Be resilient.”
“Get that chip on your shoulder and keep working,” Stoute continued. “That’s the only way this works, which is to keep working. It took me 10 years to get my dream job. After you know years of ups and downs and not being fully appreciated, it took me 10 years and I’m still here.”
“I didn’t quit,” the Toronto resident added. “I know people that I started with that quit. You know what I mean? I know guys that had been fighting when I was fighting and they were like, ‘Forget this. I’m outta here.’ You know what I mean? (If you are one of these) fighters doing nothing, well, then, bounce.”
Stoute emphasized that resilience is what new MMA fighters need to have. He explained, “You can be talented, you could be a good fighter but if you don’t have a chip on your shoulder, you’re not driven to the point of madness where, like I mean, you gotta think about it.”
“They tell you, on that stage, you gotta fight this guy, you know,” Stoute continued. “It sounds like a… it’s an impulse. Know you’re gonna fight. You know you’re gonna fight. You gotta keep that in your mind.”
“There’s guys that are talented,” Stoute added. “There’s guys that are good fighters and then there’s me. There’s guys that are good, talented and have a chip on their shoulder and they’re not going in there just to play around.”