Jerome S Paye was born in Monrovia, Liberia, and is incredibly fortunate to have survived the civil war there. In fact, he once had to hike 400km to safety in the Ivory Coast, living in refugee camps away from his parents to escape the conflict.
After becoming interested in martial arts through the influence of movies, he began training in taekwondo at around the age of 10. This was also due in part to his small stature, as he wanted to protect himself from bullies. When his father lost his job and couldn’t afford to continue paying for lessons, Paye started working at a petrol station so he could continue to train, eventually earning a third-degree black belt.
In 2011, he moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, to work for a company exporting rice to Liberia. However, he inevitably left that job to focus full-time on martial arts while training at Synergy MMA Bali, and recently even opened his own academy. He has since spent the past several years diligently training in BJJ, boxing, and Muay Thai, and puts his constant improvements on display every time he competes in the ONE Championship cage.