‘Fight The Best And Open A Restaurant’ – Brazilian Star Felipe Lobo Is Living Out His Dreams In Thailand
Brazilian knockout artist Felipe “Demolition Man” Lobo is achieving lifelong dreams on multiple fronts.
The 30-year-old will have an opportunity to earn the biggest prize of his martial arts career when he challenges Jonathan “The General” Haggerty for the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title in the main event of ONE Fight Night 19 on Prime Video.
That bout will go down live in North American primetime on February 16 from the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, and it stems from years of hard work battling the top competitors in the world.
But outside of his impressive combat sports career, the Sao Paulo native is doing big things in his adopted home of Thailand.
Lobo moved to the country a decade ago, and he’s now celebrating one year of business with his Phuket-based cafe, Recovery Foods:
“I had the idea of opening a restaurant even before moving to Thailand. In Brazil, I worked in a restaurant cooking. I worked with various types of cuisine in Brazil. So, I already had in mind owning my own restaurant.”
Lobo’s plans to achieve greatness in the ring and run a successful restaurant run parallel to each other.
From the moment he stepped foot in Thailand with the aim of becoming a successful Muay Thai professional, he also had the vision to eventually open a health-focused cafe:
“When I was coming to Thailand, I told a friend of mine that my goal was to fight the best and open a restaurant.
“I arrived here with this plan, my wife accepted the idea, and we opened Recovery Foods, which offers healthy food for athletes.”
“Demolition Man” is now on the precipice of greatness in the fighting realm, just days away from his showdown with one of the planet’s top pound-for-pound strikers and a chance at 26 pounds of gold.
As for his restaurant, he admits that it’s still a work in progress. Much like his climb up the bantamweight Muay Thai ranks, Lobo knows that growing a successful business takes time and dedication.
“It’s something I want to take into my life. I have always wanted to have a restaurant and plan to open others in the future.
“For now, my business pays for itself. It does not cover my monthly expenses at home. I pay my bills with fight money. But like I said, it’s a new business. It’s only one year old, but we’ll get there.”
Felipe Lobo Doing His Best To Balance Business With Fighting
For Felipe Lobo, living the life of a world-class fighter and owning a relatively new restaurant is a balancing act, as he often finds himself pulled in different directions.
Fortunately, he doesn’t have to do it all alone, and he leans on his wife to conduct much of the day-to-day operations at Recovery Foods:
“I don’t go to the restaurant every day. I go to the restaurant every weekend, and at home, I organize restaurant things with my wife. I dedicate myself a lot to business, but I do more from home. My wife goes to the restaurant more often. She is Thai and communicates more easily with employees.”
In order to reach his lofty goals as a fighter, “Demolition Man” has dedicated himself to a rigorous program at the famed Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, where he trains alongside fellow ONE superstars like Shamil Gasanov, Akbar Abdullaev, and reigning ONE Bantamweight MMA World Champion Fabricio Andrade.
While both require hard work and dedication, Lobo still feels that his life as a Muay Thai competitor is more challenging than running his restaurant.
Fighting professionally, he says, requires an immense amount of effort and discipline in every aspect of life – something that only some people are cut out for:
“I’m sure it’s harder to be a fighter. There’s daily training, diet. Hard work affects emotions a lot. It’s something out of the ordinary, so not just anyone can do it, especially at the highest level. In business, you can balance your life with other things.”