‘I Hope Young Fighters With Big Dreams Have It Easier’ – Nauzet Trujillo Aims To Inspire Muay Thai Growth In Spain
Spanish striker Nauzet Trujillo is motivated to pave the way for a new generation of Muay Thai athletes from his country at the highest level.
The 34-year-old will hunt for his first promotional victory against “Lethal” Liam Nolan at ONE Fight Night 19: Haggerty vs. Lobo on Prime Video on February 16, and he knows that beating such a high-profile opponent in U.S. primetime would create a ripple effect back home.
It’s a big ask for Trujillo, but he won’t leave anything in the tank when he faces the British star in a lightweight Muay Thai contest at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Before he steps into the ring for this massive opportunity, learn about the Spaniard’s journey from humble beginnings and what he hopes to achieve in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
‘I’m From A Place Where Money Is Scarce’
Trujillo was born and raised in Tenerife, one of Spain’s Canary Islands.
While it’s largely known as a tourist destination, Tenerife is also the Spanish region with the highest levels of poverty – something Trujillo experienced growing up in the island’s capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
He told onefc.com:
“I’m from the hood. I’m from a place where money is scarce, and all the kids have a bit of a mischievous instinct. We weren’t causing trouble in every regard, but we did have it in us.”
Trujillo was not an academic child and was more likely to be found wrestling with another child than with a math equation.
Fighting was also commonplace, although he certainly didn’t think that’s where his professional future would lie:
“I didn’t like going to school. I was never bullied, but I did have problems in school and got into fights. When you’re young, people are going to make fun of you and insult you, and there were times when the only solution seemed to be to fight. It was normal when I was growing up.”
A Change Of Direction
Trujillo’s life after school mostly consisted of the streets.
With no real goals or aspirations, he didn’t look to be going anywhere fast – until he found Muay Thai. It was an instant hit with the Spanish athlete, who has never looked back since.
The Fight Club Moi Rui and Susi Team representative said:
“I was 18 when I was introduced to martial arts. I was drawn to Muay Thai because you are able to use your elbows.
“When I started training, I had the urge to compete. After a few years of training, I got a fight. After that, I was hooked on the sensation. I had a great experience, and I knew that it was for me.”
Muay Thai was, and still is, a niche sport in Spain, and Trujillo’s family wasn’t initially convinced that his new pastime was a good one.
However, knowing the alternative was going back to his street life, they backed the young striker when they witnessed the positive effects.
The 34-year-old recalled:
“My family didn’t like it at first, but they’ve always supported me. They’ve always been there for me.
“When they saw what Muay Thai has been able to provide me, they were proud and thankful that I dedicated myself to this sport.
“They go through tough times because it’s a sport where we get hit, but they’re happy about what I’ve been able to accomplish and how much it’s helped change my life.”
Fighting For The Next Generation
Trujillo’s family saw firsthand the benefits of Muay Thai, but there was still a stigma about the sport in wider Spanish society.
That idea persists to some degree, and it’s something the stand-up specialist is determined to change.
“Muay Thai isn’t that popular in Spain, and it’s a bit looked down upon by some.
“It sometimes feels like you’re not valued as a fighter, but we’re doing what we can so this can change, and so fighters that come after us can enjoy what we couldn’t and dedicate themselves 100 percent to fighting.”
Tenerife’s geography as an island away from Spain’s mainland has also been a constant issue for Trujillo as he pursues his dreams in “the art of eight limbs.”
It’s another obstacle that he’s managed to overcome. Now, the veteran wants to help brighten the future of his fellow islanders by achieving success on the biggest stage of all and paving a path for them to follow.
“We’re at a disadvantage because we live on the island [Tenerife] and we have to take a plane or a boat for everything.
“To represent Spain and the Canary Islands gives me the motivation to know that I’m opening doors to many fighters that will come after me, and I hope young fighters with big dreams have it easier than I did.”
‘I Waited Many Years For This Opportunity’
There’s no better place for Trujillo to reach the masses and show the beauty of Muay Thai to his nation than under the ONE Championship banner.
With the world’s most talented and decorated roster in the entire sport competing in ONE every week, fans witness strikers who display elite skills, humility, and courage on a weekly basis.
So, although he came up short in his ONE debut, the Spanish trailblazer knows that success in the organization can help change the hearts and minds of his skeptical compatriots – and that’s his biggest motivation ahead of his showdown with Liam Nolan.
He knows a win would thrust him into the upper echelon of the lightweight division and prove that even a tough start far from most of his peers in Muay Thai is no match for unwavering determination:
“I waited many years for this opportunity, and for me, it’s a dream come true.
“I want to continue growing and making a name for myself inside of ONE. Not only do I want to be one of the best in my division but the best in the world.”