Originally from Queens, Dulani moved to Houston in 2009 with nothing but ambition and the will to succeed. He comes from a well-educated background but grew up in a neighborhood that forced him to try harder than most. Coming from a place like New York City his competitive nature is completely understandable; he had to hustle for everything he’s accomplished. MMA, for him, would come naturally as a progression from the karate he’s practiced since age five.
The first MMA gym he ever walked into was Gracie Barra Woodlands in Houston,TX. He had long been an expert in karate and was ready to get into the world of MMA fighting but when he began jiu jitsu he was told to put on a bjj white belt when in karate he was a black belt. He had been sparring his whole life, it was so easy for him, he was the best, but Dulani was surprised when he got on the mat and was tapping out left and right. But don’t think that stopped him. He had no money but they let him train for free. He had to ask his dad for 100 dollars to buy a bike so that he could get to the gym and he rode there an hour every day to train. He never missed a day and worked harder than anyone else there. He was the first one in and last one out. Soon, those guys who were making him tap out were the ones beating on the mat during spars with Dulani.
Now, there’s no stopping him and he says that he’s the best fighter you’ll ever see, not to brag or to sound arrogant, but because he is so proud of how far he has come. That pride that is ever coursing through his veins keeps him going, keeps him working harder than ever to be the best. Training at Paradigm Training Center has brought him even closer to his goals as a pro-fighter. He is on his way to his third professional fight on March 24th with Legacy and he’s never lost. Training at Paradigm he has balanced access to all forms of training - stand up, jiu jitsu, wrestling, etc - that are all equally cultivated.
Dulani doesn’t just want to be the best at fighting, he wants to be a household name for so many reasons. He aspires to be an actor and a creator. He wants to build community centers and start after school programs in his old neighborhood. He will make history, he says, and live on through the words of others long after he is physically gone from this world. Having big dreams to help and inspire others is what motivates Dulani through this phase of his life. Fighting is a stepping stone that will put him where he needs to be to effect great change.