If you've been reading this blog with any kind of consistency, you probably noticed that Al "Stankie" Stankiewicz, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's boxing coach, captured my attention from the very first word he uttered on The Ultimate Fighter. I didn't think much more of him though, other than a likeable, yet crazy old man and I wondered how he got paired up with a guy like Nogueira. Well, it turns out that I was way off. Stankie has lead one of the most interesting and inspiring lives of anyone who's walked this earth.
His motivational, albeit confusing, speeches are the stuff of legend; the stuff that creates guys like 1984 Boxing Gold Medalist Paul Gonzales, Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya and, well, Nogueira. So you might say the more accurate question is how Nogueira got paired up with Stankie... okay, maybe not quite. Let's put it this way, the two were lucky to have found each other. Isn't that sweet? It's like a violent little love story. The best kind.
The guys over at Cage Potato get big props for scoring an interview with Stankie. So head over to get all the details from his childhood days in Eerie, Pennsylvania to working as a Vice Cop in LA during the Watts Riots, and heading down to Brazil to get acquainted with MMA. Stankie has accomplished more in his time than most of us can dream of. And he's not done yet.
I promise, if you aren't a fan already, you'll be one after reading this.