Getting your big break in any profession can be a struggle. Someone has to take a chance on you. They have to see something special in you that makes them believe that you can succeed. In mixed martial arts, that decision is up to event promoters. With so many veteran fighters out there available to take that spot on the card and with only a finite amount of shows, it can be a risk for anybody to put a debuting fighter on a show. It’s even less often that you’ll see a debutant facing someone with a wealth of experience.

However, that’s where “King” Dane Mulivai finds himself. His big break did not come easy, but one man believed and granted him an opportunity. Now, Mulivai is gearing up to fight at Xtreme Fighting Championships 19 on July 20 in Mansfield, Queensland.

“I said that I would fight anyone on any show and I contacted a bunch of promoters, but I didn’t hear back from anyone. Nobody else gave me a chance,” he revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “[XFC Promoter] Justin Lawrence was the only one that wanted to give me a shot. He came to my house, spoke to me and my family, and he gave a shit.”

At one point, Mulivai was ready to give up. Within the last 12 months, he suggested that he was no longer going to compete professionally and that perhaps chasing the dream of being a professional fighter just wasn’t for him. It wasn’t because of the hardships that fighters face. It wasn’t because training was too hard or the money just wasn’t there for him. It had to do with something completely different.

“I would train so hard and then one to two weeks out from the fight my opponent would pull out,” he explained. “Instead of all that hard work and training, I could have just been at home with my wife. It was frustrating that people would say yes, yes, yes, and then as the day of the fight got closer, I’d find myself without a fight and it just kept happening to me.”

Whilst he may be making his MMA debut, Mulivai is no stranger to fighting professionally. Having a wealth of experience as a Commonwealth Games boxer and the lengthy amateur boxing record to go with it, as well as having three professional boxing bouts, a kickboxing bout and a fight with Combat8 under his belt, Mulivai feels that the transition to MMA is the best thing for his career. With all of his previous professional fights in the various other disciplines ending in knockout victories, he is ready to shine in the world’s fastest growing sport.

Through social media, Mulivai made his intentions on the Australian fight circuit quite clear. When he heard that Muay Thai legend John Wayne Parr couldn’t find anybody that was willing to “stand with him,” Mulivai stepped up and said he would. It might seem trivial, but Mulivai’s willingness to fight Parr does lend an insight into just how much he wants to compete and how hard he is willing to work to be the best.

“They didn’t ask me,” he admitted. “Nobody called me up to fight him. I would do it without hesitation. I will fight anybody and it doesn’t matter to me.

“I think I have what it takes to make it in this sport I train at any chance that I get. I don’t like to miss that session in the morning, otherwise I feel bad. I do most of my training at the ‘All Dae Gym’—[laughs] that’s my garage. Infinity BJJ is where I do my other training, but mostly I train out of my garage and I am in there every morning and every night.”

Mulivai makes his MMA debut with one of Australia’s founding MMA promotions, XFC, not to be confused with the American promotion of the same name. On July 20, in his first bout, he faces a veteran of the sport in Jay Cobain. Cobain has fought professionally in mixed martial arts over 15 times. True to his nature, Mulivai isn’t taking a backward step. He is ready to show that his transition to the sport is one that will be successful.

“I am a little bit nervous,” he revealed. “I am not underestimating Cobain, but I think I have the hands to give him his first KO loss of his long career. Win or lose, though, I am just happy to fight. If I win this one, it’s huge for me, but if I lose, it’s not the end of the world. I just want to keep on fighting.

“I think I am good enough to beat anybody. That’s why I named myself ‘King,’ because I don’t give a shit what anybody else thinks, I’m number one and I am the king.

“For me, it’s like I’ve been shot to the top and I’ve got nothing to lose. I am ready to test myself and I’m excited for my cage debut. Cobain is a tough guy, but I am chasing the KO against him. People have said to me that he’s got this great chin and that nobody has ever knocked him out. I am going to be the guy that does it.”

With XFC taking a risk by having Mulivai on its card this weekend, he plans to repay the favor in a big way. He plans to show that when he is actually given the opportunity to fight, he will knock out anybody that gets in his way. He’s out to prove that one day he truly will be “the king” of Australian MMA.

Dane would like to thank Staunch Supplements, Tough Fight Gear, his boss at work Paulie G, Scott Whitfield for his MMA training, R.Finn Inala Boxing for his hand work, his manager Junior Togia and everybody at Infinity BJJ, as well as his wife and a big thanks to Justin Lawrence for giving him a chance to compete.

Photo: “King” Dane Mulivai (Facebook)

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.

  • Make sure you check out the official youtube channel for the XFC at http://www.youtube/xfcmedia for the promotional videos for this fight and event.

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  • Robert Williams

    King Dane. Younger,faster,fitter and hungrier.

  • Gregor

    Confident but not arrogant, I think that’s where King Dane will gain a mountain of fans in his career as an MMA Fighter. He clearly respects Cobain in this fight and fans like me appreciate that, as we all want to see these great athletes who train and inspire kids in their gyms, be respected for their hard work and dedication. There’s a way to tell your opponent your going to win (like Dane), then there’s people who can go too far (Mundine) and upset percentages of society.

    Whatever happens at XFC this weekend, these blokes are at the top of MMA in Australia, hats off gentlemen, both of you have earned my respect for your efforts. A young and hungry future star of international MMA is taking on a fierce warrior, with a proven MMA record. May the best modern day gladiator win.

  • Grantito chacone

    Great fighter, great father, great friend. Inspirational to say the least and a man that really does care about the future of our sport in this country and its image.

    “KING DANE MULIVAI”

    A name worth remembering.

  • Beylal

    I have deep belief in Dane Mulivai potential, I honestly believe he would beat john wayne Parr, he is way too strong for parr, the kid is mulit talented, with his good looks and stands at 6 2 lean, he can destroy with either hands or legs. Honestly he is Freak. God bless him.

  • JT

    Ive seen his standup and i dont think Cobain will be
    Stupid enough to try and keep it standing.. I just
    Hope Danes ground game is good. July 20 cant wait.. :-)