After losing a fight over a girl when he was 13, Alexi Argyriou, now 23, has devoted his life to mixed martial arts (MMA), and never looked back. “After the fight, I was completely embarrassed as all my peers were watching,” explained Argyriou. “I went to my mom and asked her to find a martial arts gym.“I started training at Zuma that same week.”
Zuma is an MMA training facility in Victoria, B.C., where Argyriou has been training his entire career.
He also teaches private boxing and kickboxing lessons, which allows him to pay the bills and gives him a flexible schedule for his own training time.“I love coaching, and watching people fall in love with training.“It’s quite addicting.”
Zuma is also where Argyriou met his long-time training partner Tyler Dolby.Dolby said Argyriou is at the top of his list when it comes to competition in training.“I can’t cut any corners when I train with him, or he will make me pay for it,” said Dolby.
“He’s someone who forces you to get better every day.” Dolby has been training with Argyriou for six years, and said his work ethic is what really stands out. “He is always looking to grow and get better every day.” Dolby said he could see Argyriou climbing to the top of the MMA world if he continues on the path he’s on. “He has too much skill and work ethic for it not to happen.”
Argyriou’s mother Dora Leigh Bjornson also said his dedication to MMA is unmatched.“Alexi’s superpowers are unwavering focus and consistency,” said Bjornson. Dora said he never misses a workout, and when he’s not training, he’s always doing something related to MMA.“He’s grown up with MMA and really lives and breathes the sport.”Bjornson said Argyriou’s interest in MMA first began in elementary school, when he joined kids classes at Zuma with a friend.
While still in elementary school, Argyriou sustained a serious, non-MMA related injury in which he had his neck impaled by a broken branch while playing at recess. “When he returned to Zuma a year or so later, there was no looking back. “He really immersed himself in the sport.”Once Argyriou had really started committing himself to the sport, Bjornson felt the need to get involved herself, and started at Zuma as well.“I’m embarrassed to admit when Alexi’s dad and I first signed him up, we had no clear idea what MMA was.“ I signed up for women’s classes at Zuma to learn more, and to keep an eye on the boy.”After being able to experience first-hand what her son was so passionate about, Bjornson was happy with what she saw.“I developed huge respect for their hard work, mutual support, and dedication to the sport.”
Niko Mavrikos has been a friend of Argyriou’s for 20 years and said MMA has been Argyriou’s main focus and passion since he was 14. “He is a born leader,” explained Mavrikos.“His dedication to continually better himself in every way possible cannot be matched.”Mavrikos said he couldn’t think of anyone in the MMA world who works harder and smarter than Argyriou. “He understands what it takes to reach his goals, and then goes and smashes them.”Argyriou said he loves the MMA lifestyle, which makes it easier to devote all his time in working toward his goals.
“I will be in the UFC in 2017.”Alexi Argyriou
“I think it’s rare to be really good at something these days, so that motivates me a lot, and makes the hours in the gym worth while.” Argyriou trains six days a week, with three of those days being twice a day workouts, mixing in all facets of MMA.“Since I have been training for so long, I feel I’m more well-rounded than everyone else.”On the rare occasion he’s not training, Argyriou enjoys relaxing, watching Netflix, going for coffee, going on dates, and hanging out with the guys.“I really enjoy taking my mind off training, and unwinding.”
Argyriou spent his childhood in Victoria, B.C., and was “completely obsessed” with riding mountain bikes and racing motocross.After graduating from Mount Doug High School in Victoria, Argyriou completed a year of business school at Camosun College. “I enjoyed the courses, but felt I was spreading myself too thin.“Before my Hard Knocks 49 fight, I had to write two exams during fight week, and that was the breaking point.”Since then, Argyriou has devoted his life to continuing his promising, and already successful MMA career, also backed by a big supporting cast.
“I am very fortunate to have a supportive mom and dad, and a friend group that truly supports me as well. “Victoria is also a small, friendly city, so I feel I have the support of the city behind me as well.”Argyriou will continue to train hard and improve every day, with his sights set on bigger things in the near future.
Article written by: Joel Griffith
Follow Joel on Twitter @joelgriffith88