At 23 years of age, Mike Corvino is already one of the better welterweights in the area after only two years of serious training in MMA. He’ll be making is professional debut in December, but Corvino is already thinking past his fighting career unlike most youngsters trying to make a name for themselves in the fight world. Corvino already has a bachelor’s degree in BioChemistry, and is currently pursuing his doctoral degree at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy with an emphasis in Nuclear Pharmacy.
So how does one balance training at a high level in MMA and going to medical school?
“Zero sleep (laughs). Seriously it’s not easy but I’m kind of used to it. I did a Biochemistry undergrad program and that required a tremendous amount of study time. I got used to staying up all night to study, class, take a few tests and then spend several hours in the gym. Sleep is for the weekends.”
Corvino is a guy that’s always done well in school but has also been around martial arts for most of his life as well.
“I started taking martial arts when I was four years old and studied on and off until I got serious around age 15. I received my black belt in Shaolin Kempo at 18. I stayed engaged in martial arts during most of my college years but got really serious in my senior year. I started sparring at a local gym on a regular basis. I enjoyed the competition and the challenge and decided I wanted to see how I would do in the cage.”
Corvino was (5-3) as an amateur with those three losses coming against some of the better fighters in the region. He understands that it’s a different ballgame as a professional, but already has plan A and B mapped out when talking about what he wants to accomplish in the next year or so.
“I’d like to be very purposeful in this first year, making sure that I don’t rush my progress or take any opponent for granted,” Corvino said. “I want to finish pharmacy school at the Medical University. Ultimately, I would like to make MMA a career and practice pharmacy after my body does not allow me to fight anymore. Only time will tell.”
Corvino understands that he hasn’t gotten this far on his brains and physical ability alone. He’s had quite a bit of help along the way and has a long list of people to thank for supporting him.
“I have been blessed to have some great people around me over the last 2 years. Casey Collias has been an incredible coach and instructor in Brazilian jiu jitsu, Jay Perez in boxing, Matt Robinson as our gym owner/striking coach. All my training partners that I work with on a daily basis are tremendous. My main corner guy is Shane Pirkle, a wrestling coach from upstate that travels hundreds of miles to every one of my fights to make sure he is in my corner. Also, I have had a strong family support system with my Dad managing my career and my Mom and brothers being my biggest fans.”
Corvino will be stepping into the cage in a welterweight matchup against TJ McDaniel(0-1) on December 3rd, in Mt. Pleasant, SC. The name of the event is Fight Night at the Point III, and you can find more information right here. He’ll be fighting for his Mom and Dad, as well has his two younger brothers as he strives to set the proper blueprint for them to follow as the oldest sibling. However, there’s another reason he’ll be fighting that night according to Corvino.
“I definitely fight for the glory of God and the name of Christ. I want to be able to use the gifts he gave me to serve him.”