Football and fighting at the same time — Meet Gianluca Locicero — the Hexagone MMA star who competes in an incredible sport

Some athletes love fighting, others love playing football, but Hexagone MMA icon, Gianluca Locicero, enjoys doing both at the same time.

The Italian athlete partakes in Calcio Storico, a game that combines all the best parts of the pastimes we treasure. The brutal sport dates back to the 1400s, when the Spanish troops of Charles the Fifth besieged Florence. The locals made fun of them by heading to the city centre in Piazza Santa Croce to show they were not afraid.

With fighting spirit racing through his veins, Locicero gravitated towards the sport, falling in love with the adrenaline and competition it provided. And he’s not scared to take on anyone who gets in his way.

Speaking exclusively to Sporf, he beamed: “In 2018, in a match against the Rossi team, I clashed with a 2-metre tall guy, who weighed 140 kg… it was quite a fight.”

Having developed incredible brawling skills, the Italian powerhouse has jumped into the world of MMA, capturing the attention of the purists with his spectacular performances. But which sport is more dangerous?

Locicero laughed: “They are both brutal and astonishing experiences… In MMA, you are 1 vs 1, while in Calcio Storico, you play 27 vs 27, so unexpected events are always around the corner.”

This level of violence has prepared him perfectly for tomorrow night, where he’ll compete in the biggest fight of his career.


Gianluca Locicero is prepared to make a statement at Hexagone MMA 10

Under the stars at the Ancient Theatre in Orange, France, the Italian will collide with French hero, Greg MMA.

The fighter is coming out of retirement for one last shot at glory. And it goes without saying that the packed-out crowd is hoping to see Locicero on the canvas. However, with a lifetime of dealing with high-pressure situations, the 46-year-old isn’t worried one bit.

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He asserted: “My opponent is very tough, even though he hasn’t competed for a long time. Of course, I hope to win and surprise France, since every day I receive not very nice messages reminding me that I’m not loved by French people… To me, sport is work and passion; I have nothing against them.”

And he’d love to welcome his rival to the rough and tough world of Calcio Storico.

He chuckled: “I assume that Greg MMA would have a great time playing Calcio Storico, but with the new rules, he would have to be resident in Florence for at least ten years.”

Gianluca Locicero has gone on an incredible journey to Hexagone MMA 10

Having spent his younger years watching tapes of UFC, the light heavyweight always dreamed of making it in MMA. However, he had to overcome incredible adversity to make it to this moment.

Locicero admitted: “I’ve had a very peculiar childhood and a hard life that also took me to prison for a few years… MMA and sports have saved me, and I’m really happy about it.”

Having showcased his remarkable mental resilience, the natural-born warrior can’t wait to make his walk to the cage.

He said: “The Ancient Theatre in Orange is an incredible and wonderful location. I hope to honour this ancient, magical and ITALIAN place in the best way possible.”

And above all else, Locicero wants to give his family a fantastic memory.

He concluded: “I’m really hoping that I will make my children and their mother happy with a beautiful victory… I also would like to thank HEXAGONE MMA and all of France for this big opportunity, especially my management BA INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ARBER BELLEGU for this big fight at my age.”

You can watch his bout at Hexagone MMA 10 live and exclusively on BT Sport on Friday evening.

Featured Image Credit: Tapology