Jarjis “Man Mountain” Danho is a Syrian- German who has made his way up through the world of mixed martial arts (MMA).
From Desert Force to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), this giant of a man with exceptional talent is about to make his debut in the UFC Fight Night 84 against Daniel Omielancruk – one tough fighter to first enter the cage of glory with. The event with the main fight of “Silva vs. Bisping” is taking place this month, on Feburary 27th in the O2 Arena, London, and is not one to be missed by all Arab fans. Show love and support for one of our own, Jarjis Danho.
We would firstly like to extend a congratulations to “the Man Mountain” on reaching the highest stage of MMA and signing with the UFC. We took the opportunity to interview him to get the more personal side of him out to his fans, before his skills propel him into stardom! 🙂
Who is Jarjis Danho
Danho is somebody who came from very humble beginnings and has had a hard struggle to get to where he is now. Athletically, he is a former football player and a powerlifter turned MMA fighter. He is currently ranked #1 as a heavyweight within German-speaking Europe as well as the Middle East.
He played some football in his youth and lifted (heavy) weights for a long time. Eventually he started getting bored with that and went into boxing and later ventured into MMA. His coaches realized his raw potential and signed Danho up for his first fight. In ten seconds, he had won thehis first fight. In a country starving for heavyweight talent, he was too big not to get noticed!
While growing up Danho juggled work, family and martial arts all at the same time. He was a late bloomer he says when it comes to martial arts. He didn’t start boxing until he was 27 years old. This talented man doesn’t see this as a disadvantage, though.
“A lot of the fighters who are my age have been through countless wars already and have suffered a lot of injuries over the years. I am fresh and healthy going into the most important phase of my career.”
Danho moved around a lot while growing up and experienced a slightly uncomfortable up-bringing. He moved from Syria to Hamm, Germany, at the age of just 6years old which played a big role in building the tough character we see in the cage today.
“I don’t have a lot of memories of the time in Syria. The first years in Germany were full of uncertainty. We tried to survive day by day, never knowing whether we’d be allowed to stay.”
He eventually made a deal with the foreigners’ registration office in Germany. He would be allowed to stay if he managed to carry his own weight and provide for himself and not live off the State’s money. The hard worker started working odd jobs to care for him and his family starting from the young age of twelve! Since then, Danho has gone the extreme lengths of dedication to make himself the first pro athlete in his family.
One of his inspirations as a heavyweight along the way includes none other than Muhammad Ali. A big man who was mobile yet dangerous was a novelty in this model of inspiration’s days and still is a rarity today which sparked amazement in Danho’s eyes. M. Ali’s style has been a big influence for this beast of an athlete, even if it doesn’t translate 1:1 to mixed martial arts.
He also admires athletes of Aramaic/Assyrian heritage like Beneil Dariush, Isho Shiba and Alex Agase.
What about role models that were present in his life, you may ask. He says that his parents are his role models.
“There is no one I know who is more hardworking, more kindhearted and who has gone through harder times with a bigger smile on their face, than my parents. I would not be the man I am today without them.”
In an interesting twist of topic, we were curious ask a few metaphorical questions to see further into this tough character of many talents.
Q- Which match up across all time and combat sports, would “the Man Mountain” really like to witness when it comes to fighting?
A- Muhammad Ali vs. Mike Tyson.
Q- Is there another career you would’ve liked to fulfill or possibly do in the future?
A- I love cooking and I’ve worked in our family restaurant for a long time. I dream of opening up my own steak house with a big stove right in the middle of the place where I can do live cooking for the guests.
Q- As combat sports are seen as kind of violent, and some people tend to think fighters are super aggressive and unfriendly, tell us is there a softer side to you that doesn’t fit the regular stereotypical image of an MMA fighter?
A- I like Caribbean music and consider myself a pretty good dancer.
A little insight into the world of arts, Danho recommends fans check out the all time massive book ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu.[divider]
Nickname: Man Mountain
Born: Malkiya, Syrian Arab Republic
Fighting out of: Nuremberg, Germany
Fighting style: Boxing/Wrestling