Pursuing Dual Passions: The Journey of Michael Samperi, Professional Fighter, and Model in Yummy 7

Pursuing Dual Passions: The Journey of Michael Samperi, Professional Fighter, and Model in Yummy 7

Meet Michael Samperi, a multi-talented individual who appears in Yummy Issue 7 and has managed to conquer two diverse worlds with his unwavering dedication and passion. In this captivating interview, we delve into the life of Michael, a professional fighter and model hailing from Sicily, who is making waves in both the fighting arena and the world of fashion. From his early days of practicing Muay Thai to becoming a renowned WKA World Champion and a sought-after model for prestigious magazines, Michael's story is one of perseverance, self-discovery, and the pursuit of excellence. Join us as we explore how Michael Samperi, who has found the balance between his two passions, the challenges he faced, and the triumphs that have shaped his inspiring journey.

The images are cropped/ made safe for online purposes, full images available inside Yummy Issue 7

ADRIAN GOMIS EXPOSITO. Hi Michael, it's a pleasure to meet you! To begin with, could you tell us about yourself?
MICHAEL SAMPERI. My name is Michael Samperi, and I'm a professional fighter and model, aspiring to reach the top in both worlds. I come from Sicily and live in Taormina. My mom is American, my father is Sicilian, and I have an older brother. I love to travel, and fortunately, with my jobs, I have the chance to go to different places. But, I also love to come back to my beautiful island. Everything started with my father's gym. I was very young when I started to practice Muay Thai, maybe around 2 years old. I grew up training and today I fight and teach as well.
A.G.E. You've achieved significant success as a fighter, earning awards and recognition such as the WKA World Champion, WBC Mediterranean, ASFO International, and ICO European. How did you get started in fighting competitions, and why are you so passionate about this sport?
M.S. As I said before, I started when I was a kid where I wad influenced by the environment I was raised in - my father is a recognized worldwide Muay Thai Master. With the right influence, it became my life. I love challenges in every aspect of my life and I always try to reinvent myself. That feeling, that primal feeling when you step into the ring and face not only your opponent but your demons too, is priceless to me. Do you talk about passion? For me, it's more than that; it's an obsession to be there, fight and never give up. This sport has also instilled fundamental values in me such as respect and discipline, which have helped me during my growth.
A.G.E. Can you share one of the proudest moments in your fighting career and what it meant to you?
M.S. One of the proudest moments in my fighting career was when I was only 17 years old and participated in the World Championship in Thailand. It was a very hard and difficult tournament. It was four days of fighting but, in the end, I won the title. However, every match I play is important because, behind each one, there is so much sacrifice and training that only those who are behind me and follow me can understand.
A.G.E. You've also begun a modelling career while succeeding in the world of professional fighting. What inspired you to pursue both careers?
M.S. It started unexpectedly after I did an editorial for Icon magazine and, since then, I've been trying to reconcile sport with fashion. The world of fashion fascinates me a lot and I enjoy the opportunity to travel and meet new places and people.
A.G.E. As a model and fighter, how do you balance the physical demands of training for fights with maintaining your appearance and physique for modeling jobs?
M.S. Both activities I'm involved in have one thing in common – they are very dynamic and challenging. I'm driven by passion and discipline, and that's how I manage to balance them. Luckily, Muay Thai is a perfect sport to keep my body in shape, and even though I'm always on a diet, the workouts allow me to have a lean and not overly muscular body, suitable for modeling.
A.G.E. Modeling and fighting are two very different industries. How has your experience in one field influenced or enriched your approach to the other?
M.S. You are absolutely right; they are two completely different sectors. Through Muay Thai, I have acquired confidence and self-esteem, which helps me when I'm in front of the camera or the photographer's lens. Determination is also an important factor that I have a lot of, which contributes to my success in both fields.
A.G.E. Focusing on your facet as a model, what's the most exciting part about it? Why do you like this field?
M.S. First of all, as a good Italian, I love fashion and dressing well. I care about my clothes, and when I go out, I like to look a certain way. So being close to this world gives me the chance to satisfy myself. I love going on set and taking pictures. When I did the editorial for Icon, Giampaolo Sgura took my photos, and his valuable advice at the beginning helped me a lot. It gave me the confidence to continue on this path because he saw great potential in me.
A.G.E. Following the modeling topic, you shot with Sasha Olsen for Yummy 7. How was the experience, and how do you feel about being in Yummy?
M.S. Shooting with Sasha was a sublime experience. He's an amazing and skilled photographer, very professional. Additionally, it was my very first time posing naked, and Sasha made me feel comfortable from the very first shots, resulting in top-notch photos.
A.G.E. How was the experience of posing naked for the first time? What's your opinion about nudity and how do you feel about it?
M.S. In the beginning, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical, but then I really enjoyed the experience. I had the chance to visit a new city. Lisbon is amazing! It was a great experience, and the shots gave me a feeling of freedom in its purest form.
A.G.E. The word "yummy" can have a lot of interpretations, but I would love to know what you think about when you read or hear the word. What comes to your mind?
M.S. Even though Yummy is a very famous and well-known magazine, I appreciate its artistic vein and creativity. I also like the fact that behind every model, there is a story, an experience that is nice to rediscover. Although it's a new world for me, I have seen many model friends who have had this experience and were satisfied. However, a feeling of lightness and purity comes to mind when I think of "yummy."
A.G.E. Being a professional fighter and model, your physique is breathtaking, and I'm sure you work out a lot. Do people compliment your physique in any way? And if so, what do people highlight about it?
M.S. I must say that in addition to the fans on social media and the people who follow me in the gym, many people appreciate me for the work I do in the fashion field and for my sporting results. Many people come to the gym hoping to have a body like mine, so they definitely compliment my physique. I also receive compliments on the color of my eyes and my features.
A.G.E. When would you say you feel the sexiest? What makes you feel sexy, and when does that usually happen? Maybe after winning a fight or after a long workout session perhaps?
M.S. Well, for sure, after a match in the ring, I don't know how sexy I can look, maybe someone thinks so, but I’m not sure. However, people always make me feel sexy even if I wear jeans and a T-shirt; I can tell from the way they look at me. Also, after training all sweaty, there's a certain appeal to it.
A.G.E. What advice would you give aspiring models and fighters looking to pursue both careers simultaneously? How can they find the right balance and succeed in both fields?
M.S. Just go for it, try and have fun in the process. If you want to take it as a career, you need to find a strong "why" that defines your goals. One more thing... talent can be a good tool, but it will always be outshined by dedication and hard work. Put those in place with a strong "why," and there are no limits you cannot surpass, not only in sports but in anything in life.


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