This Pinoy fighter left life as a chef for glory in the MMA cage

lukas the lycan

Whether it’s in the kitchen or in the cage, Pinoy fighter Lukaz “The Lycan” Catubig is always cooking up a storm.

[mks_dropcap style=”square” size=”52″ bg_color=”#1588db” txt_color=”#ffffff”]W[/mks_dropcap]hen you have a college degree in hand and a clear career path in front of you, it seems all too easy to simply stay the course. But for 29-year-old Catubig, he knew that he had a hunger that even life as a chef could not satisfy.

In 2005, with a background in taekwondo and MMA training from DEFTAC Dumaguete-Team Henry Teves, 17-year-old Catubig began competing in small MMA shows. He even made it into the URCC, the Philippines’ leading local MMA promotion, but there came a point where he had to question if he could make a living through fighting.

“I loved competing in MMA then and enjoyed it with all my heart,” says Catubig. “But during that time, I always asked myself: ‘Why am I doing this?’ For me, at that time, there is no future in MMA.”

True enough, MMA then was nowhere near as popular as it is today, and Catubig decided to seek other opportunities to make a living.

With that, Catubig moved from Dumaguete to Melbourne to pursue his studies in culinary arts at Academia International. Throughout his studies, he worked as a kitchen hand and eventually, a cook. His hard work eventually paid off, as he was awarded certification and a diploma in Commercial Cookery.

pinoy fighter lukaz the lycan
Photo c/o Lukaz Catubig
Not long after, Catubig began working at several restaurants in the vibrant city of Melbourne, which is known as the sports capital of the world. The 29-year-old seemed set. However, he knew there was something missing in his life.

“One day, I had a big vision of being a champion and the best version of me,” he shares. “It’s like a calling for greatness that I couldn’t explain myself. It was so crystal clear to me, so then I took the risk and decided to pursue my path as a martial artist.

“And when I finally embraced it, everything came into place. I feel like I have a purpose now and it’s time for me to fulfill it. Time to be the best, the champion!”

Catubig hung up his apron and decided to pursue his true passion: MMA. He now competes as a professional cage fighter and cultivates young MMA hopefuls as their trainer at the Absolute Mixed Martial Arts Gym in Melbourne. His chef skills still come in handy, though, as he whips up healthy and delicious meals to stay lean and make weight.

It was a risky decision for Catubig to drop everything for MMA, but the 29-year-old has no regrets, and he hopes to inspire others to pursue their passions as he has.

“I fight with all my heart and to the very end; that’s who we are as Filipinos,” he shares. “We fight til death, whether it’s for our family, our dreams, or for the peace of our country. That’s our way. Thats the Filipino spirit.”

“I’m here in Australia fighting for my dreams, representing my beloved country. My goal here is to inspire everyone to fight for their dreams no matter what it takes.”

Show your support for Lukaz Catubig by following him on Instagram and sharing your words of encouragement. He says he’s eager to connect with the Filipino MMA fans who inspire him to work harder to bring pride to our country.

Photos c/o Lukaz Catubig

Gab Pangalangan

Gab Pangalangan is a former collegiate national Judo champ and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of You can find his other works in the Philippines' leading magazines and websites.
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