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As a kid, he was bullied. Now Sebastian Ramirez teaches MMA at pro level at Elkridge’s Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts.

Sebastian Ramirez, a striking coach at Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts in Elkridge.
Sebastian Ramirez, a striking coach at Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts in Elkridge. (Ulysses Muñoz)

Sebastian Ramirez has been involved in martial arts since he was a 13- year-old growing up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Ramirez, 25, moved to Maryland in 2017 to begin teaching at Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts in Elkridge. Over the past year, he has been coaching Matthew Semelsberger, a Frederick County native who improved to 5-1 under Ramirez’s tutelage after winning his UFC debut Aug. 22.

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Here are three things you might not know about him.

He was bullied

A self-admitted “dork,” Ramirez said he got picked on frequently. So his father took him to someone who had a blue belt in jiu-jitsu.

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“I was not an athlete, I was a little bit of a pudgy kid, and I didn’t have a ton of confidence,” he said. “So getting beat up and getting roughed around in a martial arts gym doing jiu-jitsu and grappling, it wasn’t the easiest thing I had ever done, but I did want to go back, and I did end up falling in love with it.”

Sebastian Ramirez, left, a striking coach at Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts in Elkridge, trains one of his students, Josh Jackson.
Sebastian Ramirez, left, a striking coach at Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts in Elkridge, trains one of his students, Josh Jackson. (Ulysses Muñoz)

He spent a month in Thailand

Two days after graduating from high school, Ramirez traveled to Thailand to hone his kickboxing skills. The Thai fighters' dedication to the sport was eye-opening.

“I went out there and saw all of these world champion fighters, and I was like, ‘What is that guy doing?’ He was like, ‘Well, he’s doing 1,000 reps of this kick just for today. And he’s going to do another 1,000 tomorrow,’ ” he said. “That’s just what they do every day.”

Sebastian Ramirez, right, a striking coach at Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts in Elkridge, trains one of his students, Josh Jackson.
Sebastian Ramirez, right, a striking coach at Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts in Elkridge, trains one of his students, Josh Jackson. (Ulysses Muñoz)

He is becoming a DIYer

Since he and his fiancée bought a house in Halethorpe about a year ago, Ramirez has renovated a bathroom and installed a fence for the yard. The couple has also grown tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans from their own garden and made beef jerky.

“I didn’t grow up in a very self-sustainable kind of way,” he said. “And as I get older, I kind of like the idea of inventing myself into somebody that could be a little bit more handy around the house.”

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