Mario Cristobal is looking to turn around Oregon, which went 11-14 over the last two seasons. USATSI Mario was hooked. The training helped him trim down from a football-playing weight of 337 pounds accompanied by what he called a "triple chin" that resembled Meat Loaf.Why did Mario go with Efrain Ruiz to fight?
In those days, shootfighting was a precursor that would become the combat sport of mixed martial arts. "With the mascot's head off, I went with him to Efrain Ruiz," Mario said. That changed Mario's life. Ruiz, 45, is an MMA veteran whose career goes back to at least 1998. Like Garfield, he too saw something different in Mario.What martial arts does Mario Ruiz know?
Mario soaked up Ruiz's training: judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, Muay Thai. "It started when I was cut by the Denver Broncos and played in NFL Europe," Mario said. "That's a tough moment, man, when you get cut.Who are Mario and Lou Castro?
The brothers are second-generation Cuban-Americans. Their father was a political prisoner under the Castro regime. Their parents, Luis and Clara, met in South Florida. In their blood runs the pride of both countries. A grandfather used to march Mario and Lou around the backyard -- military-style -- just to instill a sense of discipline.