Andre “Afro Monkey” Ewell was going through a lot of different emotions when his manager called him to tell him he was offered a fight against former UFC champion Renan Barao at UFC Sao Paulo on September 22. At the time, Ewell was trying to figure out his housing situation, a situation that almost left him homeless.
“I was getting ready to be homeless the week of (signing with the UFC).”
But the good news is that he ended up with a UFC contract and a home to live in. Ewell also got to break the news to his mom who was sitting next to him at the bank helping him with his house problems when he got the call. She had no idea what happened in the moment, whether it was good or bad news.
“When I was talking to my mom, I turned around she was like, “what’s wrong?” one side of my face was irritated the other side was bawling so it looked weird. My mom was like “what is going on?” I was like “mom, we made it!” she said “what are you talking about?” “Mom I got signed!” then it was one of those moments.”
Getting signed to the UFC is a dream come true for Ewell but the most important thing is that it brings him closer to his most important goal, and that is to be reconnected with his son. His girlfriend was awarded custody after they split and he hasn’t been able to see his son for five years. He believes that by making it to the UFC, it will show the court he has value and can reconnect with his son.
What is ironic is that the joy Ewell’s UFC debut brings is one day before a sad anniversary. The anniversary of the last day he saw his son.
“September 22, that is the night of my fights, the day after is the anniversary, which is not a good anniversary but the anniversary of the last time I was able to hold, talk and touch my boy. Seeing him face to face and that is September 23 which would mark five years that I was able to be there for him, was able to hold him.”
Crazy announcement, a few days ago I got the call ( @danawhite ). I have signed with the @ufc 😭 please know that I’ve been crying the past few days! If you don’t believe me, you can ask @m_miller_11 😭. I’ve been Trying to get my emotions in check 😅. It’s truly crazy how things are coming together. I’m truly someone that has came from nothing! & has fought my way through hell to get to a position that the world will now see value. Where my son ( @eli31ewell ) will know all this was because of him & for him. & places me in a position where my family is taken care of. I was patient, I continued to be myself, I put in the hard work, plus the overtime & I continued to believe in my system. I know it’s not set for August 4th, but a better opportunity to step into the cage with an exciting opponent. I can’t say who? & where yet? But know it’s going down. #TBA 🙏🏽. I want to thank everybody that believed in me & the ones that didn’t! No matter how we look at it, we are a team! So we made it 😂🤣 lol. Love me like I’m still in the basement 😎… Thank you all, & please know the the #UFC takeover starts now 😜…I also want to thank my management @dodge_sports 🙏🏽 —#UFCBound #UFC #mma #taekwondo #wrestling #boxing #brazilianjiujitsu #muaythai #DaiisWorld #AfroMonkey #fitnessmotivation #fitness #motivationqoutes #hardwork #dedication #MainEvent #dragonballsuper #healthybodynutrition #100percentviolence #hbn #reebok #bruceleeamaster #kingofthecage #LFA #cesmma
Posted by Ewell Daii on Wednesday, August 1, 2018
September 22 wasn’t the original date that Ewell wanted to make his debut on, he wanted to fight on August 4 in Los Angeles where he is from. Even though there were multiple fighters that fell off the card in his division, he isn’t upset he didn’t get the call anymore because it led to a better opportunity.
“I know August 4 was the call that I wanted but September 22 is better picking and better fitting for me as in me and my life, the transition that one, I’m entering the world of the UFC and after that I’m bringing value to my life.”
The better picking his former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao. The former champion is on a two-fight losing streak and Ewell believes he is
“I fee like it’s a great matchup an old lion vs. the new lion that is coming into the jungle, I’m with that. And I know that fight is going to be very exciting, so I get the chance to bring excitement to the game, I’m with that, I’m definitely with that.”
The fight will also be in Barao’s home country of Brazil, but that doesn’t bother Ewell at all.
“The cage is my home so I don’t feel uncomfortable anywhere I go. I can literally be in the pit hole of death but if it’s the octagon I’m good, with a crowd, I’m even better.”
Ewell expects Barao to keep the fight standing in the beginning but then turn into a wrestler like he makes all of his opponents become, then he believes the finish will come.
“I turn every stand up fighter or who thinks they’re a stand up fighter or a wanna be stand up fighter into a wrestler. Same thing I said with you last time I we were talking, he’s going to turn into a wrestler, everyone turns into a wrestler, why? I am the man with the hands, I’m the guy that has that striking, I am the guy that is going to take over the whole thing. And reality, that’s what’s going to happen, so it’s going to be settled in the first round.”