The first time I saw Ryan Cafaro compete, it was on the varsity wrestling mat at Cherry Hill High School West, more than 10 years ago. Early on after he graduated, he was an instructor at UFC Gym Cherry Hill, where he began his MMA journey which has been full of ups and downs battling back from several injuries.
Cafaro (3-2) gets to test himself once again on August 5 at the Borgata in Atlantic City as he is set to face Adli Edwards (2-0) at CFFC 66.
The 27-year old bantamweight has developed himself into one of the top training partners in the game. Regularly working with UFC standout, Paul “the Irish Dragon” Felder, Cafaro has taken advantage and traveled with Felder out to Rufus Sport to help fighters with their own camps. He also is a regular at Nick Catone MMA, where he practices with Frankie Edgar and Marlon Moraes along with numerous other very talented fighters. Royal Striking with Aaron Meisner is another spot where you might run into this finely tuned athlete, training and holding pads for some of the best in the world.
Cafaro believes his former routine of cutting down to 135 played a big part in him not feeling 100% and led to him sustaining injuries that kept him out of action, as well as having some tough luck with opponents consistently pulling out against him. He’s settled in at 145 lbs and says he’s feeling like he is in the best condition of his life. His opponent is a very tough test, but Cafaro is feeling happy that he’s finally going to get to fight because it will be almost 13 months since the last time the cage doors were locked behind him.
I ran into Ryan at the UFC Gym Cherry Hill, NJ, where he still teaches the advanced MMA class a few times per week. Please give a listen as the man with the boyish good looks tells us a little about his path and his upcoming clash on August 5th.