During my visit to Nova Friburgo, we had a meeting with the Mayor of the city, Mayor Dermeval Barboza Moreira Neto. He heard we were coming to Nova Friburgo to lend a hand. We spent a part of the morning with him and his staff discussing the days after the floods, the challenges encountered in the city, and the challenges that continue in rebuilding. He was very thankful that a charity from the United States had an interest in helping. He was also happy to see one of the city’s own successful athletes, Edson Barboza Junior, was a part of the effort even though “Junior” now lives fulltime in the US living his dream of fighting in the UFC.
The Combat Athletes for Nova Friburgo meeting with the Mayor was featured in a local newspaper, A Voz Da Serra Online. Here is the english text of the article:
On the morning of May 30th, Mayor Dermeval Barboza Moreira Neto met with the charity of Combat Athletes for Nova Friburgo of the United States. The visit was marked by a spirit of solidarity of the founders of the charity, Joe Mullings and Nova Friburgo resident, Alex Davis. In January, Joe learned of the tragedy in Nova Friburgo from one of his fighters from the academy , Edson Barboza Jr., who hails from Nova Friburgo. He was concerned about the situation of the athlete’s family and immediately organized a campaign to raise funds to help the flood victims. Edson Barboza Jr., is also an alumnus of the academy FIGHT CO, Anderson Franca. Edson now resides in Florida, where he is training as a professional MMA Fighter and has recently won his first 2 fights in the UFC. At the meeting with the mayor, the athlete was represented by his father, Edson Barboza. During the visit, the entrepreneurs received recommendations from Dermeval Neto, who put them in touch with the Municipal Assistance, Social Development and Labor. All defined the items most needed at this time so they can buy and donate to the neediest families. Joe reiterated that the campaign is still here and the people of Nova Friburgo can count on the “strength” of these athletes.
We were also contacted by a television station in Nova Friburgo as they wanted to highlight our efforts and share our story with their viewers. Included in the interview was Anderson Franca, the owner of the training academy FightCo in Nova Friburgo and Edson’s original and long-time coach. Edson Barboza Sr, Edson’s father, represented “Junior” since he was back in the States preparing for his next fight on the UFC Rio card in August 2011.