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Apple of the Eye of the Tiger

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Jimmie Rivera’s path to the UFC started with a teenage crush and earned him a second family.

Danny Schulmann heard about this kid his teenage daughter had a crush on and he wanted to go size him up. This was about 12 years ago.

Schulmann, better known as “Tiger” in martial arts circles, is a former multiple-time karate champion and the patriarch of the famed Tiger Schulmann’s MMA schools all over New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

His daughter Danielle was training for her karate black belt when she was 14 years old alongside a boy Schulmann didn’t know named Jimmie Rivera. Schulmann went down to the Tiger Schulmann’s school in Ramsey, N.J., to help Danielle train, but also check out this Rivera kid.

Part of Danielle’s post-workout cool down was a set of 50 pushups. Rivera did it along with her. But Schulmann got on him.

“I looked at him and I go, ‘If she does 50, she’s a girl, you’ve gotta do 150,'” Schulmann said. … “His legs were shaking, his arms were shaking, but he pumped out 150 pushups. And he did them right. He was 15 years old.”

(Courtesy of Jimmie Rivera)

That was the first time Schulmann and Rivera ever met. Rivera was already a student at his schools for a number of years — since he was eight years old — but had never met the head instructor. It was teenage love that started it all.

“Thinking about it now, I never thought it was a test to see if this kid is worthy enough for my daughter,” Rivera said with a laugh. “I never thought of it like that. Now, [12] years later, I see he was really testing me. I never thought that.”

Rivera and Danielle dated for a time, but like most high-school age sweethearts ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting