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Dominating force

  • Joseph Movsessian of New Ipswich spends time every day training for a career in mixed martial arts, including honing his boxing skills (above) and his grappling techniques (below). Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Joseph Movsessian of New Ipswich is training for a career in mixed martial arts. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Joseph Movsessian of New Ipswich is training for a career in mixed martial arts. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Joseph Movsessian of New Ipswich is training for a career in mixed martial arts. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Joseph Movsessian of New Ipswich is training for a career in mixed martial arts. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Joseph Movsessian of New Ipswich is training for a career in mixed martial arts. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Joseph Movsessian of New Ipswich is training for a career in mixed martial arts. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 1:4PM

Joe Movsessian was always destined for athletics. After all, the Movsessians of New Ipswich are an athletic family; mother Dana is a weightlifter and Crossfit instructor, father Jason is a track athlete, and brothers Josh and Jake are cross-country and track stars as well.

But Joe’s plans take him down a different path.

“When I was younger, I watched a couple Rocky movies, and I was like, I want to fight,” Movsessian said. Growing up, the now 18-year-old Mascenic senior steeped himself in Tyson, Ali, Silva and the other great fighters, watching Youtube videos at any free moment.

In his teens, Movsessian tried out some grappling and mixed martial arts training, and before long, he was hooked.

“It was just for fun for the first two years and then I thought wow, I really want to do this as a career,” Movsessian said. “There’s nothing else I want to do. I’m not a desk job type of guy.”

Now, Movsessian rises at 4:30 a.m. each day to train before attending to schoolwork and then, three or four times a week, heads over to Contenders Gym in Keene to spar against a variety of opponents, honing his skills for the real thing.

“It’s hard to balance everything else with it but it keeps me busy,” Movsessian said.

When he gets in the ring, whether it’s at Contenders or at a regional fight – usually a two-plus hour drive away – Movsessian’s mind is on one thing: dominance.

“The appeal is seeing if I can hit the other person without them hitting me, doing whatever I want to the other person,” Movsessian said. “It’s like a dominance thing, being able to dominate someone, it’s exciting.”

Movsessian and his parents understand the danger of the sport, but they all agree that Joe has found his calling.

“It’s his passion, so we encourage it,” Jason said.

“I’d rather have him pursuing his dream rather than tell him ‘No, it’s too hurtful,’” Dana said. “I know there’s a lot of injuries that could happen down the road, but you’ve got to live your life.”

Now that he’s turned 18, Movsessian can take the next step and compete professionally, and once he’s through with school, he plans to go all in, with confidence.

“Work hard, have dedication, you’ve really got to want it,” Movsessian said. “That’s really it, there’s nothing to it. Just train hard, try to get better, dedicate yourself. Should work out!”