My name is John “First-Class” Raio. I am a former state champion wrestler for Gardiner, Maine in 1995. I wrestled for 2 years at Plymouth State College as a starter and had excellent coaches and an awesome team, but was no longer committed to the sport. I transferred to USM and wrestled as a starter for Hall of Fame coach Ted Reese, but once again wasn’t committed to the sport.
I graduated USM in 2001 with a BSW in Social Work and worked in the field for 5 years. During this time I had deep regrets for not committing to my college wrestling career and wanted to start training MMA. My work schedule and the birth of my son, made it difficult for me to fulfill this goal. I started working as a mailman in Portland 5 years ago, which is how I got my nickname. My work schedule was not flexible, so I was still unable to start training. Finally, last January, I was able to start training at MMA Athletix in Brunswick. With Ryan Cowette (recently ranked #1 as an amateur MMA fighter at 185 in New England) and Glenn Cugo (a former pro boxer) as my trainers, I once again have awesome coaching. This time I am committed and will have no regrets. I give 100% every day and am in the best shape of my life.
I weighed 195 lbs. last year at this time. After training hard and eating a healthy diet, I’ve dropped 40 lbs. in the past year. I am down to 155 lbs. and will be fighting at 145 lbs. on February 11th. You have to be disciplined to complete in this sport. I have a lot of respect for MMA and all of the fighters. At any time your opponent can catch you with a powerful strike or a submission. I am thankful to have this opportunity to get in the cage and represent MMA Athletix and compete for the first time. I am also a Christian. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.