Columbia, SC (WLTX) --- Ferdinando Accera is climbing the ranks throughout the mixed martial arts world.
Accera, who is stationed at Shaw AFB in Sumer, picked up the sport of mixed martial arts while stationed in South Korea in 2008. Learning Brazilian Ju-Jitsu was one of the ways Accera stayed out of trouble.
"It was either drink all the time or find other things to do to occupy your time," he said. "I did it six days a week, three hours a day and fell in love with it."
Mixed Martial Arts hasn't been on the national sports scene that long. It's grown in popular with the rise of UFC and Strikeforce. MMA is exactly what it is, a mixing or joining of different martial arts. Some of those who participate specialize in boxing and Muy Thai fighting. It can also include wrestling and kickboxing, as an example.
Throughout his both his amatuer and professional career, Accera boasts a record of seven wins and just one loss. It isn't uncommon a successful fighter to let the winning go to their head. That isn't case for Ferdinando Accera.
"I'm surrounded by a lot of really positive people....in this sport you have to be," he stressed. "If you to progress in this sport you have to be around people who want to do better and better."
Accera isn't just a winner inside the squared circle. He's doing his part to be a winner outside of it, too. Following his last fight, he donated a portion of his winnings to Preston Seibel. Seibel is a three year-old boy battling cancer. Accera has used some of his prize money to fund Seibel's transportation to and from New York for treatment.