When Primo Bellarosa vacationed to his camp in Maine 5 years ago with his wife, he knew he had found a place where he wanted to spend the rest of his life. He and his wife had committed to move to the Pine Tree state from their current residence in New York, and the journey began. After building his house in the woods a year and a half ago, Primo's next goal was to open his new gym - Vision Quest Muay Thai.
Bellarosa may be new to Maine, but he isn't new to the combat sports game. He trained boxing with his dad at the age of 9, wrestled in high school & college, is a purple belt in bjj, and became a high-level muay thai practitioner, and now he has evolved into one of the best MMA coaches in the region.
Muay Thai has been the vehicle that has brought Primo much of his success in the combat sports world, as he amassed a 14-1 pro record and won 7 titles. He's also trained 71 champions and a total of 28 fighters that have competed in the top fighting organizations in the world such as; UFC, Bellator, Glory Kickboxing, Strikeforce and ONE FC. A former coach at Bombsquad MMA in Rochester, NY and Westchester Fight Club, Bellarosa was ready to hang his own shingle in central Maine once he finished building his house. The pandemic put a slight delay to his plans, but he recently opened up Vision Quest Muay Thai (VQMT) in Newport, Maine, just west of Bangor.
The choice to move from New York to Maine was an easy one for Primo and his wife, and they've fit in quickly with their new surroundings. Although Primo just recently claimed residence in New England, you've surely seen him around the fight game in the region for quite some time. It was funny when a FaceBook post popped up on my feed recently from former UFC fighter Marcus Davis, and in the pictures from 15 years ago you can see Primo wrapping hands backstage for Team Irish at an event in New Hampshire. You've probably also seen him in the corner of many Young's MMA fighters, as he and Chris Young have a close relationship and have teamed up in the past.
Bellarosa's journey to Muay Thai stardom started by training MMA out in Indiana under Lane Andrews, who at the time was a Pancrase and Shooto veteran. He became one of his main sparing partners for MMA matches, and quickly realized that he had to learn how to defend kicks. "I only started doing Muay Thai because I was sick of getting kicked in the legs when training and fighting MMA. I was like 'man this sucks', I need to learn how to defend these." He ended up focusing his training on Muay Thai, and quickly realized he was pretty good at it. In the end, Primo ended up hooking up with UFC FightPass and commentating for some of their Muay Thai events broadcasted on the platform in recent years.
Primo eventually found himself back in New York as the head Muay Thai coach at Bombsquad in Rochester, NY, training all of their fighters in the standup game. His skillset as a coach and trainer eventually brought him in contact with legendary New England MMA figures in Mark Dellagrotte (Sityodtong) and Marcus Davis, former Maine Native and UFC fighter. Those relationships brought him into the New England MMA scene, and a chance encounter with Maine based fighter Fred Lear at a UFC event eventually got him connected with Chris Young (owner and head coach of Young's MMA in Bangor). The relationship with Young blossomed and Bellarosa then found himself holding clinics and training many of the professional fighters alongside Chris at Young's MMA.
Most recently Bellarosa has been focusing much of his coaching skills on one of his students (and coach at VQMT); up and coming prospect Josh Harvey. Harvey is the 4th ranked lightweight in New England, and boasts a 7-1-1 record, with that lone tie being a robbery that should actually be another mark in the win column for him. Bellarosa has been grooming Harvey for the next level, and the Maine native is a few wins away from getting an opportunity on the Contender Series with a shot of making the UFC roster. The pandemic has put the duo in a precarious position though, as local MMA shows have been non-existent for more than a year, and the opportunities that are presented out of the region are typically situations where he'd be brought in to lose to the local guy. Not exactly the position you want to be in when you're only a win or two away from getting the call from the big leagues.
The opening of VQMT marks a defining moment in Primo's life, as he's found an area where he wants to live for the rest of his life, and is able to devote 100% of his time and effort into offering some of the best training in the region. Bellarosa is definitely equipped to train and coach high-level professional fighters, but his gym also offers classes for all levels in Muay Thai, boxing, BJJ, kickboxing, and general fitness. He's already training a stable of amateur and professional fighters in the region, and he's building his non-competing clientele quickly as well.
This month marks the 20 year anniversary of Vision Quest Muay Thai, and although he has never had his own gym up until now, he's been constantly training fighters in the northeast, and this is something he plans on doing until the day he dies. The region has been lucky to gain another high-level coach that will give fighters another outlet to improve their skills in order to get to the next level. Combat sports is in his blood, and his down-to-earth, methodical approach to training guys has given him the opportunity to run his own gym under the Vision Quest Muay Thai name.
Make sure you check out VQMT on all social media platforms, and go check them out up in Newport, Maine and drop in for a class and some high-level training.
134B Main St Newport, ME 04953