Jiu jitsu gives Chico's Nicholas Maximov a leg up on football foes

Oct 28, 2015 9:02 PM by Ross Field

A Chico High School football player is not only bringing down opposing quarterbacks this season, he's also tackling competitors on the mat. Nicholas Maximov uses jiu jitsu to get a leg up on the competition.

Chico High School’s Nicholas Maximov is an athlete cut from the old school. He gives 100% all the time, goes 100 mph all the time. A guy with a “high-motor” who refuses to quit.

"I really try and push myself so I'm ready, I'm ready for anything that comes my way," said Maximov.

On Friday night, a lot comes his way.

Offensive lineman, running backs, double-teams, triple-teams, opposing coaches try to do all they can to keep him from getting to the quarterback.

Well, good luck with that.

In eight games Maximov has 14.5 sacks, which puts him tied for second in the state!

He has an interception returned for a touchdown, a blocked punt and two forced fumbles.

Teammate Cameron Alfaro explains his value.

"He gets those big sacks for us in clutch moments, just being on his team gets you fired up," said Alfaro.

But there’s much more to this story.

After Friday nights spent on the football field giving it his all, Maximov turns around the following morning and competes in jiu jitsu tournaments.

"On Saturday mornings, I'll wake up at 6:00 a.m., drive down to the Bay Area, usually San Francisco or Santa Cruz and go compete in ju jitsu. I roll out of bed, get my qi ready, get my bag ready, sometimes can't feel my legs, like it's bad, football makes me really sore," said Maximov.

But that hasn’t stopped him from dominating on the mat in the 195-lb division.

"I haven't lost a ju jitsu match during football season," said Maximov.

He’s 8-0 with two tournament titles, and he’s fighting guys as old as thirty who train solely on jiu jitsu. Maximov is 17-years-old.

"It's incredible man, I couldn't see myself doing that," said Alfaro.

"It's pretty satisfying knowing I can beat anyone on any given day," said Maximov.

On top of winning, jiu jitsu has helped Maximov become a better football player.

"It specifically helps me with my hand-fighting, when a lineman grabs your jersey, you need to know how to break the hands. Bbut it's also about your hips, getting off the ball, I'm really explosive, really powerful," said Maximov.

He’s elevating his game quite literally from the ground up.

“He's a different breed, he's a beast," said Alfaro.

Beast.... that’s what he wants.

"I think it's the Russian inside of me that makes me a little bit crazy," said Maximov.


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