- Ian Dela Cuesta
- Instagram: @ianjoshuamma
- Occupation: personal trainer, line service agent at Hawaiian Airlines, Bantamweight professional mixed martial artist
- Hometown: Ewa Beach, HI
- Age: 28
I’ve known Ian for almost a year, as he coaches the bootcamp classes at my gym. Between training clients and getting in a workout for himself, Ian sat down with me to talk about his background, his diet, the upcoming Bellator MMA Hawaii event, and life outside the gym.
Can you tell me about your sports background?
I grew up playing pretty much every single sport you can think of; football, basketball, baseball, ran track, soccer. But as I got older, I started playing just the main ones which were football and track. And then that led me to playing for the University of Washington, where I had a scholarship to play football and run track. I also boxed growing up, too.
How did you get into MMA?
I just missed competing when I came back (to Hawaii) from college, so I kind of just wandered into a gym where I had no intentions of competing like professionally or anything. Then I kind of just took a fight on a whim and I just kept winning and winning, and I turned professional and never looked back since.
Can you tell me about any upcoming fights?
There’s Bellator Hawaii coming. It’s a really, really big thing. Most people don’t know, but they actually are going to be the first big (MMA) organization that is coming to Hawaii. They beat out the UFC which is really, really huge. That’s going to be at the Blaisdell December 15th. I’ll be on the main undercard. I don’t know who I’m fighting yet. It’s still kind of far out, but it’s a really big thing for me to get signed there. It’s something that I’ve been waiting for my whole career. It’s finally paying off I guess you could say.
What’s your diet like when you’re training?
It’s pretty strict. Real, real calculated. I have a nutritionist that I work with who lives in Vegas, and we talk daily. It changes from week to week depending on what my weight is like and how I’m feeling. Everything is weighed out. My macros and my calories are all counted out and taken into consideration.
I see on Instagram that you utilize a meal service. Can you tell me more about that?
So recently I ended up getting sponsored by a company called Aina Meals. Super, super helpful company. But they also work with my nutritionist. My nutritionist will send me my macros for the week, and I’ll send it to them and they’ll tailor make my meals. That’s one huge thing that I don’t have to worry about.
Favorite Cheat Meal: Ice Cream, specifically Talenti Caribbean Coconut gelato
Favorite Meal to Cook: Turkey Chili
As a personal trainer, what do you enjoy the most about training other people?
I love being able to help people and just help change their lives for the better and seeing them happy and confident. Even if it’s just a little thing to help them achieve a small goal, it makes me happy.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not working or training?
Definitely spending time with my family, my daughters. Just enjoying the time that I have with them, since I work so much and train so much. Any free time I have with them, I take advantage of it.
What is an interesting fact that most people don’t know about you?
That I’m a big nerd. I enjoy reading, writing, drawing, lots of nerdy things…reading comics.
Do you have a favorite comic?
Who is someone you enjoy following on Instagram, and why do you like their content?
Hawaii’s Best Kitchens (@hawaiisbestkitchens): I like looking at their food posts, especially because I’m dieting all the time so it’s like a way of me living through it kind of. It’s something I can’t have, but I look forward to having it when I can. I make like a big list of things I want to eat after (a fight). It just keeps me up to date on all the newest and greatest places to go eat in Hawaii.
By following Ian’s Instagram feed, you get a small glimpse of the hard work that he puts into his training, and his long days of working two jobs. Knowing this tough MMA athlete in real life, I can tell you that he maintains this busy schedule, while demonstrating kindness and positivity towards everyone he meets. He shows a genuine interest in helping others, and his hard work is sure to set him up for success.
Mahalo to Ian for spending some time with me! Stay tuned for more interviews with “People I Follow on Instagram.”