I’m an MMA star and animal lover… I live with lions, crocodiles and SHARKS
KARLOS VEMOLA is the MMA star and animal lover who lives with lions, crocodiles and even SHARKS with his wife and kids.
Vemola has had a storied career fighting across Europe since his debut in 2008 and even had a brief stint in the UFC.
Although he shot to recognition as a star of OKTAGON MMA and now challenges for the promotion’s light-heavyweight title.
But away from the cage, Vemola’s passion lies with looking after his exotic pets which includes lionesses, tigers, crocodiles and baby sharks.
Lionesses – Elsa and Princess – are his pride and joy and he was then convinced into owning a white tiger thanks to Mike Tyson.
Vemola told Sporf: “The first one, I rescued. And it went from there because lions breed a lot.
“There are not many spaces for the lions, so she came to my house. I provided her with a home and got her a little mate to make sure she wouldn’t be lonely.
“Then I saw Mike Tyson, with the white tiger. So I thought, ‘I wanna have a white tiger too’, and I got myself a white tiger.”
Vemola’s Instagram is filled with snaps of his tigers and lions but his wild pet collection does not stop there.
The father-of-four even has crocodiles inside his home which he feeds with his young son.
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He said: “Don’t ask me how I got the crocodiles because that was just crazy. When I was a kid, I couldn’t have animals.
“My parents were strict, and I couldn’t even have a hamster. So when I grew up, I thought, ‘When I was young, I couldn’t have it, but now I can’.
“And once, I was with my ex-partner and my son at the zoo, and my son saw a crocodile.
“He said, ‘Dad, can we get a crocodile? And she goes. ‘Of course not. Are you crazy’? I said, ‘No, he’s not. Listen, if my son wants a crocodile, he will have a crocodile’.
“And within two weeks, I had a four-meter crocodile swimming in my living room.”
Vemola also has baby sharks in his living room but he is not done yet when it comes to additions to his homemade zoo.
He joked: “I’ve got all the big animals, so the next step might have to be an elephant.”
Despite living with the wild cats, Vemola insisted he is most fearful of his wife Lela, who he shares a daughter and son with.
He said: “The scariest thing in my house has to be my wife.
“The animals are great. I believe you get from them what you give to them. If you behave badly with them, you will have bad animals.
“I have lions and tigers, and you’d think they eat me alive, but they’re good.
Vemola has proven to be an animal in the cage and has eight wins in his last nine.
He returns this Saturday in Slovakia in a 205lb title challenge against Pavol Langer.
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