Soa ‘The Hulk’ Palelei, a Perth boy with iron fists and a heart of gold.

When I met Soa Palelei at an event at Success Library, his story touched me. Listening to him, I was in tears. He came across as true, raw and honest. The level of humility telling his life story was unexpected and beautiful. I just had to read the book and you should too.

Soa had it tough when he was a kid. His life was not easy. He fled his abusive uncle, he became homeless living under a neighbor’s house and ate dog food to prevent starvation.

In his book : Face your fears : an Australian MMA fighter’s amazing true story of hardship, belief and redemption, he recalls the fear, the constant hunger and the tears of his adolescence.


Watching him speak, I could see it was not easy re-living his younger days. Soa did not write his book to become famous, his reasons are more powerful than that. As a child, he went through intense pain and terror under his uncle’s daily beatings. As an adult, he fought depression and suicidal thoughts – he overcame it all and his message is clear: if he can, then you can too.

Soa ‘The Hulk’ Palelei is a big deal in the UFC. He made his impact with his fists and his strength, but his heart and soul are definitely made of gold. He was not born a fighter but life happened and as it turns out, Mixed Martial Arts saved him.

Face your fears is an incredible autobiography. This is not a book just about fighting, it is about overcoming tough times. It is about helping people.

I can’t emphasise how much of an impact seeing Soa speak had on me. Make sure you grab his book, then jump at the next chance you get to see him in person, you will not be disappointed.