By MARC RAIMONDI
Leo Frincu came to the United States from Communist Romania with $10, a back pack and four words of English.
Now, he’s a businessman, renowned trainer and mentor for UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
In his new book “Choosing Freedom,” Frincu details the steps he took to leave the oppressive Romanian society through wrestling and how his experiences have helped him in the United States – going from a bus boy to successful entrepreneur.
“I knew I needed to become the best I could in this sport to get out of [Romania],” Frincu told The Post. “I needed to become a world champion. That was my way out.”
Just months after training to become part of the Romanian Olympic team, Frincu departed his native country for Los Angeles, because he wanted the kind of freedom that the United States allows. He had a friend in California, but little else. A six-time Romanian wrestling champion and four-time European champion, Frincu went from respected athlete to washing dishes at an LA restaurant.
“It was an amazing transition,” Frincu said. “It was very challenging mentally and psychologically.”
But he worked his way up. Soon, Frincu was training Olympic wrestling hopefuls in Colorado Springs and a training business arose. Rousey, the most famous women’s MMA fighter on the planet, is one of his prized pupils.
Technically, Frincu is her strength and conditioning and wrestling coach. But Rousey says he’s much more than that.
“When I feel out of control and like I’m losing my grip on everything, he’s the one I can talk to and make me feel like I can handle it,” Rousey said. “The kind of message that he’s really delivering in that book is exactly the kind of service he’s provided to me.”
To Frincu, “Choosing Freedom” is part biography, part how-to, part motivational literature.
“We all fall into a comfort zone in whatever we do,” he said. “Whether it be athletically, financially, in our relationships, personally. The book shows the steps I took to get out of my comfort zone.”
The book starts with Frincu’s life in Romania and that will also open the eyes of those in the United States, he says.
“The book will make the reader appreciate the life we have right now, the freedom we take for granted,” he said. “I’m opening my heart and soul to the public to learn from my experiences and use the tools I used.”