ByPaul Elizondo, writer at
Ammy Fighter training out of Bullard Wrestling and Halo BJJ
Paul Elizondo

Wrestling has always been my life. From the age of six, all the way until college, all I did was wrestle. I never competed in any kind of striking before I made my amateur debut in March 2016.

Of course, I took classes and trained, but when I walked into that cage for the first time, it was a true test to what I had been learning. Most people think that fighters with a wrestling background just lay on their opponents until the time runs out and they win — that's not me.

Of my three MMA fights, I have won all by TKO. There's no laying down.

Now, less than a year after making my debut, I have been offered my first amateur title shot. On January 21, I will be competing at 559 Fights for the California state title, and I know, without a doubt, that I am ready to win this belt.

I know that I can outmatch anyone, and I know my time is now.

There have been times where I was offered fights and the timing wasn't right, and I turned them down. Now, the time is right for me to take the title, it's been something I have been hoping and praying for, and after I win I will take the next logical step in my career.

But, I'm not sure yet if that means turning professional.

I'm already 25, and I know that I need to take my abilities to the next level but I'm not sure if this will be my last amateur fight, or if it will just be a step in that direction.

I try not think too far in advance because you never know what can happen in a year. If you had asked me this time last year if I'd be fighting for a title, I would have said "No," but here I am. A year ago I wasn't even sure I'd ever have an MMA fight.

I don't know what the future holds for me, but I know this much — I'm only going uphill from here.

All photos by Amy Kaplan


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