Senior Chases MMA Dreams

While other senior athletes plan to immerse themselves in traditional sports like soccer and baseball at college next year, senior Chris Jimenez has something a little different in mind. After a hugely successful wrestling career at Los Altos, Chris is planning to chase his dream of becoming a professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Over the course of his wrestling career at LAHS, Chris took the league title twice and made several state championship appearances. He said that his favorite Los Altos Wrestling moments were “being the first freshman to take first place at a varsity tournament,” winning two league titles, and “being able to wrestle as a whole.”

However, when Chris learned that Foothill College (where he will attend next year) didn’t have a wresting team, he realized that he would need to seek out another way to continue competing.

“The high school coach from Monta Vista [High School] really wanted me to get into [mixed martial arts],” Chris said.  “I never really thought of doing anything like this, so he really kept begging me to go into the class, and I finally went in one day and I started liking it.”

After one class at AKA, a MMA gym in Fremont, Chris was hooked. The similarities between wrestling and MMA made the sport something that he excelled at, and its aggressive style drew him in.

“It mixes with wrestling, and then … I just get to beat on people,” Chris said. “You know, I’ve never really punched someone before.”

The UFC has recently created a new 125-pound weight class, which has given Chris the opportunity to try to fight professionally. He hopes to be competing in the UFC in two to three years.

Next year, Chris will train twice a day in order to prepare for major fights, which he hopes will help him gain the attention of professional agents.

“Once I get noticed, hopefully the opportunity will come and announce itself,” Chris said.