Santa Paula Times

Local MMA fighter brings home title

September 27, 2013

Santa Paula’s Mike Perez recently won the mixed martial arts middleweight title at the Earl Warren Show grounds as part of the California Fight Syndicate’s Vendetta.

In the main event, Perez (7-4) used a rear choke to claim Justin McClain’s (6-4) middleweight title at 1:28 of the first round. Perez, who is 28, began wrestling in 1995 at the age of 12 because he thought it was WWF wrestling.  He placed third in his class in the Tri-County Championships in the freestyle type of wrestling.  He also took third place in the Greco-Roman style.

He spent his years at Santa Paula High School involved in several different sports, but not high school wrestling.  He played basketball, track and football.  He was voted the Most Athletic at Santa Paula High in 2003, his senior year.

After high school Perez joined the Marines, and while serving with an infantry unit, he was involved in two major operations in Iraq.  That’s where he learned several forms of martial arts. 

In 2008 he was discharged from the Marines and found a jujitsu school in Ventura.  During his time there he earned his blue belt and started competing in MMA events, submitting all of his opponents.  IN 2010 he rejoined the Marines for one year as an instructor. Training troops in hand-to-hand combat.