[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n May 31, XFO (X-Treme Fighting Organization), the Midwest’s top regional mixed martial arts (MMA) production company, will be holding XFO 51 at the UIC Pavilion. XFO 51 will feature several top Hispanic MMA prospects, one of them being Horacio Gutierrez, who is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, and will be making his American professional debut.
Like many Mexicans, Gutierrez had a love for boxing. When he was 14 years old, he stopped into what he thought was a boxing gym. However, it turned out to be a muay thai (Thai boxing) gym called Baan Sintong and he fell in love with the sport. His trainer, Carlos Navarro, spent two years fighting in Thailand and is the only Mexican to win at muay thai’s mecca, Lumpini Stadium. Navarro was also a top-10 fighter and a former IKF Lightweight Champion. With hard work, dedication and top training from Navarro, Gutierrez amassed a 23-2 record with 19 knockouts and has not lost in eight years.
“His aggressiveness impressed me. His kicks and body shots were brutal and thrown with bad intentions,” stated Roberto Ramirez, Chicago Fight Team head coach, adding that he wanted him to fight MMA. At first, Gutierrez and Navarro were hesitant about the sport, but after watching Ramirez’s fighter in his MMA bout, Gutierrez felt excited and wanted to compete in the sport.
The following year, Gutierrez and his brother, Luis, took a trip to Panama City Beach, Fla. to celebrate the completion of his university degree. While in Florida, Gutierrez remembered Ramirez’s invitation to train in MMA at Chicago Fight Team. Gutierrez called Ramirez and told him he was coming to Chicago, and he and his brother took the two-day bus ride to Chicago to train with the team. The brothers stayed at the gym for five months and basically ate, slept and dreamt MMA.
“I want to be known as a hard-working fighter who knocks people out. I want to represent that Mexican spirit,” says Gutierrez.
He wants to be known as the one true striker in his division, while being unable to be taken down. “I come to fight and I will prove that this is my division,” stated Gutierrez.
He loves to fight and is humbled by the fact that it is his job and that he is living his dream here in America.
He draws inspiration from his family, who instilled in him a hard work. They are still in Guadalajara supporting him and he hopes to return the favor by succeeding in America.
XFO 51 takes place at the UIC Pavilion on May 31. Doors open at 5 p.m. and fights will start at 6 p.m.
For tickets, visit www.xfomma.com or contact Roberto Ramirez at Chicago Fight Team at 773-885-5700.