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MMA FIGHTER CARLOS FLORES IS LIVING THE DREAM
By: Jennifer Cho Salaff
Carlos Flores would say his journey in becoming a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter is unconventional, at best. His isn’t the groomed-from-childhood sports story. Nor is it a tale of careful tutelage by prestigious instructors or sought-after schools. In fact, the Yuma, Arizona native is completely self-taught.
It all started one afternoon while Flores was sitting on his couch watching TV. “Hey, I can do that,” he said to himself while watching an Ultimate Fighter Championship (UFC) match that fateful day eight years ago. “Once I made that decision, I knew there was no turning back. I had to do it.”
So Flores got his hands on any and every video he could find on MMA. He bought hundreds of magazines and books. He studied for hours, burning the midnight oil and burning through more than 3,000 DVDs. “People told me, ‘You’re crazy, you can’t do this, you’re too old,’ and it made me want to do it more,” Flores, 37, says. “As a kid, my dad used to tell me, ‘There’s people who think they can do something, people who say they can do something, and people who just do it. Which one are you going to be?’ If you believe you can do it, then you can. There’s nothing in this life you can’t achieve.”
When Flores was 8 years old, he was encouraged by his father (a professional boxer) to step into the ring. But Flores couldn’t stand getting punched in the face. So he quit and opted for wrestling, becoming a city champ in junior high and high school. Then life and its responsibilities took over, as they so often do, and Flores found himself working 12 to 13 hour shifts at his parents’ tortilla factory and bartending on the side. He took up power lifting as a hobby, but knew there was something unfinished out there, waiting for him.
When Flores made the decision to become a MMA fighter, he was 29. Looking up to UFC legend Tito Ortiz, Flores decided one day to reach out to his idol. “I was on Twitter and told him, ‘You’re my inspiration and I would love to train with you. It would be an honor,’” Flores says. “I wasn’t expecting a reply, but he got back to me within an hour and invited me to his gym in Huntington Beach.”
Flores made the trip to Punishment Training Center in Southern California last September, got mat time with Ortiz, and ended up trying out for Team Punishment, Ortiz’s MMA team. Today, Team Punishment sponsored Flores. “It’s a dream come true,” Flores says.
Flores splits his time between Yuma and Huntington Beach, driving 500 miles round trip every week. It’s tough, especially with a newborn daughter at home. But Flores knows he can provide his family a better life by getting his career where he wants. The ultimate goal is competing in the UFC.
“This is my job and my life,” Flores says. “It’s my passion and I love it.” MS&F
Carlos ‘The Yuman Prodigy’ Flores
Sport: Mixed Martial Arts
Class: Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight
Greatest accomplishment: Winner at 2011 Bellator Fighting Championship
Flores' Supplements: Max Lean Protein, Max LiquiCarn, Max Cleanse & Lean, 2TX, FBX, Xtinguisher, EnduroMax, ARM, Max Green Synergy, Pro BCAA, Amino Max and Max Vit-Acell
Favorite Max Muscle supplement stack: 2TX, Max ZMA, Max Vit-Acell, ARM
What does being a part of Team Max mean to you? “I lost 70 pounds using an arsenal of Max Muscle products. It’s an honor and a privilege to take the best supplements in the world.” MS&F