In the world of athletics and Pop Culture there are only a handful of names that have really made it big as independents. Notre Dame football and Macklemore instantly spring to mind. Now there’s another to add to that list: MMA Fighter Steve Orosco.
The San Diego-based Orosco currently sports a 5-0 pro MMA record, all under the Xplode Fight Series promotion, and has done it without the support of a traditional team. While this approach might be unorthodox, Orosco sees it as an advantage.
“I’m definitely a big proponent of ‘iron sharpens iron’. If you train with the same people too much, you’re not going to get any better. Coaches that have a team will disagree and say, ‘Well we can bring people in,’ but if I train with GSP every single day for 6 months, he’s not going to be as good to me as he is to someone who’s never trained with him before,” Orosco said.
In addition to this belief, Orosco also uses another tool in his arsenal to forge his MMA career independently: his intelligence. “I think I can get my own fights and be smart enough about who to fight and who not to fight right now. I’m taking a safer path than most people. I don’t really want to be a local hero, I shouldn’t be anyone’s goal,” Orosco explained.
When looking at Orosco’s background, it is clear why he takes such a cerebral approach to his training and career path. Prior to moving to San Diego, Orosco lived on the East Coast where he obtained both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and worked in the Financial Industry in New York City. Orosco admits that although the money was good, he just was not happy with the daily grind and wanted to follow his true passions: training and fighting.
Orosco moved out to San Diego and began teaching boxing lessons and training. He eventually connected with Xplode Fight Series, where he has won all five of his professional fights, with none of them going past the first round. In fact, you might not want to blink when you watch Orosco fight, because he ended his last fight in 38 seconds.
Orosco goes into his fights with a set gameplan, but said that once the fight starts, things never go according to plan. “I always say I’m going to do something, but it never happens. Your instincts just take over.” Those instincts fuel Orosco and push him past the pre-fight nerves and allow him to do what he does best: win.
“When I’m warming up I have moments of ‘Why am I here? I could be at home eating a pizza right now? Why am I fighting someone’. But once they call your name and you start walking out it all goes away. It’s game on,” Orosco said.
Orosco knows that he will face tougher competition down the road, but has faith in his preparation and training. “I train with A-level guys, so I hope I’ll be ready when the time comes and I truly think that I know how to fight. So when I get in there, I think I’ll be ok. I feel like I’m a lot bigger than a lot of these 155’ers,” Orosco jokes.
Orosco’s dominance thus far is proof that he is in the right profession. And because he is his own team, Orosco has a well-thought out plan with an eye toward his future. Orosco plans to fight several more times this year and achieve a 10-0 record, then make it to a bigger show.
Even though Orosco is not affiliated with a team, he still has a strong network of coaches, sponsors, and supporters around him. Brutal Gear, Myxologie Juice Bar, FIT Athletic Club, and True Honor all play a vital role in Orosco’s training, for which Orosco is grateful. “Myxologie gives me all of my post-workout needs which are crucial to my performance, especially when I’m putting in hard two-a-day sessions,” Orosco said.
Orosco’s respect, passion, and innovative approach to fighting are breaths of fresh air, and have served him well so far. Be sure to check out his next fight Saturday July 19, 2014 at XFS Cerebral.