Casa Grande grandfather fights in first amateur MMA event

by / Friday, 26 September 2014 / Published in News

Casa Grande grandfather fights in first amateur MMA event

Click here to read from the publication source: http://www.kpho.com/story/26590172/casa-grande-grandfather-fights-in-first-amateur-mma-event


Manuel DeJesus


There are people in the world who prove to us every day that age shouldn’t stand in the way of anything.

For a Casa Grande resident, his main job is to protect and serve for a local police department. His new side job is kicking butt and taking names.

Manuel DeJesus is way different from your typical Mixed Martial Arts fighter.

He’s also a physical training coach at work where, for the past 10 years, he’s been an officer with the Gila River Police Department. He also has two grandchildren.

DeJesus, 44, was first exposed to MMA fighting two years ago at a training seminar for work.

For the past eight weeks, he has been training twice a day, six days a week, to get ready for the big fight put on by the Valley-based World Fighting Federation.

“That’s what motivates me. The guys who are half my age tell me, ‘You’re a lot quicker than half the guys who come in here,'” DeJesus said. “It was a rush, an adrenaline rush. My wife and my daughter were screaming.”

Saturday night at Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino was DeJesus’ first amateur event, a three-round fight. DeJesus said he and his opponent were pretty evenly matched.

His wife says it was difficult at first to see her husband in a situation where he could get hurt.

“It was. It was because it was the first time. But I think I’m ready for next time,” said Marisela Duarte with a laugh.

“I was doing well. My corner was telling me, ‘You’re doing well; you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing,” DeJesus said.

In the third round, DeJesus said he briefly got distracted after losing his mouthpiece. His opponent seized on that moment, got the upper hand, and DeJesus ended up tapping out.

He’s already got another fight scheduled for November

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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