Local MMA champion heads to Fresno for title rematch
—Paso Robles has its own California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization champion in the featherweight division. His name is Chris Elisarraras, he’s 24 years old and at 5’6”, 135 pounds, he loves to fight. Next Saturday he’ll travel to Fresno to get back in the ring with Samuel Fierro of Kingsburg, California for a rematch. He’ll fight for the 135 title belt, last bout with Fierro was the 145 title belt that he won from Fierro when they first met in Visalia in September. It will be his last bout of 2016.
Elisarraras says he loves the pain and adrenalin that comes with the terrain.
“I love it, I love everything about it, I love getting hit, I love getting beaten, I like when somebody beats me…because it’s the only time I feel I’ve pushed myself to the extent that I can go, when I’m dropped. It’s funny, I went home the other day and I laid in bed and I told my girlfriend, I said ‘Wow, today was the best day of practice I’ve had in a really long time,’ and she asked why and I said ‘somebody dropped me’ (a guy hit me hard enough to drop me to the floor and that rarely ever happens) and she goes, ‘You’re really weird.’ Because who says that?”
Elisarraras is a character of his own creation—he wears painted nails and a blond strip down the middle of his head. He’s studied the life and martial arts of Bruce Lee, quotes Lee liberally, and has even has a Bruce Lee tattoo across his back.
You wonder how he went from being the small kid in the neighborhood, surely the one who got bullied, to becoming a budding championship fighter?
“I got into fighting in my younger days when I was running around being a hoodlum and whatnot. I grew up in a rougher part of town. I was always really small and got bullied a lot, so I got into fighting,” he says. “Once I realized I was pretty good at it, I tried to start training, inconsistently, because it costs a lot of money, and it was always really hard, so I bounced around from gym to gym. I’ve been training on and off six to seven years, but I’ve only been taking it seriously the last three months. Three months ago is when I won my first championship. I realized I should take it more seriously. Now I’m training everyday.”
Elisarraras is an amateur fighter for now, picking up matches through the California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization (CAMO), which is solely authorized by the state to regulate amateur fighters who are matched in weight classes.
He sees a professional future in fighting, however. His head coach, Josh Johnson, does too. “I’ve been working with Chris on his technique and conditioning, on kickboxing, jujitsu and wrestling. Three months ago, he beat his last opponent with a week’s notice. After this weekend’s fight,” Johnson said, “he’ll have a record of four straight wins. There’s a good chance he’ll go pro.”
Working out at The Pit in Atascadero the other night, Elisarraras looked disciplined and determined.
“It looks very prosperous,” he said of his new career. “I’ve only been serious about [fighting] the last three months. Looking at myself on video from three months ago to now there’s a world of difference in my technique and my strength as an athlete. And that’s three months. I can’t imagine what I’m going to be like in three years.”
You gotta dream big, no matter what weight class you’re in.
Elisarraras isn’t just a scrapper. He studied criminal justice at Cuesta College and started his own production company, Lady Luck Productions, which hosts events and parties.
For now, there’s no money in the amateur MMA fights he’s winning, though Elisarraras says he makes a living with his business. It’s a good thing there are sponsors stepping up to back the Paso Robles native.
“Sponsors help out a lot. It was costing me quite a bit of money when I was doing this on my own. When you add up the food, the travel, the fees, the licensing, the gym costs and the time you’re taking to go do this, you’re looking at $3,000-$4,000 a fight.”
Elisarraras will fight Fierro again on Dec. 17th, 2016, 7 pm for the 135 title belt, at the Tower Theatre, 815 East Olive Ave in Fresno.
North County businesses interested in sponsoring Elisarraras can contact him via Facebook.
Watch the first Chris Elisarraras fight against Samuel Fierro: