Mike Tubera learned a lot about himself mentally while recovering from life-threatening injuries sustained during a dirt-bike accident in Pismo Beach in May of 2015.
Tubera lacerated his kidneys and liver, ruptured his spleen, punctured a lung, broke two ribs, and herniated two disks in his neck.
"I went over the sand dunes, fell off my bike and it bounced off me," and Tubera, a 2008 Central Valley High School grad and Mixed Martial Arts amateur fighter. "I couldn't move or breathe for two minutes. I was worried. There was a small period of time I thought my life was going to be completely different. I was in the hospital for a month and a half. I felt and looked terrible. It was a crazy experience. After getting out of the hospital and doing therapy, I built my confidence back up. Coming back from that, I can come back from any loss."
Advised to never fight again by his doctors, Tubera returned to the Octagon in September 2016.
Not fully recovered, Mike lost by split decision to Napa's Jaime Mora Munoz.
"You know me," Tubera said. "I'm a little impatient. I had to get back out there. That's all I know. It was a little nerve racking. The guys took me down at the beginning of each round. I got outwrestled. That was a big eye opener for me."
Tubera, 27, will compete for just the second time since his accident as part of the War Fighting Championships this weekend at Modesto Centre Plaza.
"There's always a risk when you fight," said Tubera, who recently got married and has a son. "I'm just taking a higher chance. I feel like I'm in good shape now. I've been working hard. I've never been hurt in any of my fights. I'm not really concerned."
The California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization (CAMO) promotion will feature a total of eight fights.
Tubera (1-3) and 23-year-old Christopher Cruz (2-5) of Los Angeles are slated to fight for 125-pound flyweight title.
"My opponent got changed because the other one had a concussion during training," Tubera said. "I looked him up and finalized the fight on Friday. I went from a kick boxer to a jiu-jitsu guy. It's a complete 180. I'm super excited. I get to fight in my hometown. All my family is going to be there. I'm hoping to put on a really good show."
Tubera was named Central Valley High School Male Athlete of the Year for 2007-08.
Advised to forego his senior season of wrestling with the Hawks after suffering a devastating knee injury, Mike resisted and made a triumphant return to the mat. He captured the Valley Oak League 121-pound title, finished third at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championships and qualified for Masters.
Mike placed fourth at Divisionals and in the VOL, and qualified for Masters as a junior.
Tubera spent his freshman and sophomore years at Ceres High School.