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Godinez will make his debut this weekend
Raul Godinez was a standout in multiple sports at Central Valley, including baseball. He also played football and wrestled. - photo by Courier file photo

Raul Godinez will make his Mixed Martial Arts debut at the War Fighting Championships this weekend.

The 2014 Central Valley High School grad will compete against Capitola's Shane Torres Saturday night at Modesto Centre Plaza.

The California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization (CAMO) promotion will feature a total of eight fights with Godinez and Torres facing off in the 135-pound bantamweight division.

"I went to the fights at the same place about this time last year," Godinez said. "It interested me. The whole cage thing got me excited. You're in there by yourself. You can't depend on anyone else."

Raul, 22, and Shane, 25, are both new to the sport of MMA.

Godinez has been boxing since the age of eight.

He posted a 9-4 record at the amateur level.

"MMA is way different than boxing," Raul said. "There's no headgear and you wear lighter gloves. You're going to feel the punches. There's a lot of stuff that can happen."

Torres has a brown belt in jiu-jitsu.

His strengths are grappling and ground fighting.

"We have a couple brown belts at the gym," said Godinez, who trains at Dynamic MMA in Modesto. "I've been rolling around with them. My defense is pretty strong on the ground. Knowing he's a wrestler guy, his standup shouldn't be as strong."

Raul's biggest challenge leading up to the fight has been cutting weight.

Godinez normally weighs 155 pounds.

"I had to drop 20 pounds," Raul said. "I started eating right. No sweets, red meats or pasta. I ate mostly chicken, ground turkey and salad. I also did a lot of cardio. My body feels good."

Godinez was a multi-sport athlete at Central Valley High School.

Raul played baseball and football.

He also wrestled.

Godinez earned Western Athletic Conference honors twice in baseball.

He was selected to the WAC First Team his senior year.

Raul, an infielder and pitcher for the Hawks, batted .486 with two doubles, eight RBIs, six runs and three stolen bases.

He compiled a 2-3 record with a 3.82 ERA and league-leading 41 strikeouts on the mound.

Godinez helped lead Central Valley to a fourth-place finish in the conference standings (6-6).

Raul participated in the Fifth Annual Merced County-Stanislaus County and 25th Annual Modesto Sunrise Rotary all-star baseball games.

Central Valley earned its first-ever playoff berth in baseball during Godinez's junior.

The Hawks posted a program-best 19-9 record, placed third in the WAC.

Godinez was named to the WAC Second Team.

He batted .313 with one double, nine RBIs, 28 runs and seven stolen bases.

Raul also enjoyed success on the gridiron.

He was a WAC honorable-mention pick as a senior.

Godinez ranked second in conference play in tackles (56) while contributing at defensive end and outside linebacker. He also had 11/2 sacks and one interception.

Raul made nine tackles in 15th-seeded Central Valley's 69-55 loss to No. 2 Manteca in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs.

The Hawks challenged the Buffaloes while competing in the postseason for the first time.

Central Valley amassed a program-best 6-5 overall record.

The CAMO event will get underway at 7 p.m.

Godinez and Torres are scheduled to fight third during the promotion.

"I'm excited," Raul said. "I think it's cool because it's both of our debuts. I like the matchup. It's a fight. I'm going to be aggressive."