Mike Tubera plans to resume his professional Mixed Martial Arts career in the near future.
The 2008 Central Valley High School grad is hoping to be added to a Combate Americas MMA or Bellator fight card once the organizations resume operations this year.
A number of events were canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s been over a year since I’ve fought,” said Tubera, 31. “That’s been way too long. The first available show that comes along, I’ll take it, unless there’s a better option. I’m not getting any younger. I’m at my prime age for fighting. It’s a now or never thing.”
Tubera would like to get back into the octagon as early as April.
“I’m definitely rusty,” he said. “Right now, I’m training four days a week. The most challenging part is being able to stay motivated.”
Tubera has enjoyed spending more time with his wife Samantha and sons Ezekiel (11 years old) and Eli (18 months) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been great,” he said. “He (Eli) was actually there at my first pro fight. He was an infant.”
Tubera evened his pro record at 1-1 in February of 2020 with a unanimous-decision victory (30-26, 30-26, 30-26) against San Jose’s Austin Liu during the Combate Americas “Mexico vs. USA” show at the Save Mart Center in Fresno.
He dominated the 133-pound bantamweight matchup from start to finish despite competing with separated ribs sustained 30 seconds into the fight.
Tubera dropped Liu when he landed a left hook to the right side of his head with 1:11 remaining in the first round.
Liu had no answers for Tubera’s stand-up game.
Tubera also landed more kicks.
He was prepared for his second professional fight.
Tubera bounced back following a disappointing pro debut.
He lost by submission (rear-naked choke) with 1 second left in the first round to Fresno’s Paul Elizondo Jr. at the same venue in August of 2019.
Tubera claimed the 125-pound flyweight title at the California Amateur MMA Organization (CAMO) War Fighting Championship in November of 2017 at Modesto Centre Plaza.
Fighting for just the second time since suffering life-threatening injuries during a dirt-bike accident in 2015, Tubera delighted his hometown crowd with a first-round submission win over Merced’s Michael Alonzo.
He needed just 36 seconds to stop Alonzo with a guillotine choke.
Tubera learned a lot about himself mentally while recovering from injuries sustained in Pismo Beach.
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,” he said. “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.”
Tubera is considering taking a year off from work to be a full-time fighter and stay-at-home dad.
“I have a plan in my mind,” he said. “Me and my wife have been talking about it a lot. If I don’t get to the big show in two more years, it’s time to do it as a hobby.”
“It’s great to have her support,” Tubera added. “She’s meal prepped for me. She’s found babysitter arrangements. Very little complaining. She’s a very good person. I’m blessed to have her in my life.”
Tubera also talked about hiring an agent to help steer his career in the right direction.
“Great opportunities don’t come out of the sky,” he said. “I need to be more proactive and search for the opportunities.”
Tubera joined the MMA amateur circuit in 2012.
He had an unbeaten record of 3-0-1 through his first four fights.
“There’s nothing like it (MMA) that makes you feel more alive,” Tubera said. “I’ve always been competitive. It keeps you in shape and sharp.”
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, Tubera 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.
Tubera placed fourth at Divisionals and in the VOL, and qualified for Masters as a junior.
He spent his freshman and sophomore years at Ceres High School.