Former Central Valley High School wrestler Victor Tubera made his professional mixed martial arts debut this past week.
"I've been scouting him," Victor, 22, stated leading up to his lightweight fight against Lemoore's Alberto Arreola on Thursday at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino. "He has a good wrestling background. That's why I've been working on my striking a lot. I'm ready to go the distance if that's what it takes. He's a grinder. I know he's going to be in great shape. I feel confident. Mentally, I'm ready. I've had a reach advantage over all of my opponents."
Tubera lost by submission to Arreola, 559 Fights featherweight amateur champion.
"I'm pretty disappointed with myself," said Tubera, who held a six-inch height advantage over Arreola. "I performed terribly. I was overthinking everything. I didn't want to make a mistake. I know I can beat him. I'm going to rematch him soon."
Arreola submitted Tubera with a rear-naked choke 1:56 into the second round.
"I was overconfident," Tubera said. "I tried to beat him with my hands. I didn't use my wrestling and kicks. I was chasing him, throwing combos. He waited until I got close and took me down. He slowly drained me. I gave up my back and put my chin down. He was squeezing on my chin. I lifted my chin and he got it. I had to tap. I give him credit. He worked to his strengths and I didn't. He was the better competitor that night."
Tubera bloodied Arreola's left eye with a right power punch 15 seconds into the fight. "I was swinging for the fences, trying to knock him out," Tubera said. "I thought my cardio was good until I was out there. I gassed out in the first round. I was huffing for air. I didn't get my second wind."
Victor had an unbeaten record (5-0) at the amateur level. He won twice by knockout and three times by submission.
Tubera captured the IFC 155-pound amateur lightweight belt on the Night of the Warriors VII fight card on May 17. Tubera defeated Ukiah's Mike Martucci by first-round formal submission (broken rib).
Tubera will face Ukiah's Ivan Posas on the IFC Warriors Challenge card on Oct. 5 in Oroville. "I'm ready to bounce back," Victor said.