Former Central Valley High School standout wrestler Mike Tubera will face his toughest challenge of his amateur Mixed Martial Arts career this Saturday at the Oceanside Amphitheater.
"Most of my life I've been underestimated because of my size," he said. "I'm fine with the underdog role."
Tubera will try to dethrone California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization (CAMO) 125-pound flyweight champion Martin Davila (4-1).
"I'd like to end it as soon as possible if I get an opportunity," said Mike, who's unbeaten in four fights (3-0-1). "But I'll be prepared to go all three rounds."
Tubera, 23, talked about the importance of taking control early in the fight.
Mike will be competing in Davila's hometown. Martin is 27 years old.
"The first 30 seconds are important," he said. "Hopefully, I'll break his will. I want that title real bad. If it goes to decision against local guys, you usually lose. You have to win by knockout or submission."
Tubera was supposed to challenge Oakdale's Mike Gall for his 125-pound title on the Art of War (AOW) Tactical Violence card on Aug. 3 at the Chicken Ranch Casino in Jamestown.
Gall dropped out for medical reasons.
Tubera agreed to fight for CAMO soonafter.
"It's a really big organization," Tubera said. "They pull fighters from everywhere. I don't mind being a little fish somewhere."
Mike had less than one month to prepare for the title fight.
He'll train two hours a day this week.
He'll also do additional cardio work.
Mike believes his extensive background in wrestling will give him an advantage during the championship bout.
"Our body build is really similar," Tubera said. "I've never fought someone my size. Everyone I've fought has always been bigger. I've watched a lot of his film. He's defended his title three times. He's a good fighter. He's aggressive. He never stops moving. And he's really cocky. I'm hoping to go over there and shut his mouth."
Tubera will make the jump to the professional ranks early next year.