by Aaliyah eade
It is often perceived that Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a dangerous and violent sport, but to others, like Junior George Serna, with an impressive record of ninety-seven wins, two ties and zero losses, MMA fighting is a way of life and a great way to release tension.
Born and raised in Rosarito, a town on the coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, Serna now resides in Temecula, California. Serna is a well-known competitive MMA fighter in the junior ranks. Before pursuing MMA fighting, Serna began with boxing, however, he believed he was not fast enough for that discipline, so he joined gymnastics to gain flexibility. At the age of twelve Serna truly found his passion: Mixed Martial Arts. As a child, Serna would get bullied so he decided to play a sport where he would be able to let his anger out. While living in Mexico, Serna traveled to both Tijuana and Mexicali to earn his belts. Now with a daily training schedule of two hours at Crunch Fitness and additional training at home, Serna is continuously working on further developing his skills and technique.
Although there are many challenges to confront within the sport, MMA can also benefit you as a whole. Serna states, “It really has made me look at life differently and I’ve come to really appreciate the little things I have in my life”. MMA fighting has a diverse group of competitors, some seeking the potential money and fame that can be achieved at the highest levels and some seeking it as a way of income to support their families. Either way, MMA can be a great sport to offer individuals a way of bringing out the best in themselves. Besides training and workouts, Serna also follows a healthy and clean cooked diet. His diet includes a protein shake to start each morning, followed by foods such as chicken, salad, potatoes, and occasionally some pasta. After high school, Serna hopes to continue his passion for Mixed Martial Arts but is not positive on the fact of pursuing it as career. If he does not pursue MMA in the future, Serna hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and then gain employment as an agent for Customs and Border Protection services. Serna’s inspiration comes from his father and he would like to follow in his footsteps. Whatever Serna decides for his future he will find success as he has proven he is one determined and hardworking individual.
In his spare time, Serna enjoys partaking in the disciplinary art of parkour, which is also great for his fitness and a relief from his intense training regimen. Within MMA, one of Serna’s biggest challenges is his opponents, which are often much bigger in size. Serna claims, “Sometimes the opponents are pretty scary since they’re much bigger than me.” Even though many of his opponents attempt to intimidate him through trash talking, Serna manages to maintain his focus, and to this day goes undefeated with a zero loss record. In any sport, this is quite an accomplishment. This is a testament to his hardworking attitude, continuous training, and determination to succeed. Clearly, there’s a lot more to MMA than just fighting. Not only do you have to fight, but you have to be strategic and have a high endurance level. It’s not always just about focusing on technique but a lot of work goes into cardiovascular training, to increase stamina and help maintain the high level of focus required to be on top.