When talking about what makes a mixed martial artist tough, most people give examples of things done inside the cage to prove their point. For local MMA fighter, John Soliz (4-1),
it was what happened outside the cage that showed what type of fighter he truly was.
After winning his first two fights in late 2009 and early 2010, it was during that summer that Soliz was in a lawn mowing accident and lost his big toe. You would think that missing a toe would be the end of his fighting career, but not for Soliz. “I knew that as soon as I was able to, I was going to try,” said Soliz. “I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself. It’s a part of life. Things happen and you have to move on.”
Going against his doctor’s orders, Soliz refused to use crutches and began to walk the same week, forcing himself to things that would take the usual person months to do with the injury. After being out almost five months, Soliz was able to return to his gym at Miletich Fighting Systems and hopped right back into the strenuous workouts MFS is known worldwide for. It was in the summer of 2011 that Soliz was able train full time and he took a fight having only been back for a few weeks. He would go on to win that fight and his next fight in November by rear naked choke and TKO.
Both fights were finished under one minute. Soliz traveled to Wisconsin this past February and suffered his first loss, losing a three round judge’s decision. “I was in the best shape I had ever been in,” said Soliz. “I wasn’t ready for some of the rules in Wisconsin, but you never leave it in the judge’s hands.” Not letting the loss phase him, Soliz has the biggest test of his career yet as he faces Nate Warden at Caged Aggression V: A Night of Champions. “I know that he has strong kicks and will come out firing at me,” said Soliz. “I just react. I’m going to go out there and take it to the guy.”
Some fighters have fight week rituals to help clear there mind before the fight. Not Soliz. “I’m always in that fight mode,” said Soliz. “I don’t need to get jacked to fight someone.” With only a few days until he steps in the cage for the fifth time, Soliz has few words for those who will be watching. “I want people to know I’m a fighter,” said Soliz. “This is the way I was born. This is what I was meant to do. This is what I’m doing.”
John Soliz will fight Nate Warden for the Light Heavyweight Title, Saturday, March 10th, 2012 at Extreme Cage Rentals Presents: Caged Aggression V: A Night of Champions, at the QCA Expo
Center in Rock Island, IL. Fights start at 7:30pm.