“Be a practical dreamer, backed by action,” is a quote from martial arts master and legend Bruce Lee, and a favorite one of Imperial Valley mixed martial arts practitioner, Marcos Andrew Navarro.
Navarro has been around the fight game for a long time now, honing skills in multiple forms of martial arts and self-defense. Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, while either standing, or on the ground.
A second degree tae kwon do black belt, NAGA world champion, and Karate Grand National champion, Navarro has also been training heavily in Muay Thai and boxing to sharpen up his stand-up skills, skills necessary to be a complete mixed martial artist.
Navarro trained extensively over the last seven years in Muay Thai, first under San Diego’s Â Kru Dave Nielson, then with top Muay Thai talent, Malaipet Sasiprapa, and more recently withÂ Kingâ€™s MMA, Rafael Cordiero. UFC Lightweight Champion, Rafael Dos Anjos, also trains under Cordiero.
“In my lifetime I have been blessed to acquire knowledge from some of the best Muay Thai practitioners of all time. It truly is a prayer come true,” said Navarro of his Muay Thai coaches.
While in the Imperial Valley, Navarro focuses his stand up fighting training at R and R Boxing in Calexico, under Pablo Renteria, in an outdoor, roofed gym. Â While there, Navarro is able to pour in hard work in the blistering Valley heat, pushing himself to the limits in even the toughest seasons.
While enjoying the comfort of home, Navarro also enjoys the boxing wisdom shared by R and R Boxing stable-mate, Jonathan Arias, a high-level super bantam-weight (122 lbs.) Calexico boxer. A successful boxer (15-0), Arias has been in the ring with top-level pros, including Jayson Velez, Francisco Arce, and Abner Mares.
“With the R and R team, both Pablo (Renteria) and Joshua (Lopez) are making me a knockout puncher. The times I’ve trained with Jonathan Arias, he has shown me how to move in like a pro boxer, to go in aggressive, and come out of the pocket,” said Navarro of his training at R and R Boxing.
With success in karate, grappling tournaments, and events in the United States and Europe, Navarro is hoping to add stand-up competition successes to his resume’. His eventual goal of competition is an invitation to fight in the premier mixed martial arts fight in the world — the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
“Without a higher power none of my success would be possible,” Navarro said. “I am very grateful. I live in a blessed country. I believe the American Dream is possible with honest, hard work,” he said as he summed up his philosophy.