Jose “The People’s Champ” Figueroa – Ready to Dethrone at M1 XXIV

Waiting patiently since his last trip inside the ring when he won the 2010 M-1 Selection Americas lightweight tournament, Jose Figueroa is ready to seize an unprecedented victory in his title shot at the headline bout of M-1 Challenge XXIV; the events airs LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, March 25 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) from the Constant Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

Hailing from Orlando, Florida and the highly touted American Top Team camp, ‘The People’s Champ’ is a role model to the sport and to his son. As a professional fighter, he fuels the growth of mixed martial arts to the younger generation of students and prospects though instruction to groups and individuals seeking to develop their own skill set.

“Mixed martial arts is my college, my job and my profession,” says a modest Figueroa. “I teach and train everyday to further the sport and to take care of my family. I’m a father and having my little boy look up to me and want to do all the things I do is awesome.”

Standing at 6’3”, Figueroa is a monstrous lightweight who made his professional debut in 2006 with a decisive TKO Victory over Chandler Belaston. From here, he went on to win another three consecutive bouts before tasting his first defeat by way of submission thanks to a suffocating guillotine choke sunk in by notable Jonathan Brookins. The loss was shaken off and Figueroa went on a three-fight tear before falling off the horse and losing three straight. Some may see the string of losses as a fighter losing his game and ability – until you look deeper into the story. These three losses came against top-tier competition: Eric Reynolds, Edson Barboza and Luis Palomino, who have a combined record of 35-11. Figueroa has been fighting high level competition from day one and is one tough competitor himself holding a respectable 9-4 record as a professional fighter.

In his performances throughout the 2010 M-1 Selection tournament, Figueroa effectively utilized his reach advantage and showed overwhelming control on the ground; fighting from guard, the imposing fighter is capable of posting up and dropping down heavy strikes at will and has solid conditioning that go the distance should the judges need to decide the outcome.

Coming out of his tournament bouts against Josh Thorpe and George ‘Light’s Out’ Sheppard relatively unscathed, “The People’s Champ” has been focused on his training and eagerly waiting for his opportunity to seize the championship spotlight. In a mere 16 days, the gritty American fighter will look to make Damkovsky’s first title defense a miserable experience on route to becoming the next M-1 Challenge lightweight champion.

M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa airs LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, March 25 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

About William Smith

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