Professional MMA fighter trains in Sherman ahead of Thursday's fight

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

SHERMAN, TX -- Raul "Smash Mode" Amaya signed autographs and greeted fans at Ultimate Family Fitness Wednesday.

He's working out at the gym while he prepares for his big fight Thursday at the Winstar Casino. He's added them as a sponsor.

"The closest place to the casino we found that had a sauna and a full size facility," Amaya said. "It had everything we needed."

Amaya is from Florida. He's 10-1 as an MMA fighter. If he wins Thursday's fight, he'll move to the semi-finals and might get a chance to avenge his only loss - from fellow fighter Ben Saunders.

"I'd definitely like to get another shot at him and do things a little different this time," Amaya said.

Gabby Lara showed up to get her MMA gloves signed.

"You know it was awesome," she said. "You know, it's the first person I've met who's an actual fighter. So this was nice."

But as soon as we finished talking, Amaya had to hit the gym. Because he had six pounds to lose, and only three hours before weigh-in.

"Just trying to get my weight down," Amaya said. "That's always the main concern. Especially traveling. It's always tougher being out of your element."

If he wins, he has four to six weeks before his next fight.

"And then, you know, the whole preparation starts over again once we get home," he said.

Dustin Merrell, with Ultimate Family Fitness, said they're excited he chose their gym - and hopes to see more fighters pass through in the future.

"We wish him luck tomorrow night on Spike TV, and we hope that he can stand up, and he gets to be the one to put his hand up at the end of the fight," Merrell said.

"I'm looking to come out, and put on an exciting fight for the fans, you know," Amaya said. "And hopefully get a quick finish."

The event takes place Thursday night at 7. It'll be broadcast on Spike TV.


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