Cage fight fans pack casino
Nine professional fights and three amateurs bouts kept the crowd entertained for nearly three hours. Four of the matches featured fighters from the desert, including the huge crowd favorite, Mike “Tenchu” Mirelez.
A member of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Mirelez is a lifelong resident of the Coachella Valley and trains at Tru MMA in Palm Desert.
“I needed insurance for my 5-year-old boy, so I started fighting three years ago,” the 34-year-old Mirelez said.
Mirelez, whose professional record improved to 5-1 on Thursday, is something of an anomaly in the mixed martial arts world. He claims he doesn't like to brawl, and because of his nonviolent nature, refuses to throw elbows—one of the most devastating shots—at his opponents.
“I sure as hell don't do this for the recognition or the glory—I don't like fighting,” Mirelez said. “Every single time I go out there, it's nerve-wracking, because I'm not a violent person and I've got to figure out how I'm going to go in there and win.”