Photo Credit: LFA

LFA 30’s Fernando Padilla: A Rising Star on a Rising Team

Anyone who is passionate about fighting remembers that fighter, that event or that fight which got them hooked on the sport and made MMA something special for them.  For Mexico’s Fernando Padilla (10-1) it all started with PRIDE FC.  As a teenager, Padilla’s love for the sports of mixed martial arts came when exploring the internet with his cousins.

A gifted athlete throughout his youth, it was a natural fit for Padilla to get hooked on martial arts.  Sports such as basketball and soccer were never fulfilling for Padilla, who then stumbled upon boxing.  Boxing ultimately lead to mixed martial arts, and Padilla instantly fell in love.

After a successful career on the amateur and professional scenes in Mexico, the 145lber was given no other option, but to make the jump to the United States.  Padilla, who was undefeated at the time, struggled to find opponents brave enough to take him on.  “Nobody in Mexico wanted to fight with me, because they were scared of my jiu-jitsu,” laughs Padilla. “It was really hard for me in Mexico, so I came here to train and fight .”

Upon his arrival in the States, Padilla joined Team Oyama in Irvine, California.  This turned out to be a phenomenal choice for the 21-year-old, as Team Oyama has slowly become one of the fastest rising gyms in the country.  Padilla has thoroughly enjoyed his time there thus far.  “Immediately I felt like I was at home at Team Oyama; everyone has always treated me like family,” says Padilla.  “The training is the hardest I’ve ever had in my life, and that’s what makes champions.  That’s what we are at Team Oyama — champions.”

In his last bout, Padilla squared off against Jeffrey Mesa at Mid-Pacific Championship 5.  Just over three and a half minutes into the round, Padilla won the bout via knockout by way of punches.  “I’m pretty impressed with my performance, to be honest,” says Padilla.  “Every time I step into the cage, I see the improvements that I’m making from fight to fight, and this last one was no exception.  Mentally, I’m more there, my movements are smoother, and my striking is more accurate.  Everything is better.  I’m very proud of my most recent performance.”

Let's go for that candy 🍬🍬🔥

A post shared by Fernando Padilla (@ferpadillamma) on

This Friday night, Padilla squares off against surging Brazilian prospect Talison Soares (9-2) at LFA 30 in Costa Mesa, California.  The bout will air on AXS TV in the United States.  As he looks to advance to 11-1 inside the cage, Padilla is keeping an opponent mind as to what his opponent will bring to the table.  “I don’t really like to talk too much about my opponents; I don’t really know him, though I have watched some tape,” says Padilla.  “That being said, my thoughts are the same, as always.  There are only two things that can happen with this fight; either I knock him out or I submit him.”

“I’d like to thank my mom, my dad and my coach Colin Oyama!”- Fernando Padilla


To learn more about Fernando Padilla, follow him on social media:

Instagram: @ferpadillamma
Twitter: @ferpadillamma



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Nolan King is a MMA Today senior columnist, writer and renowned MMA insider. Nolan's other freelance work can also be found on FloCombat, Tapology, and MMA Brasil.