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Desert Hot Springs’ Irann Orozco talks amateur fight debut, Kihon MMA influence

"True champion material."

Irann Orozco is an 18-year-old skilled fighter from Desert Hot Springs. She’s been a student at Kihon MMA for years, but wasn’t introduced initially to mixed martial arts.

"At the age of 15 my mom came up to me and asked me if I wanted to do Taekwondo," said Orozco. "And I just looked at her and said, no thank you."

That’s where Kihon MMA came into play and sensei Eddie Bates. Who relished in Irann’s work ethic.

"Here she is as a cage fighter and I never thought day one that’s where she was going to go. But she is tough as nails, tough as nails," said Bates. "If there is a date and a time she meets it, she’s there 10 min early. She’s on me! She’s like a coach sometimes, she makes sure I’m there on time. She is so dedicated and driven."

"I wake up at 6 a.m. and I train in the evening, I train in the daytime," said Orozco.

Now it was time to fight. Irann put herself to the test in her fight debut for King of the Cage at Silver Legacy Casino in Reno.

Irann shined and won by Armbar submission. Her first Amateur MMA fight was also her first win.

"The fight was very hard. In the first round I would say it was her round. She came very strong, was very strong. I did everything to defend, but you have to overcome things through your mind," said Orozco. "Even while fighting."

"I can’t say more how proud I am of her. Her growth is immense. It really is," said Bates.

How was growing up in Desert Hot Springs and the Coachella Valley played a role in your growth?

"Well I have a lot of family here, I have a great community with Kihon MMA and we are all family," said Orozco.

What’s the next step?

"I am going to go to community college and study kinesiology so I can be able to work with athletes and become a physical therapist," said Orozco. "I also want to continue fighting at the same time."

"I see her probably being from the 115 and 125 champ in the UFC," said Bates. "She’s that dedicated, without a doubt and driven. She’s got the material it takes to go to the big leagues."

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Bailey Arredondo

Bailey Arredondo is a Sports Anchor/Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. He joined the Desert’s News Leader in January 2022 here.

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