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San Diego Jiu Jitsu and MMA Fighter Diego Garijo Wins Big in Bellator

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Diego Garijo, a well-known San Diego Jiu Jitsu and MMA fighter, won big in his first fight on the Bellator Fighting Championships 8 on June 5th 2009.


Garijo represented The Arena, an MMA gym in San Diego known for the strength of its MMA team and its outstanding training. He also represented San Diego’s The University of Jiu Jitsu, owned by the famous Jiu Jitsu World Champions Saulo and Xande Ribeiro.


Garijo shocked the crowd with his come-from-behind win, stopping opponent Saad Awad in 4:45 of the 1st round by rear naked choke. Garijo, known as “El Nino” like other Latino MMA fighter Gilbert Melendez, came into the fight with a 3-1 record, having won his first three fights in a row, but then losing by TKO in his last fight in 2007.


After taking a 2 year layoff to concentrate on his Jiu Jitsu game under the tutelage of Jiu Jitsu masters Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, Garijo returned to training MMA at The Arena, a well-known MMA gym in San Diego. The Arena houses one of the most powerful MMA teams in the U.S., with fighters on their roster including the UFC’s Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez and the WEC’s Rani Yahya.


Garijo returned to the cage to face Saad “Assassin” Awad, who was the heavily favored fighter. Awad came into the fight with a 7-2 record, having fought 5 more times than Garijo over the last 2 years. Initially, the fight looked bad for Garijo when Awad, the San Bernadino favorite, opened a bad cut over Garijo’s eye. But Garijo fought through and countered with knees, then went for a double leg takedown and then guillotine. Awad escaped the guillotine and took Garijo’s back. Garijo once again countered and put Awad in a rear naked choke, ending the fight with an incredible comeback in the 1st round to the screams of an incredulous crowd.


The fight was a huge win for Garijo, who has left his regular job to concentrate full-time on his MMA career. Garijo, managed by Jeff Clark of veteran MMA management company NCFC ), trained extremely hard for his Bellator debut and his work clearly paid off.


It was also one more testament for The Arena’s MMA Team, with 5 previous wins by its fighters in the last two months, including wins by Rani Yahya, Xande Ribeiro, Fabricio “Morango” Camoes, “Notorious” Rick Slaton and Joe “Hybrid” Duarte.


About The Arena – The San Diego MMA Gym and Fight Team

The Arena is a MMA gym in San Diego that trains professional fighters as well as recreational athletes who want to train like fighters. The Arena offers training in Boxing, MMA, Muay Thai, No Gi Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling. For more info on The Arena, go to


About the University of Jiu Jitsu – San Diego California

The University of Jiu Jitsu in San Diego California is owned by multiple time Jiu Jitsu World Champions Saulo and Xande Ribeiro. It is one of the Premier Jiu Jitsu schools in the world. The Ribeiro brothers teach full-time in their San Diego Jiu Jitsu academy, alongside their famed mentor Royler Gracie. For more info on the University of Jiu Jitsu, go to

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