Legacy Fighting Championship has a long history of bringing up amateur fighters through the ranks before they become professional, making the promotion a hotbed of homegrown talent. In that vein, amateur fighter Chris Soliz (3-2) returns to the Legacy cage at Legacy Fighting Championship 59 when he faces Eduardo Anaya (2-1).
Born and raised in Houston, TX, Soliz is actually the cousin of Kru Bob Perez, coach at IV oz Fight Club and Houston Muay Thai. At about eleven years old, he started training in a cardio class with his cousin before eventually moving on to Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu classes.
Soliz’s last fight was against Shawn Solis (3-0) at LFC 55 in May of this year;
“I thought I had some good moments in the fight with Shawn Solis with my striking. I knew what his game was going into the fight, and I let him work his game too much rather than me working my own. There were some controversial moments in the 3rd and 5th round, but it is what it is. I’m 18 years old, and I have all the time I need to improve and grow as a fighter and as a man.”
All fighters lose at some point, but a fighter’s amateur career is really the time to take tough fights and learn from their losses;
“It was a tough loss because I let the Legacy 125 lb title shot slip away, but everything happens for a reason. I learned to accept the result and come back stronger. Like my teammate Artenas Young says, “A loss doesn’t break us, and a win doesn’t make us.” Like I said I’m 18, and I know I have plenty of time to become a champion, and that’s what I plan on doing.”
Soliz has done some fine tuning since that fight, but there is one aspect he has really focused on;
“I’ve been focusing on being more mentally prepared. I love fighting and being in there in front of the crowd, so you have to keep your mind sharp to concentrate on the task at hand, and keep your mind confident in your skills.
“During the day I’ve been working at My Fight Shop which one of my Jiu Jitsu coaches Joseph McCamish owns, and at 5:00 I can just walk a few doors down to 4 oz Fight Club where I’ve been training since the beginning, and which my father is the owner. I also do a lot of running on my own when I’m not in the gym to keep the cardio up.”
As for his opponent, Soliz isn’t planning on underestimating him;
“Eduardo Anaya is another young, hungry kid who is also coming off of a loss and looking to get back on track with a big win. I’m glad to challenge myself at 135 lb against another tough opponent like him, because with a win, I prove that I’m still at the top of the amateur level and can easily work my way back up to another shot at the belt.”
This fight sees Soliz moving back up to 135 lb again;
“125 is my weight class, but it is a pretty tough cut for me to make. I originally started at 135, which is why I’m always open to taking some fights there as well. I don’t see it as ‘going up’ in weight; I see it as returning to my original weight class. I do plan on continuing as a flyweight as long as my body can make the weight. But I think going up to 135 for good is in the near future for me, as I’m still growing.”
As to how the fight will end, Soliz is coy;
“I don’t like to make predictions, because I don’t like to put pressure on myself to try to finish a certain way. I like to be in the moment and react in the moment. But I will say, if I show up with my mind in the right place and fight to the best of my ability like I know I will, I don’t see any way this fight can go all three rounds.”
Soliz started fighting whilst still in high school;
“I just graduated high school and besides working, and going back to school, I do have more time to train and focus on upcoming fights. And for the rest of the year, I plan on getting some good wins, and fighting for the belt again either end of the year, or beginning of 2017.
“This summer, after my last fight, I took some time off and spent a lot of time with my girlfriend, family and friends. I enjoyed some good food and good times, but now I’m back in the gym, and it’s time to work and time to get my mind ready for September 16.”
A lot of young fighters have fighters they like to watch; watching other fighters is actually an important part of learning, and Soliz is no exception;
“I watch a lot of UFC and keep up with it a lot. I like to watch people that not a lot of people keep up with. It’s easy to watch the biggest stars and know what’s going on with them, but a lot of the not-so-known guys have a lot of the same skills. For example, my favorite lightweight to watch is Ross Pearson. He’s one of my favorites on the UFC roster. The dude’s striking is so crisp, and he’s always in fun fights.
“I would like to thank all my 4 oz Fight Club family. Too many people to name and don’t want to leave anyone out, but they know who they are. We’re a big family and always push each other and make sure we’re ready. I want to thank my father for everything he does for me and the gym. My girlfriend Leina for always supporting me and always keeping me motivated, and all my family & friends that always come to support me at the fights and just in general in everything I do. I want to thank the Legacy FC family for always having me on their cards and allowing me to grow and have experience in their cage. It’s truly an honor.”