By: Dane McGuire, IMMAF U.S. Correspondent

Veteran USA national team featherweight (145-pound) fighter Orlando Jimenez has now focused his attention on battling for good in the political arena.

Jimenez, 34, was selected by the USA Mixed Martial Arts Kick International Federation (UMMAF) to represent his country at the IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA in Las Vegas 2016 and Manama 2017, in addition to the 2016 European Open in Prague. He currently holds a 6-3 amateur record.

Jimenez, a native of Arizona, released the following statement on social media on January 2: “I wanted to start 2018 with the same competitive edge and vigor that I left 2017 with – and that is to announce my candidacy for State Representative in District 27. Thanks to the endorsement of Senator Catherine Miranda, and endless support of Representative Cesar Chavez, this dream is made possible.

“I have long been a servant and member of this great city & community since my youth and as a kid, this community has developed me into the person before you.

“As a military veteran, a former college student-athlete, a law enforcement/public servant, investigator, and fighter, I plan to strive for excellence in performing the duties that accompany this role because I understand what it means to be part of a team with a mission. That mission is, and has always been – To Serve the People.

“Education, jobs and the representation of our veterans are what matter to me most, as my journey is analogous to the deeply held beliefs about these topics because I lived, and still live them.

“As a veteran, a former peace officer and a current mixed martial artist and investigator, I will fight for opportunity and resources that will benefit the community and diverse people of District 27, as my life is a testament to servant based leadership.”

The 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Arizona will be held on November 6, 2018.

Registration for the 2018 UMMAF National Championships is now open and the event takes place February 1-3, 2018 at the Isle of Capri Casino in Boonville, Missouri. It will be the first instalment to feature a Youth National Championship for competitors between eight and 17 years old through UMMAF’s new youth development arm, the United States Fight League (USFL.)

Register for the event here. Youth competitors please visit the USFL website’s Nationals page here for more information.