The United States Mixed Martial Arts Federation welcomes Orlando Jimenez to its Board of Directors as the Athlete Representative. Mr. Jimenez won an online election process that spanned 2 days against current Team USA member Fotini Kandris.
“This was a win/win situation for us.” says UMMAF Vice President and National Director Ryan Brueggeman. “Both Fotini Kandris and Orlando Jimenez are accomplished amateur athletes and have been a part of the USA National Team. Both of them understand the needs of not only our team, but the athletes around the country. I look forward to getting the athlete perspective on the Board of Directors. Moving forward, athletes will now have a bigger voice in the decision making process. Since Fotini is a current team member, we still get her input as well so it’s a situation where we as an organization feel very fortunate to have these two very talented athletes, inside and out of the cage, in our fold.”
A native of Arizona, Orlando began his journey into combat sports by starting to compete in wrestling at the age of 12. His love of wresting continues today as he recently took a silver medal in freestyle at the 2018 US National Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas, NV. Orlando enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of eighteen, and proudly served overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. And, although he didn’t go directly to college after high school to wrestle, he was fortunate enough to compete for the All-Navy Wrestling Team, where he became a heralded National Champion in both Freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines.
In 2006,Orlando enrolled at Arizona State University, and continued his career as a student and wrestler. In 2010 he graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies, and continued his duty of public service as a Law Enforcement Officer in the city of Casa Grande, where he received three letters of commendation: one as a Community Police Officer, one as a Bicycle Officer, and one as a Student Resource Officer. During his career in law enforcement Orlando was offered a great position with Uber as an investigator which he, ultimately, decided to take. Although no longer a public servant, his time in the military and as a police officer showed him how much his love of his country and communities was and he realized he wanted to continue his life working for those around him. Orlando was accepted into Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and attended law school between his full time job at Uber, and as a certified fitness instructor. Orlando graduated ASU law school on May 12th, 2018. Not one to rest on his laurels, Orlando is also seeking election to the Arizona House of Representatives from legislative district 27.
Board Member Elect, Orlando Jimenez issued this statement:
“UMMAF Board of Directors and UMMAF Family,”
“I would like to thank the entire UMMAF community for voting and selecting me as the athlete member to the UMMAF Board of Directors. I am honored to be nominated to represent our great federation that has provided such great opportunity to me as a fighter and competitor. My hope and desire is to provide the same level of professionalism, opportunity and international exposure to all UMMAF athletes moving forward.”
“I would like to thank the National Director and Vice President, Ryan Brueggeman, who gave me the opportunity to compete under the UMMAF banner at the 2016 and 2017 IMMAF World Championships. I gained a great understanding of what it takes to compete on the world stage and represent our national honorably. I say thank you again, for allowing me this opportunity to again, represent UMMAF and our athletes.”
“To Southeast Regional Director – Justin Brown, I say thank you for your constant words of encouragement during the past two years of international competition, law school, political campaigning and work. My aim is to adopt the same level of respect and commitment that you have, and that UMMAF athletes have for you.”
“To all UMMAF members, board and athletes – you have my word that I will work diligently to help expand, promote and build upon the great platform that is UMMAF, and to ensure that our athletes are prepared to compete and win at the 2018 IMMAF World Championships.”
Orlando Jimenez is scheduled to be confirmed by the existing UMMAF Board of Directors at their June meeting.