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Published November 06, 2011, 10:23 PM

Grafton, ND, native rises to the top of UFC

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The popularity of Mixed Martial Arts has taken off in the last decade, big crowds fill up sports bars to watch UFC fights every month. Tonight, we introduce you to a rising star from right here in the Red River Valley, who took the path from college basketball at Jamestown to the Octagon.

By: Jody Norstedt, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The popularity of Mixed Martial Arts has taken off in the last decade, big crowds fill up sports bars to watch UFC fights every month. Tonight, we introduce you to a rising star from right here in the Red River Valley, who took the path from college basketball at Jamestown to the Octagon.

Pablo Garza has taken the UFC world by storm, Through 2 UFC fights, he's the first to get a knockout at the 145 pound weight class, and the first to pull off the flying triangle.

His biggest fight is this Saturday at UFC on FOX, in front of what should be a record crowd.

Winning this fight really sets the pace for me to become a contender for the 145 pound title.

While Garza's young fighting career has been nearly perfect, the path he took was far from it. His family moved to Grafton when he was 5, and worked for area farmers just to make ends meet.

Pablo: “That's what drove me to be something more. I didn't want to do that, so I made sure I went to college.”

Garza was asked, “Did you ever think you'd be fighting for money?”

Pablo: “No, not at all, many of the fighters grow up dreaming to do this, but I had other dreams.”

In fact, Garza's fighting career started just 5 years ago, with no fighting experience of any kind. But, that was okay.

Pablo: “I didn't have bad habits that I needed to break. So, when I learned everything, I learned how to do it perfect for the first time.”

After hearing that, I decided to take a UFC crash course.

Pablo: My goal is to stay in the UFC and I might as well when a championship while I"m there.”

In Garza's previous UFC fight, he fought in front of 55,000 people. That's 10 times the population of his hometown of Grafton. We'll let you know how he does on Saturday.

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