Ceja’s fighting leads to better life

Published 11:25 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2016

PORT NECHES — Eight years ago Port Arthur native Jose Ceja was told he might lose his right leg.
He was shot in the leg in Port Arthur. Even after the decision was made that his leg would not removed, he was told he would never box again.
Never tell a fighter he cannot do something.
Ceja not only kept the leg, he is now a mixed-martial arts fighter who steps in the cage again on Friday.
“Luckily the doctor didn’t take that off,” Ceja said. “After less than a year I was trying to box again and slowly but surely I got better and my leg came back even stronger. I then decided to try MMA and kick people with that same leg.
“It was a life-changing experience. Both boxing and MMA have transformed my life.”
Ceja (2-1-0) takes on Gerzan Chaw (4-4-0) at the Humble Civic Center during the main card of the Fury Fighting Championship.
Ceja, 30, said he has always been a fighter, even on the streets of Port Arthur. He has had struggles with alcohol and drug abuse.
Fighting and teaching fighting has given him a new outlook on life.
“I came back from the leg injury and have been clean for five years now,” Ceja said. “Now my passion is to fight and to teach fighting to others. I have a successful kids program here at Powerhouse Gym and we are starting a fitness-MMA class. That is for the people who don’t want to get punched in the face.
“I am very happy with my life right now. It is very rewarding. The kids really love MMA. They are here every day, come in excited and ready to learn. That is my passion.”
There are a lot of people who love sports but cannot imagine what it would be like to prepare for months to get in a cage with someone who wants to hurt them before getting hurt.
“They say fighting is 90-percent mental and 10-percent physical,” Ceja said. “A lot of it has to do with your mindset. You can’t go into a fight scared. The key is to be in a relaxed state of mind. That is how you don’t get tired and how you perform at your best. I don’t struggle with knowing I am going into a fight. I am never nervous.
“This is who I am. I don’t know anything else and I don’t want to know anything else. You deal with all that the first couple of years of fighting and it does go away. It is nerve-wracking at first.”

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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