Competition serves a significant purpose in giving athletes the platform to chase their goals and showcase their talents to the world. This concept has a strong impact for someone participating in mixed martial arts, but it can carry its share of frustrating moments, especially when competitors can’t acquire fights. However, the long wait is over for one promising figure in the Northwest.

Ben Egli, of the Gracie Technics Fight Academy, has great assurance in his capabilities to take the MMA world by storm. Egli is a constant perfectionist, an attribute that is demonstrated in his attitude and extended fight experience at the amateur level.

A martial arts practitioner since the age of five, Egli is passionate about his profession. He welcomes the challenge, and that drive has allowed him to walk into the gym each day to learn, despite contending with the up and downs that come with the training process. His central focus is his fight career, but don’t underestimate his charitable deeds in sharing his years of knowledge with other curious fight practitioners.

“I almost can’t remember what it was like to not be training for something,” Egli recalled. “My passion for MMA is so strong that even though the work is extremely hard, the motivation is easy to come by, and that keeps me going. I am so passionate about MMA that not only do I train, I also teach. I believe that sharing my knowledge of martial arts with others is very enjoyable, and also my duty.”

The skills Egli has developed over the years have unquestionably made him into what he is today. He’s a well-rounded competitor who seeks to develop his boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai in an effort to formulate a complete fight strategy suitable for taking on any opponent.

“You can be tough, strong and want to win, but you have to train smarter, not always harder, and learn each discipline separately,” he explained. “The skills and traits that have made me a successful fighter are: I am well-rounded, with very strong jiu-jitsu, good wrestling—especially counter wrestling—clean striking, a great knowledge of MMA, conditioning, being calm under pressure, and a scientific approach to the sport. When I am training for a fight, most practices are not MMA, but the components of that make for a great MMA fighter.”

Life requires balance. Egli is dedicated to his sport, but he finds rewarding comfort in family life and work as a Crossfit instructor. He assembled a record of 10-1 as an amateur, with all of his victories ending via submission. Egli’s hard work put him in a class by himself. Following a successful venture as an amateur fighter, Egli’s transition to the pro ranks was inevitable. Sadly, injuries and fight promotion conflicts put his pro debut on hold for two years.

“I was very frustrated that I could not jump into the pro scene on my own. I would email promotions, call and text them, but it seemed like no one cared,” he said. “I would introduce myself as Ben Egli and that I was 10-1 as an amateur, and I can do this, that and the other thing, and I would love to fight on your upcoming card. Nothing ever happened. I made my breakthrough because of my manager, Steven Valentine.”

With the backing of Valentine, Egli was finally able to make his long awaited pro debut on Nov. 2, 2013. Aiming to impress, he bursted onto the pro scene in grand fashion with a 48-second submission victory over Raven Guice back at Cage Warrior Combat 9.

Itching for more action, Egli won’t have to wait too long for his sophomore outing. On April 19, he will fight on the M3 MMA fight card against Josh Snodgrass.

“It feels great to have another fight,” Egli admitted. “I know my fans are very happy, too, especially because it’s just across the river in Vancouver, Wash. The excitement of the fight itself is awesome, but the idea that a win will lead to many opportunities is a very satisfying feeling.”

The Northwest fight scene better take notice to the coming of Egli. With all of this momentum building, there is nothing stopping him from reaching the top. Yet, wherever the journey may take him and whatever rewards he achieves along the way, one thing will never change. His desire to improve will never wane. That, after all, is what pushes him to new heights.

About The Author

Monta Wiley
Staff Writer

Monta Wiley is an aspiring sports journalist that has covered the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has been a regular contributor to US Combat Sports. Monta has a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Administration from California State University-Los Angeles. Outside of his writing, you can find Monta at the gym honing his BJJ technique.