Stepping into a caged octagon is the newest sensation for the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Chris de la Rocha of Washougal, but family always comes first.
The 32-year-old mixed martial artist works as a correctional officer and a defensive tactics instructor for Larch Corrections Center, and is a member of the regional Special Emergency Response Team. De la Rocha is happily married to Sheila, his wife of 10 years. He is also a father of two daughters, Kiersten and Carissa, and a newborn son named Quinn.
On May 21, the family man became Heavyweight Champion of the Full-Contact Fighting Federation. One minute, 13 seconds into the second round, de la Rocha defeated Damion Martindale by technical knockout at Rumble at the Roseland 57, inside “The Slammer” at the Roseland Theater, in Portland, Ore.
“Both of my daughters ran around the house with my belt on when I brought it home,” de la Rocha said. “A lot of friends and family came to watch the fight, including my grandpa. He saw my first fight on the Internet, and wanted to come see this one in person. It was a big family affair.”
De la Rocha has been studying Brazilian jujitsu for about 10 years. He trains at Progressive Jujitsu with long-time friend Trevor Burnell. He also works out at the Absolute Fitness Strength and Conditioning Center in Camas, which is owned by his brother-in-law Brandon Evenson.