Washougal fighter steps into the UFC

De La Rocha will fight in Glasgow, Scotland

In just a few weeks, Chris De La Rocha will be in a place he never imagined: Fighting on a UFC stage against a heavyweight veteran.

The Washougal MMA fighter will take on Daniel Omielanczuk Saturday, July 18 in Glasgow, Scotland.

“It will be an interesting experience and a tough challenge,” said De La Rocha, who works as a Washington State Department of Corrections officer. “My original goal was to see how I would do. Then I went pro and started to do really well. But the UFC is the UFC. That is where I want to be.”

De La Rocha officially went pro in 2012 and signed with First Round Management of Florida a year ago.

“They had approached me after I fought at Chinook Winds Casino in July and asked me sign with them,” he said. “I thought they would get me where I needed to go and they have.”

De La Rocha was given just three weeks to prepare for his fight in Scotland. However, he is ready for the fight and noted that fellow members of Progressive Jiu Jitsu in Vancouver, where he trains, have helped prepare him for a potential battle.

“We started my fight camp preparation about a month ago,” he said. “I am right where I need to be. This really seems like it was meant to be.”

The 36-year-old father of three fights for his fans, his gym, and most importantly, his family.

“This shows my kids that hard work and dedication pays off,” De La Rocha said. “If you put in the work, you can make it happen.”

He is also grateful to his local fans.

“I want to thank them,” he said. “This has been a wild ride. They have been a huge help and made it possible by showing up.”

The fight will be aired live on Fox Sports 1 on Saturday, July 18.