Sam Oropeza

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Sam Oropeza
Born (1985-06-17) June 17, 1985 (age 33)
Briarcliffe, Pennsylvania, United States
Other names Sammy O, The Fighting Pride of Briarcliffe
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)
Division Welterweight (170 lb)
Middleweight (185 lb)Cruiserweight (199 lb)
Reach 72.5 in (184 cm)[1]
Fighting out of Briarcliffe, Pennsylvania, United States
Team Philadelphia Fight Factory, Team Balance
Rank brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
Years active 2008–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 16
Wins 13
By knockout 7
By submission 6
Losses 3
By submission 2
By decision 1
Amateur record
Total 2
Wins 2
By knockout 1
By submission 1
Other information
Notable school(s) Monsignor Bonner High School
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Sam Oropeza
Nickname(s) Sammy O
Weight(s) Cruiserweight
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Reach 73 in (185 cm)
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 2
Wins 2
Wins by KO 1
Losses 0

Sam Oropeza (born June 17, 1985) is an American mixed martial artist and boxer who most notably competed in Bellator's middleweight and welterweight divisions. Oropeza presently has 16 professional MMA fights racking up an impressive 13-3 record. Oropeza has also competed professionally as a boxer where he competes as a cruiserweight and is undefeated in 2 fights.


Oropeza was born in Briarcliffe, Pennsylvania as the youngest of six children. At the age of 10, Oropeza lost his father to liver failure. During his youth, Oropeza wrestled at Monsignor Bonner High School. In 2006, he started to practice Brazilian jiu-jitsu and in 2008 he earned a purple belt. In the same year, he fought as an amateur in mixed martial arts for the first time.[2][3]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

King of the Cage and Strikeforce[edit]

Oropeza rattled off 2 amateur finishes for New Breed Fighters in late 2008 before turning pro in 2009. He made his professional debut on June 6, 2009 against Mitch Filer at World Cage Fighting Alliance in Atlantic City, New Jersey and defeated him via rear naked choke in the first round. From 2009 to 2010, he was victorious against Dustin Collins via submission, Dave Concepcion via head kick knockout, and Koa Ramos via guillotine choke at KOTC: Honor[4] Oropeza's first defeat was against fellow undefeated prospect Myles Jury at KOTC: No Mercy.[5] He bounced back on the biggest stage of his career up to that point by submitting Don Carlo-Clauss in front of 11,287 fans at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva.[6]

TV Appearances[edit]

In 2010 Sam Oropeza was selected to do a taping for the MTV show Bully Beatdown. The premise of this show was to put 'real life bullies' in the cage to fight professional mma fighters. If the bully is defeated, the bully's victims can receive up to $10,000. If the bully defeats the Fighter, he earns $10,000. The episode aired on MTV2 in 2012 and was titled David: Tears of A Clown.[7] Oropeza made the bully tap out 5 times in round 1 and stopped the fight with a TKO in round 2, earning the bully's victims $10,000.

Oropeza also appeared on Kevin Smith's show, Comic Book Men, on AMC. Oropeza was seen portraying Jay from the Jay and Silent Bob duo in a staged fight between the 2 cult heroes.

Bellator Fighting Championships, Matrix Fights and Xtreme Fight Events[edit]

Boasting a 5-1 record, Oropeza made his Bellator debut against Giedrius Karavackas on May 14, 2011 at Bellator 44. The fight was televised live nationally on MTV2. He was defeated via submission due to a scarf hold armlock in the third round.[8]

After an extended break from competition, Oropeza returned to face Aung La Nsang on March 16, 2012 at Matrix Fights 5. He won via submission due to a triangle choke in the second round.[9]

Oropeza faced Richard Rigmaden on October 13, 2012 at XFE: Cage Wars 18. He won via submission due to an armbar early in the first round.[10]

In February 2013, it was announced that Oropeza has signed a long-term contract with Bellator.[11]

Bellator return[edit]

Oropeza returned to the Bellator cage 2 years after he debuted to face Shedrick Goodridge on April 4, 2013 at Bellator 95. He won via TKO in the second round. It was later revealed Oropeza finished his opponent despite having suffered a broken tibia in the round.[12]

On September 20, 2013 at Matrix Fights 8, in front of a home town crowd in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Oropeza defeated Brett Oteri via TKO in the first round.

Oropeza faced Chip Moraza-Pollard on November 15, 2013 at Bellator 108. He won via TKO early in round one.[13]

Oropeza was expected to face Fight Master winner Joe Riggs in the quarterfinal match of Bellator season ten welterweight tournament on March 14, 2014 at Bellator 112.[14] Riggs, however, pulled out of the bout and was replaced by Cristiano Souza.[15] The Fight was televised live nationally on Spike TV. Oropeza won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Move to Middleweight[edit]

Oropeza was unable to make weight for the rescheduled semi-final bout of the Bellator Season 10 Welterweight Tournament against Andrey Koreshkov. It is expected he will be making a move up in weight after difficulties with weight cutting. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney stated “he got within 1.7 pound this time but then he just said I’m done. I am going to end up going to the hospital. I am finished but last time he was seven or eight over. Last time he was clearly missing and this time he could have conceptually made it, but you get to that point where you say stop because you are going to end up in the hospital and he did. One seventy is just to small for him.”[16]

Oropeza made his middleweight return against Gary Tapusoa on October 24, 2014 at Bellator 130.[17] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Global Proving Ground[edit]

After 4 straight first-round TKO wins, 3 under the Bellator banner, Oropeza asked for and was granted his release from Bellator MMA. Oropeza was very open about his desire to fight in the UFC and hoped to sign a contract with the UFC before the end of 2015. Oropeza fought on January 17, 2015 for Global Proving Ground and defeated Timothy Woods in the first round in the main event at Global Proving Ground 17.

Caged Fury Fighting Championships[edit]

Oropeza next signed a multi-fight deal with Caged Fury Fighting Championships a contract which includes a UFC clause allowing him to leave CFFC if the UFC offers him a fight.[18] Oropeza was scheduled to fight at CFFC 52 on Halloween 10/31/2015 at the Borgata Casino Hotel, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This would be his official CFFC debut. His opponent was scheduled to be Levon Maynard. The fight was a 175lb Catchweight fight. Maynard defeated Oropeza by unanimous decision.

Hiatus from MMA[edit]

After his first ever loss by decision Oropeza announced he was taking time off from professional MMA for personal reasons. He then transitioned from mixed martial arts to professional boxing. Oropeza has not been in the cage since Halloween 2015 however he has recently teased a return. It is rumored he will be fighting in the spring or summer of 2018

Return to the Cage[edit]

Oropeza officially announced he will return to the cage on May 18,2018 at Art Of War 7 at the 2300 Arena in south Philadelphia, PA. It has been announced that Oropeza will be the Main Event and face Nick Wagner (7-6-1 MMA Record according to in a 185LB Middeweight bout. Nick Wagner pulled out of the fight for undisclosed reasons. Sharif Jones (3-3 MMA Record according to and Tapology) stepped in on short notice. Jones most Notably lost a split decision to MMA veteran Will Martinez (13-3 MMA record according to This fight was cancelled due to Sharif Jones medical work not being submitted by the deadline.

Boxing career[edit]

Oropeza is 2-0 as a professional boxer. He made his return to professional combat sports on March 11, 2017 after a lengthy hiatus and knocked out his opponent Joe Parkinson (0-1) in 35 seconds. The fight took place at the Sugar House casino in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for King's Promotions. Oropeza has plans to continue his fighting career as a boxer.

Oropeza returned to the squared circle on May 12, 2017 once again for King's Promotions. He faced Kyle Mcnutt in a cruiserweight tilt. Oropeza scored knockdowns in the 1st and 4th rounds on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 13–3 Levon Maynard Decision (Unanimous) CFFC 52 October 31, 2015 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States 175 lb catchweight fight
Win 13–2 Timothy Woods KO (Slam) Global Proving Ground January 17, 2015 1 0:51 Pennsauken, New Jersey, United States 185 lb middleweight fight
Win 12–2 Gary Tapusoa TKO (punches) Bellator 130 October 24, 2014 1 2:31 Mulvane, Kansas, United States 185 lb middleweight fight
Win 11–2 Cristiano Souza TKO (punches) Bellator 112 March 14, 2014 1 3:07 Hammond, Indiana Bellator Season 10 Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinals
Win 10–2 Chip Moraza-Pollard TKO (punches) Bellator 108 November 15, 2013 1 0:37 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States 174 lb catchweight bout;
Oropeza missed weight.
Win 9–2 Brett Oteri TKO (punches) Matrix Fights 8 September 20, 2013 1 3:32 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Middleweight bout.[20]
Win 8–2 Shedrick Goodridge TKO (punches) Bellator 95 April 4, 2013 2 4:22 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States 173 lb catchweight bout;
Goodridge missed weight.
Win 7–2 Richard Rigmaden Submission (armbar) XFE: Cage Wars 18 October 13, 2012 1 1:31 Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 6–2 Aung La Nsang Submission (triangle choke) Matrix Fights 5 March 16, 2012 2 0:56 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss 5–2 Giedrius Karavackas Submission (scarf-hold armlock) Bellator 44 May 14, 2011 3 3:59 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 5–1 Don Carlo-Clauss Submission (punches) Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva February 12, 2011 1 4:10 East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States
Loss 4–1 Myles Jury Submission (standing rear-naked choke)[22] KOTC: No Mercy September 17, 2010 1 2:55 Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States
Win 4–0 Koa Ramos Submission (guillotine choke) KOTC: Honor May 14, 2010 1 0:50 Mescalero, New Mexico, United States
Win 3–0 Dave Concepción KO (head kick) Adrenaline: New Breed February 26, 2010 1 0:09 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 2–0 Dustin Collins Submission (armbar) Arena Rumble: Horn vs. Guida September 12, 2009 2 4:19 Spokane, Washington, United States
Win 1–0 Mitch Filer Submission (rear-naked choke) WCA: Caged Combat June 6, 2009 1 0:47 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States

Boxing record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 2–0 Kyle Mcnutt Decision (Unanimous) Kings Promotions May 12, 2017 4 12:00 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States 199 lb cruiserweight fight
Win 1-0 Joe Parkinson KO Kings Promotions March 11, 2017 1 0:35 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Pro Debut


  1. ^ "Sam Oropeza's profile". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  2. ^ Staff (May 12, 2011). "Fight Path: Late bloomer Sam Oropeza facing fears, fulfilling dreams". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  3. ^ Joe Arcidiacono (August 4, 2010). "Local fighter remains humble while racking up wins". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  4. ^ Robert Sargent (May 14, 2010). "KOTC: "Honor" live play-by-play & results". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  5. ^ Robert Sargent (September 17, 2010). "KOTC: "No Mercy" live play-by-play & results". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  6. ^ Mike Whitman (February 12, 2011). "Strikeforce prelims: Cholish kneebars TUF 12 alum Stevens". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  7. ^ List of Bully Beatdown episodes
  8. ^ Sam Genovese (May 15, 2011). "Karavackas taps Oropeza, Lentz wins on Bellator 44 undercard". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  9. ^ Keith Mills (March 21, 2012). "Somewhat controversial win for Oropeza at Matrix 5". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  10. ^ "Sam Oropeza comes out victorious at Cage Wars 18". October 14, 2012. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  11. ^ Ted Czech (February 8, 2013). "Pro welterweight Sam Oropeza inks deals with Binns Management and Bellator MMA". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  12. ^ Brian Knapp (April 4, 2013). "Pat Curran chokes Shahbulat Shamhalaev unconscious, keeps featherweight crown at Bellator 95". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  13. ^ Brian Knapp (November 15, 2013). "'Rampage' Jackson wrecks Joey Beltran with last-second left hook at Bellator 108". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  14. ^ Dann Stupp (January 13, 2014). "Daniel Straus vs. Pat Curran III headlines Bellator 112, War Machine returns". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "War Machine, Riggs, Scanlon out; Bradley, Coy, Souza in Bellator welterweight tournament". March 8, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2014.
  16. ^ Floyd, Jason (May 3, 2014). "Sam Oropeza was not on weight for initial fight against Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 115 last month". Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  17. ^ MMAjunkie Staff (September 30, 2014). "Emanuel Newton headlines Bellator 130 in title tilt with Linton Vassell". Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Staff (November 14, 2013). "Bellator 108 weigh-in results: 'Rampage'-Beltran set, heavyweight title fight official". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  20. ^ "Matrix Fights 8: Sam Oropeza vs. Brett Oteri". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  21. ^ Staff (April 3, 2013). "Bellator 95 weigh-in results: Curran, Shamhalaev set for 145 title (updated)". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  22. ^