UFC: Enoc Solves, from working at the butcher shop to triumphing in Russian UFC rivalry

Enoc Solves (26-11-1) is one of the veterans of MMA in Spain and a globetrotter of this discipline. Anyone who follows Mixed Martial Arts identifies him as one of those who has helped pave the way in this sport.

He has been a member of the American Top Team (in Miami), one of the most prestigious teams in the world, as well as a much loved fighter in the Russian M-1.

Although nowadays it may seem that if you have not been in UFC a career is not complete, Enoc‘s is that of a pioneer who started when this whole world was in its infancy.

This Wednesday the Valencian fighter will be the protagonist in AFL 29 (broadcasted on DAZN), an event that will take place in Cheste (Valencia).

There he will face Turkey’s Bugra Alparslan (9-3) for the light heavyweight title (93 kg). At 38 years of age, Enoc has picked up momentum for what’s next for him with the biggest MMA company in Spain.

In his last fight, ‘El Toreador’, as he is known in Russia, contested the title of Eagle FC, Khabib‘s company. He had just become a father for the second time and took a few months off after that fight, but he is now ready to return.

“I’m not thinking about retiring. My goal is none other than to win the AFL title and defend it as many times as I can,” he tells MARCA. Solves has covered a lot of miles and can now boast, for example, of having been a member of the American Top Team.

Of that experience, he recalls: “It’s not only that they have the best fighters, but they are the ones who take the most to UFC and get the most titles. I was in Miami, in Coconut Creek. I also went through the ‘London Shootfighters,’ where I was invited to train.

“It’s not that the preparation in these places changes so much compared to what we do here, but there you have 50 guys of your weight and in Valencia to get two is already complicated. In these centers there are not only UFC and Bellator champions, but there is a lot of variety within the same weight. Then it is true that the methods of those who win are imitated,” he explains. Today, the fighter even has his own gym, M-1 Selection Spain in Valencia, where he not only trains, but has been training young people for years.

Combining butchery and MMA

It’s been a long time since he worked as a butcher, of which Solves has fond memories: “When I started fighting, I combined it with butchering and had to ask permission to go to fights. Then I started to earn more money in a fight than in half a year in the butcher’s shop and I realized that I had to dedicate myself one hundred percent to the fight.

“Being a butcher was a very nice time in my life and I would go back if I had to. There I was serving grandmothers, who would later ask me why I had a black eye. I grew up as a person behind a counter in a butcher’s shop,” he says.

In fact, in his early days he started out being known as the ‘Butcher of Valencia’ and then moved on to ‘Toreador’ in Russia: “I guess they meant bullfighter, but they didn’t translate it well.” The ‘Toreador’ continues to this day to show the way to the younger ones.