Meet The Pit Elevated fighter Lehi Dominguez
There are many qualities a person must possess to be successful in the sport of mixed martial arts. Besides the obvious quality of talent one must have determination, drive, desire and most of all heart. The want to within themselves to stand back up after every fall. Some are born with it some build it over time. Some have a path of success laid out before them, while others work every second they possibly can to live their dream. One man by the name of Lehi Dominguez possesses these such qualities and has worked to earn his spot in the sport.
Growing up in the small farm town of Deming, New Mexico Lehi, like most small town folks dreamed of one day getting away from the area and making a name for himself, something in which he has succeeded in doing a number of ways. Growing up Lehi didn’t really know what MMA was, but having watched de la Hoya box it did spark an interest in in the sport. A sports lover at heart, Lehi was active in basketball, soccer, and track but the small town sports politics caught up with him, and he started to spend more time by himself. When age 18 rolled around he knew he had choices to make. Like most teenagers, Dominguez was unsure of his life path but at the time the choice seemed somewhat simple: drop out and try to attend college or enlist in the Army. Enlist is exactly what he did to pave his own way and not be dependant on anyone but himself. Lehi is proud to serve his country and calls it the greatest service he knows he can do. He has been active in the military for ten years and plans to continue his military career, a career which in some ways led to his interest and involvement in the sport of MMA.
While stationed in Japan, fellow soldiers started bringing UFC dvds into the barracks. This was the time of the reign of Chuck Liddell, watching him destroying opponent after opponent as well as his grudge matches with Tito Ortiz, Lehi started becoming more interested the sport itself and not just the entertainment of the fight. Lehi although very intrigued by the sport had never considered fighting. That changed when in 2011 he was approached by a guy in his unit as well as other Sergeants about his interest in lifting and army combatives. All agreed they could see Lehi fighting in the cage one day. Joking around about fighting he still hadn’t considered training until the day his friend informed him about a membership at The Pit, Dominguez signed up the next day and has been a member ever since.
Now sitting on a 3-0 record after his first round KO August 23rd against Tommy Wreck, Lehi is developing his Muay Thai, wrestling, and jiu jitsu to be prepared for any future opponent he may face. The setback of a broken fibula in January didn’t stop the determination to once again face an opponent in the cage. After four months of crutches and rehab, Lehi hit the gym hard and began his training regimen once again. Diet changes, two a days, cardio strength and conditioning workouts and private boxing lessons with his boxing coach Shane Stoneman, show the dedication and love of the sport Dominguez possesses. A love that will no doubt shoot him to the top of the 170 pound ranks. Although comfortable on the ground or standing, Lehi craves a knockout finish. Either way you can guarantee Dominguez will come out banging giving it his all and putting on a good show.
Most fighters will tell you they are nothing without inspirations and a support system. Lehi lacks in neither. Surrounded by those who support his career as well as help improve it, Dominguez would be considered by most in the sport to be lucky. Training at The Pit Elevated out of Orem, UT for almost 3 years, he has been surrounded by talented training partners and coaches. Training partners including Landon Selin, Jesse O’Rullian, Adam Nijem, Randy Yellowhair, and Sean Whalen have been by his side through training camps as well as being his sparring partners. Getting started his main coaches were Brock Jardine and Tandi Ogden Suitter. Jardine helping up his wrestling and Jiu Jitsu game while Tandi advanced his Muay Thai. A year into training, The Pit started an amatuer team and that’s when Lehi got his head and assistant coaches, Arnold Anderton and Kwame. Jason Mertlich is the overall head coach that runs the Pro Team practices as well as the main Jiu Jitsu classes. After his first fight Lehi started training with Shane Stoneman who has boosted his boxing game to the next level, helping him become comfortable with his striking game. Court McGee has also been there to help coach and mentor Dominguez as well. With a training group like the one Lehi has around him, success is all but waiting around the corner. Most fighters want to win not only for themselves but others as well. Lehi has several inspirations, his mother, who worked full time helping to raise 5 kids. Supporting him from childhood to adulthood, with the attitude that if he is happy she is happy. Dominguez is out to show her that she raised a strong boy who is driven to succeed. His older brother Joey has been his best friend and a huge supporter of his passion for the sport, so when Lehi succeeds so does Joey. A beautiful family that is nothing short of a blessing. A wife who has been his biggest supporter, becoming involved by selling tickets, t-shirts, and promoting his fights. Lehi says her standing behind him 100% makes fighting that much easier. A four year old son Keahi that helps keep him balanced and to love and enjoy the smaller things in life. Last but in no way least Lehi has a spirituality within from being raised LDS. Lehi feels God has always given him a clear path and by staying on that path he is happy and has peace in his life.
Set to deploy to Kosovo in November, Lehi still has his heart and mind focused on his MMA career. Lehi has his eyes on fighting for Showdown, the most well known promotion in Utah and surrounding areas. Thinking it would be a dream come true to step on that stage, he is determined to keep his fight game top notch and make it possible. With an attitude of a fighter he wants to make sure he has a career he can speak of with pride. He wants to look back and know he gave his all during training and every second spent in the cage, taking on the toughest opponents leaving them with a fight memory that they will never forget. A man with a big heart inside and out of the cage, a determination and drive to succeed that most would look up to, Lehi Dominguez will leave his mark on the sport of mixed martial arts.
Follow Lehi on Twitter: @LehiDominguez
Find him on Facebook: Lehi Dominguez
Thank yous: As always thanks to my wife, son, family, coaches, friends, teammates, sponsors and anyone that supports and believes in me. A big thanks to MMAmadhouse for doing this interview it’s been really fun.
Sponsors:Va Mortgage Leader, Will Farrar, Lester Muranka, ChrissyAnn Photography (Christa Cox), DeathorGlory Tattoos (Ernest Dick), One Way or Another Remodeling ( Sandy Rodriguez), other prior sponsors that continue to support me include MMAmadhouse (Skippy Cohen), Dominatress (Kelly Feliciano and Big E), Riven MMA (Adam Legas and Michael Hardle), Jake’s Brookside (Justin Jacobson) The Funky Monkey MMA (Rob Meade), Matt the Barber at Tangles, Hype Xtreme Fighting
Lehi Dominguez Vs Apaulo Wheaton