Corpus Christi native and recent Ultimate Fighting Championship signee Roger Narvaez is living a dream: the 6'3, 185-pound mixed martial artist from Texas is a loving family man, full-time fireman/paramedic and has reached the world-famous UFC Octagon.
Narvaez's martial arts path commenced at a young age, as his family always appreciated movies that involved the various disciplines which interested him. Speaking to ConvictedArtist.com, "Silverback" recalled, "When I was in the first grade, my dad got me into Tae-kwon-do and I really loved it; I excelled at it. I decided to take a break when I was 13 and by that time, I had already achieved my second degree black belt and qualified for the Junior Olympic trials. Unfortunately, we didn't have the travel money to make that trip [to the Junior Olympic Trials]." During his high school years, Narvaez took a break from martial arts "mainly because of football" but maintained that he "always loved martial arts."
After high school was over, Narvaez eventually landed a job with the local fire department. As a city firefighter, "Silverback" was focused on strength as opposed to conditioning. He explained, "I used to pump a lot of iron and eat a lot of food, but no cardio. I was weighing 278 [pounds] and fighting fires [in that shape] was not easy. I was hurting."
Luckily, a friend from his teenage years would lead Narvaez back to the martial arts world and, eventually, to the cage. "An old high school friend of mine named Hector Munoz was fighting and teaching [martial arts], so I went [to train] with him just to get in shape," Narvaez continued. "I took up Jiu-Jitsu and I fell in love with it. I was on the mat [training] for four to five hours on my days off. I got my blue belt in eleven months and my purple belt right under three years."
The environment of fellow teammates competing led to "Silverback" challenging himself via Jiu-jitsu tournaments. Seeing fellow stable mates enter the mixed martial arts cage further pushed Narvaez to the amateur circuit, eventually progressing to a professional career. "I couldn't get amateur fights after a while so I turned pro and, again, I found a lot of success," Narvaez reported. "The Lord has blessed me with an injury free career up to this point and I've now accomplished being signed to the UFC."