Sanchez balances two careers, crunching numbers by day and fighting at night
06.08.2018 | By Melissa Trevizo
HOUSTON, Texas – From nine to five, Roberto Sanchez is a mild-mannered actuarial analyst for American National Insurance, but in the evening, he becomes ‘Little Fury,’ a name given to him for his stature and dominance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Sanchez, a Houston native, graduated from San Jacinto College South Campus with an associate degree in mathematics in 2009, after changing his major several times.
“After I graduated high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life,” Sanchez said. “I tried architecture, engineer and teaching until I settled on math.”
While searching for his major one thing always remained constant, his love for mixed martial arts (MMA), particularly Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“One day I was walking around San Jac and I saw that there was a martial arts club,” Sanchez said. “The person teaching the class taught us basic moves. I had been training with my brother at that time and knew the moves already. It wasn’t long before I became president of the club and led the class instruction.”
After his graduation from San Jacinto College, Sanchez transferred to University of Houston-Clear Lake and earned a bachelor degree in mathematics in 2012. In that same year, he became a high school teacher, got married and won his first amateur MMA match.
“I really developed a love for fighting, but I was still working 80-hour weeks as a teacher, and I knew one of my passions was going to have to give,” Sanchez said. “After speaking with my wife Natalie, I knew what my decision was. I was going to pursue a career in MMA.”
In 2015, Sanchez won TXMMA Rookie of the Year for going 3-0 as a pro in the Legacy promotion. He also began studying to become an actuarial analyst to have a career that would support his family without working over 40 hours a week.
“There are a lot of fighters that do MMA full time,” Sanchez said. “You either have to fight more often or work part time. I take my time and lean back on whatever income I have coming in. That allows me to be strategic in what fights I take.”
In 2017, Sanchez went pro with the UFC. He holds an 8-1-0 record with seven wins coming by submission.
“I like winning without injuring someone,” Sanchez said. “I like to win by submission. If I can take them down quickly, and no one gets injured, that’s a huge win in my eyes.”
Though successful in UFC, Sanchez continues to strive for an equal level of success in his day job.
“I’m still studying,” Sanchez said. “I just took another actuarial exam last month. I believe in working and adapting your education, so you don’t get stuck in a job you don’t want.”
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students each year benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers eight areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to four-year colleges or universities or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.