Interview: Evert Gutierrez


Interview by: AJ Hoffman

We have interviewed Evert before, to talk about his blossoming MMA career or his outstanding jiu jitsu. This time we talked to Evert about something a little different, as he plans to put combat sports on the back burner to go and serve our country. We had a chance to get his feelings on heading off to take part in a different kind of training than he is used to.

TCD: Last we spoke, you had started up Zion MMA with Renan Chavez. What is going on with the school?

Gutierrez: I sold my share of the business to Renan back in September and as far as I know he is doing well.

TCD: What made you decide to join the military at this point in your life?

Gutierrez: Well, I have accomplished a lot of goals that I had set out for myself in the civilian world, and the military is something I always dreamed of doing but there was something that persistently held me back. My situation is different now; I am older, a little wiser and most importantly, my mind has become much stronger. I want to look back at my life and know that I always chased after my dreams–no regrets, no looking back to wonder what could have been.

TCD: Why the Navy?

Gutierrez: I choose the Navy because of the SWCC program. As soon as I saw the descriptions of the job I was all over it. It consists of all the things I love wrapped into one: hunting down bad guys and getting paid for it…oh yeah, that is a job I would do for free!

TCD: I saw you are accepted to SWCC. Tell people exactly what that is and what it leads to.

Gutierrez: Yes, I was accepted into the SWCC program, which stands for “Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crewman.” I applied about 3 months ago and got selected in the draft after a long and arduous process, which includes passing a PST (Physical Standards Test) that requires the applicant to be in top shape and achieve competitive numbers. I was very happy I was selected right away as the average wait time for selection is anywhere from 6 months to a year. The SWCC program’s primary specialty is maritime special operations working with Seals, EOD, Divers, Green Berets, and USMC Recon. If we’re talking special operations and they need a ride in or out, SWCCs are the ones for the job. SWCCs are the primary team that handles anti-piracy, prevention of smuggling, and counter-terrorism operations within the Navy at sea. They also do a lot of work with the DEA and FBI, fighting the war on drugs along the coast–intersecting drug shipments and things of that nature.

TCD: Do you plan on making a career of the military, or is this something you want to do for a few years?

Gutierrez: A lot depends on how things go…I see myself falling in love with the job, so I might just stay in for the long haul–but I will take it one day at a time.

TCD: What does this mean for your MMA career?

Gutierrez: As of right now, it’s coming to a halt which is hard for me because I live for the thrill of competition. However, this choice I have made requires my utmost commitment and attention–fighting right now would be risky.

TCD: Will you try and continue to compete once you get settled in wherever you are permanently stationed?

Gutierrez: I hope once I have successfully completed CQT (Crewman Qualification Training), SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape School), and settled in the new lifestyle, I can resume training and competing in MMA. For now, I will still compete in grappling events until I ship out May 14th.

TCD: Anything else you want to say or anyone you want to mention?

Gutierrez: I thank God and much love to all my family and friends who are always supportive and behind me in all my endeavors, to my “brothers” in the martial arts at Paradigm and Bam-Bam. I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing and inspiring people in this journey that has molded me into who I am today. I also want to send a shout out to all my new brothers serving in the military today and to those who have come before, especially those whom have laid down their lives in the line of duty.

TCD: Thanks again Evert! Best of luck bro!

Gutierrez: Thank you, AJ–and thanks to all within the Houston martial arts community and its fans!