Fighting throughout his childhood, serving in the United States Marine Corps for eight years and making his debut as a mixed martial artist, combat is a part of who Raymond Bunker is.
Growing up, Bunker quickly learned the value of self-defense, and while he might not have been clearing out the competition at a young age, it definitely set the stage for a dangerous man in one-on-one combat.
“I grew up in a mainly Hispanic community and I was one of the only white kids in the school district, so from an early age I got picked on and had to learn to fight,” Bunker said. “I had to learn to defend myself against bullies and groups of people, so then my mother put me in MMA training at ten years old.”
After establishing himself as somebody to respect, both in the gym and in his neighborhood, Bunker was encouraged to go to even greater lengths to up his fighting abilities. It wasn’t long at all before Bunker went from “wayward youth looking for self-defense tips” to “full-on fighter.”
“In high school I decided to pick up wrestling because that’s what all the MMA guys were telling me to do,” Bunker said. “I was never the jock, I was just kind of a scrappy kid who had to learn to defend himself.”
Shortly after high school, Bunker would leave his budding MMA career for a new challenge with much greater internal reward: the United States Marine Corps.
Bunker was immediately stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and instead of sacrificing the prime years of his MMA career, he made lemonade out of lemons, as he had no idea that joining the Marines might have helped his career more than staying at his local gym the whole time.
“I was able to train karate and jiu-jitsu, and then I got the opportunity to try out for the All-Marine wrestling team that’s in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina,” Bunker said. “I served six years on the wrestling team and I was number one in the U.S. multiple times and number five in the world at one point for wrestling.”
After nearly a decade in the Marines and a large majority of that time spent as one of the most dangerous men in the military, Bunker is back in the United States ready to pick up a career that he laid to rest in 2014.
At 27 years old, he still has plenty of years ahead of him and plans on wasting no more time, and for those he stood shoulder to shoulder with who weren’t able to have this opportunity, Bunker is fighting for all of them.
And if his MMA career goes the way his wrestling career went, watch out bantamweights.
Catch the professional debut of Raymond Bunker at Titan FC 75 on Sunday, April 10, at 2 pm PT, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!