Get to Know: Steven Gruber

Nickname: The Gremlin

Record: 6-4

Age: 26

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 125 pounds

Social Media: (link here)

13096247_10209642018758032_969673988217342940_nNowadays, MMAGOLD’s Steven Gruber trains within the walls of Urban Sprawl Fitness, his home away from home, and holds permanent residency in Grizzly Flats, a small city in the foothills of Northern California, but, from youth through adolescence, Gruber struggled to call anywhere home:

“Growing up, I was never part of the richest family. I’ve always been going in and out of the homeless shelters, living on the river, and going through a bunch of that drama.”

Gruber wasted no time learning how to push back on adversity. Positivity penetrated the plaster that may shamefully hide a past similar to Gruber’s when he explained what it was like growing up under such conditions,

“It was really rough, and I’ve always had to fight and scrounge for everything I’ve had.”

Being raised in such turbulence never rattled Gruber’s present-day zeal. Aside from the tattoos, rock solid exterior, and mild case of cauliflower ear, it’s difficult for outsiders to comprehend how a light-hearted spirit came in contact with MMA. When push turned to a harder shove, Gruber sought strategies for self-defense:

“I guess it all started when I was twelve years old. I started watching UFC with my brother. I started liking it, and then, I started to really get picked on by my brother and his friends; that turned me to want to train.”

And, to this day, he’s never turned back. In fact, a month after learning to wrap his hands, he was wrapped in264678_477874805565500_1339297702_n the ultimate proving ground, locked and loaded for his first fight. He was hooked, even in loss, at the close of the debut:

“I didn’t know that I was going to want to do this as a career when I first started. After I took my first fight, it was a tough loss. I lost by decision, and everybody in the crowd said I won. I think that’s when I found out that I wanted to be a fighter as a career.”

Once “The Gremlin” decided on his path, much like his thought process early on, he has scraped his way toward the top. The ink etched into his chest scripts Gruber’s potential in mixed martial arts: “Sky’s the Limit,” especially with MMAGOLD supporting his efforts. Warmth radiated from Gruber as he praised his teammates, coaches, and Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 1.12.22 PMmanager (Dave Hirschbein); all important individuals worth their weight in the team’s invaluable color,

“All the coaches and manager have a ton of respect for the fighters. It’s not a competition of: Who is the best guy in the gym? So, that’s nice we’re not beating the crap out of each other everyday. It’s like a family atmosphere; I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”

As a flyweight, Gruber doesn’t pack the most mass in the gym, but you’d never guess based on his larger-than-life persona. Each day, Gruber bursts through the gym’s doors and pushes his strength, cardio, and mental fortitude to the limit, hoping to crack MMA’s regional seal and flood canvases amongst the greatest fighters on the planet:

“I want to see myself in the UFC. That’s every fighter’s goal: get to the UFC. I want to travel and fight, go to Russia, Germany, go somewhere out of the state to fight and get my name spread around the world.”

Gruber’s background has primed his mentality to flatten mountains down to speed bumps with thrilling technique,13086890_1005845902795983_7783253254937224727_o ample pressure, and a never-say-die attitude. The flyweight division thirsts for heavy-handed aggressors such as Gruber, and he’d argue, even under dire circumstances, the cage houses his heart:

“Experiencing homelessness made me so much mentally stronger than I ever could imagine. I’ve found myself totally getting pummeled in fights and being like, ‘I’ve been through way worse than this, so…let’s stick it out.”