Tim Tirado

Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Luttrell - photographer

Born a statistic, Tim “Tornado” Tirado has fought his way through life, now fighting to inspire others

The Cards Were Stacked Against Tim Tirado

There is a saying, you play the cards in you are dealt with in life. If life were a game of Texas Hold’em it wouldn’t be too far off to say that Tim “Tornado” Tirado was dealt a two and a seven that aren’t matching suits. Born near Detroit, MI, Tirado grew up without a dad and a mom who was addicted to drugs and sold drugs and gangbanged. He was even born addicted to drugs. It wasn’t rare for him to find a needle or crack pipe around his house. His grandmother who raised him, worked two jobs. Often times Tim Tirado was left on his own to make decisions for himself, at the tender age of five years old.

That time alone in a rough neighborhood put Tirado in tough situations. He would skip school and wander the streets. During the time on the streets, he would be picked on because he was light skinned and even at a young age, Tirado wasn’t someone who liked to run from a fight.

“I was a light skinned kid and I’d get picked on, I’d get called white boy all the time. I’m mixed race, my mother was half black/half white, my grandfather was African-American, my grandma was German and my father was Puerto Rican. Do I was looking at my family and I’m getting picked on and getting called white boy and this and that and I would look at my family and everybody is colored so I’m like no. So I started fighting because I would stand up for myself. Sometimes I would get jumped and I would get the shit kicked out of me and sometimes I’d get the upper-hand, either way I learned how to fight because of those situations. I got tired of running and it got to the point that I took too many ass whoopings and I got tired of running and I had to stand my ground. My parents saw it and they put me into martial arts and I got into karate when I was five or six years old.”

When he was nine years old, Tirado moved further north in Michigan (Oscoda) and ran into a different problem, he was too dark and he came from a troubled neighborhood. So he developed a reputation early on as a troubled kid.

“The stereotypes started as soon as we moved up north, Tim’s a bad kid, he comes from Detroit, he’s this and that…plus I had a chip on my shoulder and I would fight all the time.”

His fighting let him to get expelled from school towards the end of fifth grade. At that time, his mom violated her parole and ended up in jail, his father had just passed away and his grandmother who took care of him had a stroke. Tirado spent a month in juvenile detention because of his fight and then went into foster care for six months. He eventually found his way to Hale, MI where he finally started to fit in. He worked hard and excelled at sports and earned a scholarship to Central Michigan University to play baseball but instead he decided to join the army. He served in the National Guard in the human resources department. Mainly because his recruiter told him it would lead him to a better job after the Army and if he served as a fighter, he would end up in construction (Tirado currently works in construction because he couldn’t find a job in human resources after leaving the Army.)

After he left the Army, Tirado became mixed up with the wrong friend group and after a few drinking and driving incidents, he found himself in jail for a few months. That’s when he discovered MMA.

“When I was in jail I was just watching the fights every day, WEC, UFC, Elite XC.”

“I started saying this is what I’m going to do when I get out.”

And he immediately got into the cage when he started training ten years ago. Tirado says it was only after three training sessions that he got into the cage for an amateur fight and he ended up putting the guy to sleep with a rear naked choke in the second round. To him, fighting is an instinct.

“Ever since then I was hooked. It just felt natural to me. Out of everything I’ve ever done, combat has been something that has been natural.”

Despite having been in many altercations throughout his life and as someone who is a professional fighter, Tirado considers himself a passive person who only fights because it is who he is.

“Coincidentally, I don’t like to fight, I’m not a confrontational person, I’m extremely passive now that I’m older. I’ve been in so many altercations growing up, that now that I’m an adult and now that I’m much more skilled, I’m a professional now, I have no desire to get in any altercations. I fight solely because it’s who I am, it’s what I’ve done my whole life and its what I feel like I have to do. I feel like that is my calling in life. I feel like it’s part of my destiny that G-d has mapped out.”

Tirado turned professional in 2015 and went 1-1 between then and 2017. But it hasn’t been a smooth road. Ahead of his fight in May of 2017 he was hit by a truck and injured his shoulder. He fought through it and won the fight but immediately had reconstructive surgery on his shoulder. While recovering from surgery, he was diagnosed with cancer. He lost 60 pounds and his surgeon said if he didn’t catch it then he would’ve died a week later.

“I don’t know if the destiny has me going to the UFC or to Bellator or anything like that. To be honest, I don’t have any desires of trying to chase the UFC dream. Like I said before, I fight because that is who I am, I’m a fighter, I’ve done it my whole life. It seems like I’ve been fighting the odds ever since I came inside this world.”

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Now that I am home and have some time I want to first start out by saying Thank you to our Father in Heaven for Blessing Me with FAR more than I deserve. For Blessing me with the Ability to do what many thought IMPOSSIBLE and get back to where I belong. I want to thank my Amazing Queen @ryaneberline for being my rock n always putting up with my shenanigans…for loving and supporting me 100% always, to all my teammates/coaches I love you guys and this W wouldn’t have been possible without your sacrifices to help make me better…this is Yalls Win Too, to my opponent/friend Eric Lyon for being such an Awesome Guy and Competitor…Almost had an anxiety attack last week bc I didn’t wanna fight my friend n couldn’t figure out how I’d Win without Hitting you lol You’re A Warrior bro Thank You So Much🙏🏽, To my Sponsors THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR ALL OF YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT…It Means The World To Me, To @Yeubankubanks for believing in my abilities and allowing me to have the opportunity to make that walk once again and perform for the fans, to all the fans and supporters out there I love you all dearly and your energy, love and support gives strength daily and help me to always keep my eyes on the prize and on the positive side of life, to never take things for granted and to always appreciate what I have. The past 2 1/2 years has been such a roller coaster in my life just to think that nine months ago Friday I had stage III cancer surgery and almost died… I was 135 pounds and A lot of people didn’t think I would ever fight again let alone survive the circumstance but by the grace of God I was able to bounce back bigger and stronger and healthier than I have ever been in my life I was able to do what the doctor said would be impossible and God granted me a second chance… I was able to make that walk nine months after Literally Almost Dying to secure a 2nd Rnd Triangle Submisson Victory in what was such a pivotal moment in my life! This Fight had nothing to do with proving anything to anybody but to myself… I needed to know that I could still go out there and perform… to prove all of those people that doubted me wrong… I had to prove those things to myself!

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The tornado certainly has overcome a lot and he doesn’t want the fighting glory for himself. He just wants a platform to inspire others to do well, especially his children.

“Dad has been through all this in his life, dad fights people that train to beat the crap out of him and he stands up against that. He makes it through the hard times and he’s got the drive. I want them to see that and understand that and draw from that whatever they can, so when they run into hard times cause life happens to everyone in different magnitudes and different times but I want them to know through what I’ve been through and through the example that I’m trying to set, they can say ok, I’m going through some shit but this shit is going to pass, storms don’t last forever, if dad can do it, I can definitely do it because he’s been through it and he he’s already got the answers to the problem so all I gotta do is just follow his blueprint and I’ll make it through this. And if I can’t and something is different, he is here to help me.”

Whether he is victorious in the cage or not going forward, it’s quite clear that Tim Tirado is a winner, simply by not becoming a statistic and inspiring those around him.

“I came into this world as a statistic. The cards were so far stacked against me coming into this world that I should follow my parent’s footsteps and follow the revolving door so to speak it’s not even funny. I tell a lot of people, if you really knew where I came from and where I am now you wouldn’t believe it, your draw would drop.”