Meet Dan Ruiz
Danny Ruiz is an atypical zoomie. He joined the U.S. Air force in February 2003 and spent the first three years of active duty as a Aircraft weapons guys for the F-16 Fighting Falcon, so he basically loaded bombs, rockets, missiles and guns in the rain, desert heat or snow. But watching pilots fly off into the wild blue yonder and blow shit up while he stayed on the tarmac made Danny want to go out and kick ass on his own. The Ultimate Fighter sealed the deal.
“I was watching these guys fight on TV and thought I could do that.”
In 2006 he became a weapons evaluator and trainer by day and evolved his MMA game by night. Eventually he got good enough that he taught BJJ & MMA classes at the base gym. By 2009 he was ready to leave active duty, join the Reserves, and pursue his dream of training, fighting, and teaching Jiu-Jitsu & MMA.
But the daily grind of a professional athlete with all its dieting, conditioning, and constant training was not an easy lifestyle to get into and Danny admits he had trouble with it at first. “I needed to mature,” he admits. “But I love it now. It just takes some getting used to.” Like many others before him, being in the military helped Danny to focus and get some much-needed discipline in his life, which has transferred to his MMA career outside the Air Force. Danny is now 9-5 in professional MMA with a five-fight win streak.
This wouldn’t be a Ranger Up bio without a no-shit story so here it is. One day Danny was on the tarmac of sunny Eglin AFB when a British test pilot pulled up in his F-16 looking a bit sheepish for the morning mission. Danny got on the phone with him and had the following conversation:
Pilot – “Hey mate. I don’t like the looks of the load. I think it’s too heavy on one side of the plane.”
Sergeant Ruiz – “Are you kidding me? I’m a pro at this and you’re a test pilot.”
Pilot – “It feels like the Titanic listing to one side. I think it’s dangerous.”
Sergeant Ruiz – “That’s a poor metaphor since the Titanic went down nose first, Sir.”
Pilot – “I don’t like it. It doesn’t feel right.”
Sergeant Ruiz – “What are you, ‘Maverick’ now? I’ll be your Jester then. Get in there and engage kid!”
Pilot – “I want to go back to the hangar. I think it’s tea time.”
Sergeant Ruiz – “I drank all the tea and ate all the crumpets. Now Ranger the fuck up and fly this mission!”
Pilot – “I think Michael Bisping is on the tele.”
Sergeant Ruiz – “That’s it!”
Danny throws his headphones and gloves off and rushes the cockpit like Rosie O’Donnell at the grand opening of a cupcake factory.
The plane took off immediately.