Born in Santiago, Cuba on April 27, 1976, Javier Vazquez came to the United States at the age of four. He grew up in El Monte, California and started wrestling as a sophomore at Arroyo High School at the age of 15. In 1994 he placed 3rd at the CIF wrestling tournament and continued his stellar high school career by placing 4th in the Southern Section Masters tournament. He was just one match away from placing in the high school state wrestling championships, ending up in the top 12 in the state at 130 lbs. He was voted team captain in both his junior and senior years. He continued his wrestling career at Mt. San Antonio College where he again proved himself to be one of “the best of the best” by finishing 7th in the state and being voted team captain for his leadership on and off the mat.
In 1997 Javier started learning Jiu-Jitsu under the renowned Carlson Gracie Team. He competed in every Jiu-Jitsu and submission tournament he could and eventually found himself in the fight game. His first no-holds-barred match was at Neutral Grounds in 1998 which resulted in a controversial decision. Several more fights in smaller venues followed and he then took time off from fighting to train and compete in Jiu-Jitsu. After only 5 years of training he earned his black belt from the Carlson Gracie Team.
In 2005 Javier won the North American Trials for the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. But dropped out before competition due to a torn groin injury. In December 2009 Javier was named the “most inspirational performance of the decade” in MMA by Sports Illustrated magazine for his fight against Alberto Crane where he fought 3 rounds with a torn ACL.
He went on to fight for Elite XC and was able to break free from his contract before the company folded. He signed to fight against LC Davis at the Affliction: Trilogy but the event folded 10 days before the fight was supposed to take place and following that both fighters signed with the WEC. Vazquez made his WEC debut against LC Davis at WEC 42, losing a controversial split decision. He rebounded quickly as he replaced an injured Mark Hominick against Deividas Taurosevicius at WEC 43 but lost another controversial decision. Vazquez faced and defeated former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver on March 6, 2010 at WEC 47. Vazquez defeated Mackens Semerzier via second round submission on August 18, 2010 at WEC 50. Vazquez was defeated by Chad Mendes via unanimous decision on November 11, 2010 at WEC 52.
In October 2010, World Extreme Cage fighting merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As part of the merger, all WEC fighters were transferred to the UFC. Vazquez defeated Joe Stevenson via unanimous decision on June 26, 2011 at UFC on Versus 4.
In July 2011, Javier participated in the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program.