Fighter Girls would like to introduce you to two fresh new fighters hailing from Torres Martial Arts and Martinez Inc. in Las Cruces, New Mexico – Ashley Aguirre, and Tandra “Tundra” Lopez. Both began their training about two years ago and have a few fights under their belts. Hungry for more, they’re willing to fight anyone in their class.
26 year-old Ashley has always been active in both team and individual sports, but has found that all her spare time recently is spent training in the gym. She began with kickboxing and added groundwork a year later. Within months she got serious about MMA training – fighting her way to a solid amateur record of a combined 5-2-0 plus three 1st place BJJ wins. Always striving to improve she knows that, “As long as I’m persistent and I try my best, I’m going to continue to improve my skills”. Motivation is no problem for this up-and-comer who enjoys both stand up and taking it to the ground and finds mastering a new move addictive. That compulsion to keep coming back for more helps Ashley to maintain her focus and will be an advantage as she pursues her two-year goal of becoming a better established fighter with even more wins on her record. “Experience is the best teacher, and I’m hoping to learn as much as I can.”
Ashley has made fitness her life. Minor injuries, so prevalent in the sport, have only strengthened her resolve and help to remind her that she’s been fortunate so far. Once a soft-spoken young woman, she’s now a confident individual who no one is going to take advantage of, and she attributes that to her training. She’s earned certification as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor and currently works at three different gyms. She trains with two coaches, Leonardo Torres and James Martinez at Martinez Inc. and Torres Martial Arts, to ensure she doesn’t miss a technique. Her work day can start before dawn and end after some of us are in bed. Keeping busy in the world of fitness is Ashley’s passion and she has experienced firsthand how it can transform both body and mind. “I currently do what I do for work because even if I’m not making a lot of money, and it’s only one person at a time, I want to help people change their lives for the better.” Ashley has had to work extremely hard for all that she is and has accomplished, so perhaps her drive and genuine character will inspire others to be their best, no matter how hard the effort may seem at times.
Tundras are cold harsh environments, and that fits Tandra “Tundra” Lopez to a tee – cool under pressure and harsh on her opponents. 19-year old Lopez also got into MMA training relatively recently, taking on fights shortly thereafter and establishing a sound 5-2-0 amateur record with two first-place wins in Jiu Jitsu. She enjoys the intense workouts the sport requires and seeing how far she can push her body.
Family is a priority for Tandra, and growing up surrounded by boys shaped who she is. Well-rounded with no self-proclaimed specialty, Tandra feels, “ I better be good at stand up fighting, as well as ground fighting – that way I am not anyone’s punching bag… and I love to fight!” That enthusiasm for fighting helps her maintain her skills when family needs come first and she can only get to the gym twice a week. Loved ones truly do come first for this fighter and she will do anything to help them. With family problems plaguing her from early on, Tandra sees the gym, where like many fighters she spends 75 percent of her day, as her second family. Hunger for more and being around a great gym keeps her coming back. She loves the discipline, learning and perfecting new moves, and watching her peers fight.
However, all this training may be laying the groundwork for another profession. Tundra was not into organized sports in school but enjoys outdoor activities such as four-wheeling, fishing, camping, and playing football, or just going out to the mountains and shooting refills. In her high school years she did go through JROTC with one of her brothers, participating in the group’s fitness team, and she ran marathons. Both of these activities help lay the foundation for the discipline and personal growth Tandra is cultivating in her MMA training. In two years, “I honestly see myself still training hard and trying to get further with fighting, but most of all I want to get into law enforcement.”
Like so many of us right now Tandra doesn’t have a steady job but still manages to scrape together enough money to keep her at the gym. That leaves her more time to train and work with the kids there. Whether she’s helping out family or strangers in need, MMA training will continue to show the tenacious Tandra the strength to push forward and think positive.
Check back with FighterGirls.com for more on these dynamic and different fighter girls… hopefully they won’t forget us when they break out! Bring it!