Fighting Like a Girl

858_lgCzech fighter Simona Soukupova talks MMA, the lack of opponents for female fighters and trying to grapple in shorts that don’t fit.

How long have you been competing?
I don’t remember exactly when I started – maybe three or four years ago. I’ve been training for about eight years. I started doing muay Thai and then some grappling tournaments. This will be my fourth professional MMA fight.

What got you into MMA?
I think because I started to do grappling and wrestling and, I just like striking! So MMA was a good option. I’m okay with grappling too but I like in MMA the variety of techniques allowed mean you can really choose your own game plan.

Is it harder to be a female fighter?
Yes, but in the sense that I have no opponents to compete with. If there were I’d have a much better MMA record but instead there aren’t as many fight opportunities. I’m 5”1′ and I’m fighting at the top of my weight category – I’d rather be fighting in a lighter weight class but this fight came up.

Do you think the fans see female fighters different?
Probably yes, but that’s the same in any sport.

How are you preparing for this fight?
This is the first time I’ll be fighting in the U.S. I’m very familiar with my opponent, she’s experienced. More experienced than me in MMA but we’ve got a game plan for the fight and we’re going to stick to it and win the fight.

Are there any areas of the fight where you feel you have the advantage?
I think I’m a very rounded fighter and I’m going to be much shorter than her. But to be honest I always fight taller opponents so I’m used to it and I know how to work round it. I think I may be better on the ground with my wrestling but I’m also very confident in my striking.

How have you found ‘Fighter Girl’ gear different to other things you’ve worn?
I really love their shorts. They’re exactly made how I like it, they fit girls! I always used to end up wearing shorts that were too big for me and they get in the way when you grapple and don’t feel secure when you’re striking. So I love the cut of these shorts. The tops are the same too, cut specifically for a female shape. I think companies targeting girls is a great idea, I think there are more and more girls getting into MMA, in the U.S. especially.

How do you think the fight will end?
I think I’ll win by stoppage. Either by submission or KO. I’m very prepared.

Simona Soukupova fought Felice Herrig at Xtreme Fighting Championship- Charlotte
Showdownon 3 August 2012.

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