Interview Tiffany Van Soest

Tiffany Van Soest The Team Blackhouse Instructor and San Diego Sports Academy fighter returns to China to fight in first ever Women’s MMA fight on the Mainland. Tiffany VanSoest is about to make history. She will be facing Sanda practitioner Tang “Don King” Jin in the first ever women’s MMA fight in mainland China’s history, happening at a mixed kickboxing/MMA event hosted by WBC Muay Thai June 18.

There has been women’s MMA fights in Macau, but this will be the first time the mainland will get see a sanctioned women’s fight. China’s female Sanda/San Shou team has been a dominant force and quite a few of them have made the transition into MMA. This will be Jin’s MMA debut.

Fighting out of the San Diego Sports Academy and an instructor at the Nogueira Brother’s Blackhouse MMA, VanSoest is familiar fighting in China. She had a kickboxing match there in early 2010. Training for her fight with Strikeforce fighter Liz Carmouche, VanSoest took some time to talk to Fightergirls about his history making fight.

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Fightergirls: How does it feel to introduce women’s MMA to China?

Tiffany VanSoest: It is an honor to introduce women’s MMA to China. I was beyond stoked to get another MMA fight, let alone in China, but when I found out I am the first American Woman to do so, I was ecstatic. This is a tremendous opportunity and I am extremely grateful. Definitely looking forward to making WMMA and its supporters proud.

Fightergirls: Who is your opponent and do you know anything about her?

Tiffany VanSoest: From what I know my opponent is a Sanda style fighter. I have also heard that she is a well known TV star of some sort. I’ve fought two Sanda-style opponents so I know what to expect. The only thing that will be different is that she is a south paw but I have been preparing for that as well.

Fightergirls: You have fought in boxing in China before – how are the crowds there and is there any difference to U.S. crowds?

Tiffany VanSoest: When I fought Muay Thai in China, the crowd’s energy was unbelievable. The enthusiasm the Chinese show for combat sports is awesome. I’ve been to live UFC events and I think it’s safe to say that the crowds in China definitely support on the same level and at the same amplitude.

Fightergirls: You are training with Strikeforce fighter Liz Carmnouche for this fight – are you learning a lot from her?

Tiffany VanSoest: Let me begin by just saying WOW and I’m lucky. Her power is incredible, and her never say never attitude is super motivating. I’m definitely learning a lot from her. And the fact that she’s already competed at the highest caliber of WMMA and has more than held her own after only training for a short time is inspiring and encouraging.

Fightergirls: Anyone you’d like to thank?

Tiffany VanSoest: First and foremost I’d like to thank my family for their love and support. I know it’s hard for them to watch me do this.

I’d also like to deeply thank my coaches Alex Palma, Manny Hernandez, and Rafael Dalinha. Also to my coaches and teammates at Black House Team Nogueira and San Diego Combat Academy.

And a big thank you to Black Ops Human performance, Rapid Rehydration, Nakama, ViSalus, and True Honor.

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