Lacey Schuckman has quickly become a personal favorite of mine. She is a skilled fighter, but on top of that does it for the right reason…..because she loves it. She has the potential to be an elite fighter in this sport, and as long as she stays with it, she will reach that potential. I have had several opportunities to talk with her as well, and she is a very pleasant woman to talk to. Please take the time tor read and learn more about a future start in MMA.
Q: First Lacey, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this. I appreciate it. Can you start out just telling a little about yourself, your family, where you are from, things like that.
A: I grew up in Golden, Colorado with my Mom, Peggy and my 3 sisters Angi, Lisa, and Talitha. I started dating my now husband, Randall when I was 12, so he has been a huge part of my life since I was young. We started training around age 15 and have had a very fun ride. We still live in Colorado with our 4 dogs Kaos and Keeva (The Pitbulls), Shaggy (The Lhaso Apso) and Fenway (The Miniature Dachshund Hound).
Q: Before getting into combat sports, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: I wasn’t extremely athletic, but I always loved to compete. I played lacrosse for 3 years, but eventually my priority became martial arts.
Q: You started out with Muay Thai and Tae Kwon Do. What developed your interest in that?
A: Well, I had started training my stand up discipline in Tae Kwon Do and then moved onto Muay Thai and boxing. In Colorado they wouldn’t sanction amateur female MMA, so the only way to compete in a combat sport was by doing Muay Thai Kickboxing and International Rules Kickboxing. Then eventually in January 2007, I competed in the first sanctioned female amateur MMA fight in Colorado and lost to Louise Johnson by way of a 3rd round TKO, which was when I realized I hadn’t been spending enough time on the mat, what with all the Muay Thai I was doing.
Q: Was competing the goal from day one, or was it more of just a case of something to do?
A: Competing was always what I planned on doing, just making it a reality was the tough part. Finding good training, promoters, etc. was work, but in the end it all worked out nicely.
Q: What was your record in Muay Thai?
A: I was 4-2 in amateur Muay Thai. I lost my first Muay Thai fight to a sudden death round against Brooke Villanie and I lost my last amateur Muay Thai fight for the Kickdown 130lb Amateur Female Muay Thai Title to a decision against Tandi Ogden.
Q: Eventually you moved more into MMA. What made you decide to do that?
A: MMA was always my original plan of action, but being that there wasn’t a lot of sanctioning states it was difficult to make happen. Then in December of 2006 I was asked to be the first sanctioned female amateur MMA fight in Las Vegas, NV for Tuff-n-uff’s pro/am card. It was a great experience, one I think I went into for the star struck fact rather then being a fully prepared MMA fighter. I lost to a decision against Greg Jackson student Collette (Nikki) Garcia.
Q: Was your family and friends supportive of you fighting at the start, and how about now?
A: Yes from day one my family and friends were very supportive. I don’t think they quite understood what I was doing or had been training, but they all came to my first fight and have been hooked ever since. They are always there for both my husband Randall and my fights. My Mom is my biggest fan!
Q: What is your record in MMA and which fight is your favorite one so far?
A: Well, as an amateur I went 4-2. I lost my first two fights, then I took a year off to get married and kick my butt into high gear. Fighting at 130lbs was not for me, so I dropped to 115-120lbs weight class. I won my next 4 fights and even held the Rocky Mountain Bad Boyz Female 120lb MMA Title and defended it. Then in January of 2009, I decided to go pro and fight in the GFIGHT 115lb Grand Prix. I made to the semi finals and lost to Lisa Higo in a decision. I am 3-2 now as a pro. I would have to say I have two favorite fights. My first is when I fought to defend my title against Kari Ricker out of Mark Coleman’s Hammer House. We both came in looking to counter fight, when I think she got bored and shot in very wide. I caught her in a tight Guillotine and then went to pull guard I only got half guard, so I kind of panicked. I thought she was going to just pop out and start ground and pounding away. All of a sudden then ref is yelling, “she’s out” and pulling me off. We were checking on her and all of a sudden she came too and woke up. I didn’t believe the fight ended at :26 of round 1….it was crazy. My second favorite fight was my last fight. It is one of my favorites because I learned so much about myself from that loss. I fought Jeri Sitzes (World Combat League) at the Strikeforce Challengers Series 3 show. I lost to a 3rd round TKO. I didn’t cut weight properly for that fight. I took it on only 3 weeks notice, and I hadn’t been training as hard as I could’ve on top of I underestimated my opponent. I did pretty much everything wrong for that fight that I could’ve. I realized that once again, I was star struck with the opportunity to fight in Strikeforce and I just wasn’t prepared enough.
Q: Where do you train?
A: I train with Team Rugburn at The Pressroom. I have a home gym with mats, homemade boxing ring, weights, GNP bags, rope climb, Bob, Wavemasters, etc. I train 36-50 hours a week twice a day. We do strength and conditioning as well as our Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I hold a blue belt under Rex Payne and my husband Randall is my main trainer. It is hard to cheat in any area of your training when you live with your coach!
Q: What do you consider your biggest strength, and what do you feel you still need to improve on?
A: I feel my biggest strength is my never say die attitude. I may whine and cry, but I never cheat myself if there is work to be done and things to be drilled. I will get them done no matter what! I can improve on everything. I am still primitive in this sport. I have only been training for 6 years and fighting for 4, so I still have a ton to work on. I would like to be more dominate in my striking and I am working on being a hell of a lot more technical on the ground. I try to keep the mentality of never being content and always striving to be better then the day before.
Q: Do you have any personal favorite fighters to watch?
A: I really enjoy watching a lot of fighters in Dream. I am super excited that Gegard Mousasi has signed with Strikeforce I think that is awesome. I really like Mike Brown, I feel I share a similar style to him for a female. I love Vitor Belfort, Andrei Arlovski, Takaya Mizugaki and Josh Grispi. As far as females go I have to say the obvious, Cris Santos, she is a beast. Lana Stefanac is the bees knees, and I also really like Marloes Cohnen, Sarah Kaufman and Roxanne Modafferi!
Q: In your opinion right now, who are the top five pound for pound female fighters?
A: 1) Megumi Fujii
2) Cris Santos
3) Lana Stefanac
4) Tara LaRosa
5) Sarah Kaufman
Q: Play matchmaker. If you could put together any two fights that you wanted, men or women, what two fights would you want to see?
A: Men: George St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva if they met at 180lbs.
Women: Megumi Fujii vs. Jessica Pene at 115lbs.
Q: Are you happy with the women getting five minute rounds?
A: Definitely! I see no reason why not. We are in the same sport there is no scientific data that says women will fatigue if they fight 5 minute rounds and men wont. So if we do MMA, I think all the rules should just be across the board. Then only annoying thing is since it is just now being initiated contracts and certain shows get confusing. Not every show does 5’s, a lot do 3’s and sometimes a promotion gives you a contract with 3’s and you prepare for that and then the sanctioning body says 5’s and vice versa. It just needs to be how it is, 5 minute rounds for all pro MMA fights men and women.
Q: As a female fighter what did it mean to you to have Gina and Cyborg main event a major televised U.S. show?
A: I thought it was awesome. I commend Strikeforce for taking a chance with televising Gina’s first couple fights for them, let alone taking it to a main event. I thought it brought in a lot of new viewers and changed “some” people’s view of feMMA. I also thought that is was great because it showed that Gina isn’t the only exception, that there are other very skilled and talented female fighters out there. I also thought it brought the spotlight to where it needed to be, not how hot the badass chicks where in the ring, but how talented and skilled they are.
Q: Do you ever see the day where there is a major U.S. women’s only promotion?
A: I don’t see it being a major one. I am sure there will be more all female promotions like Fatal Femmes and such, but I don’t see it being a huge mainstream thing. Also, all female shows are cool, but I am not a big fan. I would personally like to see more half and half shows, but all women is monotinous like all men’s shows. Fun to watch but can get old.
Q: What do you say to someone who says women shouldn’t be fighting?
A: I’d say everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don’t care what you think I am going to continue doing what I am doing. I train my ass off and I fight my ass off. This day and age it is equal rights in all things, so get with the times and if you don’t like it don’t watch it. There are tons of things “women shouldn’t be doing” but does that stop them? NO! I just say MMA is MMA, so what if you are a girl if we keep drawing attention to it being Women’s MMA then we are just putting ourselves 10 steps back, I am a mixed martial artist plan and simple!
Q: If someone told you they wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would want to give them?
A: Surround yourself with good people. This is a sketchy behind the scenes sport. Get good coaches, teammates, and managers. Don’t let others ride your coat tails, don’t let others put you into bad fights just to help themselves, and most of all don’t let anyone make you take chances, “just for the experience”. Protect your record by only stepping up to challenges you are ready for and most of all make sure you are always having fun with what you are doing. As soon as it becomes work then you need to re-evaluate your situation!
Q: What are your long term goals in the sport?
A: Well, of course my # 1 goal is to be the best flyweight on the planet. For right now I am content with trying to just train the hardest I can and work my way to the top. I would like to fight in Japan and I would like to eventually fight for Strikeforce again. I want to open up a large facility and start my husband and my fighting system and train the future champions of MMA.
Q: Outside of training and fighting, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Well, we have American Pitbull Terriers and here in Colorado and other states they try to outlaw them in many cities. My husband and myself like to fight against breed specific legislation. We like to help all animals, but especially those that are discriminated against! We also train underprivileged kids for free. It helps to build their self confidence, discipline, and helps them succeed in school.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Lacey Schuckman?
A: I wake up about 8 or 9 am. and take my dogs for a run. Then I do physique training for an hour, then move on to about 2-3 hours of technique and practical execution privately with Randall. Then I eat breakfast and stretch. I hang out for a bit, do errands or chores then eat lunch and take my dogs out again. Then I take a nap for about an hour or two. Then I do night class which is with a bunch of people, we do technique, intense cardio, a lot of sport specific lifting, and sparring. Through out the day my coach likes me to study fight footage of all kinds and take notes. Then after training I usually cook dinner for the team, walk my dogs and then I go to bed.
Q: Favorite movie, actor, TV show, and musician?
A: Movie: Across the Universe, Actor: Pauly Shore, TV Show: Pitbulls & Parolee’s, Musicial Group: Grateful Dead, Singer: Janis Joplin
Q: Describe Lacey Schuckman in five words.
A: Faithful, Caring, Tough, Exuberant, and Enduring.
Q: Do you have any set plans for 2010 as far as competing or anything?
A: I am working on locking down a local fight here in Denver in February, so I’ll keep you posted! I am also on the upcoming reality show, Ultimate Women’s Challenge. We will begin production this year and it will be airing on an NBC affiliate station, so watch for it!
Q: Do you have any sponsors you want to take the time to plug?
A: I would like to thank Slade and Molly from Tussle Fight Gear, they rock and so does their gear! (www.tusslefightgear.com) Also, Julian Fury Clothing (www.julianfuryclothing.com), Tap or Sleep (www.taporsleep.com), Brutality Fight Gear (www.brutalityfightgear.com), and Underworld Tattoo, check them out on Myspace!
Q: We know sponsors are always nice for a fighter to have. Are you looking for any more, and if so, how can they contact you and what are the getting in Lacey Shuckman the athlete and fighter?
A: I am always looking!!! Tussle is my numero uno, but I am currently looking for a financial sponsor to help me pay the bills while I train for fights. I work hard for you and I am a great plugger 😉 ! I will represent you accurately and I am destined for greatness, so hop onto this freight train and we can get there together!
Q: Lacey, I again want to thank you for doing this. I look forward to watching you improve and make a name for yourself in the sport. Anything you want to add before you go?
A: I just want to thank my husband Randall, he is my total inspiration and I wouldn’t be here without him and I promise we will make it. Also, all my teammates at The Pressroom, you guys rock! Thanks to you, as well Jason!
***You can read more from Jason Adams’ blog, “Promoting Real Women – A blog to promote and show respect to women in bodybuilding, fitness, figure, powerlifting, and MMA” at http://www.fightergirls.com