Are fighters born or bred? Nature versus nurture? Are there athletes who are born with specific genetic gifts? With speed? With tenacity? With a superior ability to adapt and overcome pain and discomfort? You hear the term fighter so much these days I think it loses some of its power. A fighter is an athlete who competes to dominate her opponent, to win by submission, knockout or TKO. Submission: where one of many types of leverage based attacks on joints, muscles, or strangulation chokes, causes an opponent to “tap out” due to pain, or lose consciousness. Knock out: a strike delivered with such force it renders your opponent incapacitated, illustrated by a complete loss of consciousness. TKO: brutalizing an opponent until a referee deems it unsafe for the losing fighter to continue or risk severe, possibly long lasting harm. What is it that makes a fighter capable of performing these feats? Where does “it” come from?
Meegan Thomas is a fighter in the truest sense o f the word. She hails from a family of athletes, where competing and winning was the norm. Meegan has held the Miss Fitness Missouri 2001, and Miss figure Missouri 2006. Not only is she accustomed to hard work, she thrives in a world where pain is just weakness leaving the body. One of the most compelling components to her story is how she made her start in the combat sports. After being the victim of an attack Meegan’s friends suggested that learning some self defence would help her heal and feel more confident. So she went to the gym 10th Planet Springfield almost as a form of therapy, she never would be a victim again. Her athleticism, work ethic and competitiveness made her a natural. The MMA bug bit her bad and now instead of using the sport as a way to cope, she is now competing to win. Meegan wears a blue belt given to her by Grand Master of 10th Planet Eddie Bravo, after decisively winning NAGA’s Arnold Classic her first time out. Having seen her videos on youtube I can testify that her technical proficiency and ferocity are crystal clear. She will finish, and you will feel it for awhile. Eddie is one of her most avid fans. She boasts an amateur record of 2-0. Her first win coming by armbar submission, and her second by TKO. Meegan is training hard to complete the fighters’ trifecta with a KO .
Meegan has recently made the move to Las Vegas to improve her game. Striking Unlimited is her new home gym. Her training schedule now consists of BJJ and wrestling training, striking with Ken Kahn, plyometrics and swimming. She works hard every day getting ready for her next fight May 30th , possibly her last as an amateur. Going pro with the help of a few sponsors like One Shot fight gear, Humble Me Clothing and of course the most righteous Fightergirls.com is her next goal.
I asked Meegan my two standard questions, have you ever cried in the gym? And how do we get more women on the mat? Her answer to the former floored me. She was sparring with her boyfriend, yes her boyfriend and she wasn’t doing so well so out of frustration she shed a few tears. She is no joke, he was no newbie and she has the stones to stand in the pocket and throw. In a world where most women feel it is their place to be demure and defer to the men in their lives, that’s courageous. Meegan is frustrated that she can’t knock hers out. Cheers. To the latter “how do we get more women on the mat”? She also thought that you can get more women involved in the sport by touting the efficacy of a ground game as a form of self defense. Perhaps they too will get bitten by the MMA bug. She also discussed how the 10th Planet system lends itself to the teaching of children. Meegan is the incredibly proud parent of a gorgeous six year old girl. Well if you can get the kids in the door perhaps the moms will follow.
I look forward to tracking Meegan’s progress . She is a warrior, born or made she stands on the cusp of greatness. Genetically superior, mentally prepared, athletically gifted, fearless.