Sara McMann v. Hitomi Akano – ProElite 3 Sara McMann (4-0-0) is returning to Honolulu, Hawaii for her second MMA bout with the ProElite promotion. Fighting in Hawaii? Love it!,” McMann told Fightergirls.com. “It is way better than all the colder places i fight on mainland.”
It is hard to beat 80 degree weather in January which is about average for Honolulu. McMann trains in Gaffney, South Carolina out of with Revolution MMA and the Limestone College Wrestling Team.
McMann competed on ProElite’s first card in August 2011 in Honolulu, defeating Hawaiian native Raquel Pa’aluhi with a third round key lock submission. For the January 21 bout she will face Hitomi “Girlfight Monster” Akano from coming from Japan. ProElite has just announced that they have a deal with Dream, the Japanese fight promotion and thus will have the opportunity to create high caliber matches with international competitors.
McMann, who achieved a silver medal in women’s wrestling at the 2004 Olympics, is no stranger to international competition. “Through wrestling I think I have competed with someone from just about every country.”
“I divide my opponents into two categories,” said McMann. “Striking or ground.” Unlike her previous bout in Hawaii, with an opponent who is known for her stand up game, McMann is preparing for a ground war with Akano.
Akano is the former Smackgirl Middle weight champion and has an impressive professional record of 18-8-0 with fourteen of her wins achieved by submission. During this fight camp McMann says she has focused on putting herself in positions to defend repeated submission attempts and is confident in the work she has done.
At 31 years old McMann has a young daughter, has obtained her master’s degree and still finds time to do volunteer work in between training. She asserts that it is possible to succeed as a woman in mixed martial arts despite life’s obstacles as long as you are driven.
“Train harder for the fight than you think you should,” said McMann. “If you don’t totally hate your coach several times during the week you may not be training hard enough.”