AG Hello Tara how are you doing today?
TL Pretty good, you?
AG Tara can you tell us where you were born?Also age?
TL I born and raised in Woodstown, NJ. Born Jan 8th, 1978… I am 24 years
AG Could you give us some back ground on your self?Style,wt,experience?
TL From an early age up till my senior year in college I’ve been involved in team sports: field hockey, basketball, softball. I started training in MA my senior year in high school (’96). I started out in traditional karate (shotokan),and after leaving NJ, I trained in judo for a little bit at college in NC. In late 2000 and into 2001 I began competing more seriously in judo. At a tourney in NC I met Casey Oxendine (Ruas Purple)and Ian Boxhorn, who introduced me to MMA. Later in the year, at a tournament in TN, I was recruited to Team ROC in Hillsboro, NC. I now train in BJJ and MT under Aitor “Spencer” Canup, Jason Culbreth, and Greg Thompson. I am 5’6 135 lbs, and have done some judo tournaments, 3 tough woman tourneys, and a few grappling/jiujitsu tourneys. I am 1-0 MMA.
AG Can you tell us what made you decide to pick up MMA training?
TL It was a natural progression of the levels of martial arts training. From the rigid techniques of shotokan, to a more physical and practical judo, to IMO the highest level of martial arts training and competition… Mixed Martial Arts (NHB).
AG Can you tell us what makes you tick? What drives you to want to fight?
TL I constantly have to prove to myself that I can be successful at something. Also, as a kid I got picked on a lot and I would never fight back, I often wondered what would happen if I did, or if I could take someone on and win. Throughout my 24 years I have constantly been told, that there will always be someone somewhere better, stronger, faster, and smarter. I want to be that person. I have always dreamed of competing in something and being recognized on a world wide level… not necessarily to be the best, but just to be on that level… is my dream. Being the best would be icing on the cake. LMAO… I have a LONG way to go and a tough road ahead of me.
AG Who would you credit as for being your inspiration in life?
TL Hummm, good Q. There have been a lot of people that have affected my life. In the MMA world I look up to the abilities of Jens Pulver. Coming up how he did, and having the heart and will to be the best and achieve as much success as he has, is nothing short of awe inspiring, he is well deserving of all that he has accomplished. Plus I like the way he deals with all the critics and trash talkers by stepping in the ring and proving them all wrong. Throughout my life I would have to say, my father/ my family. He has built a large, successful independent business from the ground up with his own hands with only my mother beside him, while a lot of people tried to tear him down. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him.
AG Is it true that you have a high tolerance for pain?
TL LOL… where did that come from!? LOL. Uhhh… well, as a fighter I guess I have to have some sort of tolerance for pain, I guess I can take a shot or a crank pretty well.
AG You have an up coming battle in the all woman’s HNS card VS Shelby Walker can you tell us a little about it?
TL I am very excited to be a part of this show. For those of us trying to make a career of MMA, I believe that this will be a monumental show. For a rookie like myself, I believe I will gain a lot of exposure from it…not only in the US, but as I am told, in Japan as well. This means I have to have the performance of my life… and that makes me very nervous. Pressure is good though, it keeps me on my toes.As for Shelby, I believe that this will be a good match. We both have
about the same amount of training and experience. She has had one more fight than I have… but I have done more tournaments than she has… if that counts
AG Can you tell us what started the animosity between you two ladies on the UG?
TL (groan) Everyone asks me about this. Another girl had taken up an issue with me, Shelby and two other girls jumped on the hype bandwagon and everything snowballed and skyrocketed from there. For clarification, I do not fight out of anger this a professional sport and a professional show… not Jerry Springer.
AG Can you give us a prediction about your fight VS Shelby?
TL Well, my previous fight was up and down and went to decision. I am more prone to a ground fight, but I am comfortable on my feet as well. I
can’t really make a prediction on how the fight will end because there are so many variables and options that come into play in the ring, that it’s really
difficult to know how to call it. LOL, I know people hate hearing answers like that. LOL. It would be nice to win.
AG Is their any chance after the fight that you two will get along?I mean if you watch most if not all fighters in MMA they end in a hand shake or a hug?
TL I have no problems at all with shaking her hand and telling her nice fight. After that, I don’t know… call Miss Cleo, maybe she could tell you.
It’s all professional, my job is to be the best fighter I can and to promote and educate people about MMA in the most positive way possible. The way she conducts herself is up to her.
AG Can you let your fans know what to expect from this match up?
TL To those who have seen me roll before, expect a new style. I have been working the bugs out of my old ways and adding some new strategies… over
the past few months things have been coming together and I am injury free. To those who have never seen me before, do not expect anything flashy, I’m
not much of a spaz, I fall under the “cerebral” category.
AG Can you tell us what you think of Debi Purcell’s efforts for
promoting a all female web site www.fightergirls.net ?
TL Debi who? LOL…j/k. I think it’s a great idea, she has worked very hard and put a lot of time and effort into this site. For this I thank her,
it has been a tremendous help to many people myself included. …now, as long as she can keep the riff raff outta here…LOL j/k.
AG Do you have any last words for your fans on the UG?
TL Thank you to everyone for all the support, advice, info, and reality checks I appreciate it. I have made some cool friends. Oh….and, NO, I
will not post pix! I hope to meet many of you at the show. To Spence, J-, and Greg, I can’t thank you enough, I am forever indebted for everything you have shown and done for me, thank you And to Casey and Ian and the TN crew, you guys are my best friends I could not do this without your support, without you none of this would ever have happened, I’d still be training in a GI 2 nights a week and not have a clue about what “a clinch” or “the guard” is.
AG Tara thank you so much for taking a moment out of your time for us at http://www.fightergirls.com