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Strength building for MMA fighters!

Strength building for MMA fighters Debi Purcell explains her strength training routines for female MMA fighters an training for MMA . Ms Purcell is a women’s mixed martial arts pioneer and female fighter. Lets ask Debi what it takes to be the best female fighter and what to expect when it comes to training for fights and mixed martial arts.

Explain your weekly MMA routine:

Debi Purcell I lift weights 3 to 4 times a week. Doing each body part at least once, and always switching up my routine. I usually break it up doing back and shoulders, one day, Biceps and chest, and then triceps and Legs. I work my ABS once a day (skip Sunday) and try to do calf work at least a few times a week. I do not lift very heavy weights any more. And tend to try to circuit train as much as possible. I also do plyo metric training with weights on top of my regular weight-training program a few times a week, which allows me to target important body parts that I use for fighting. Such as shoulders, back and legs. I am very fond of *cleans* and jumps, and. Every so often I will go for *heavy* lifts to try to peak at a certain weight.

Strength building for MMA fighters
Strength building for MMA fighters

Explain your philosophy on strength building for MMA fighters:

I believe that lifting weights is a KEY factor is fight training, as strength is so important for us. What I am learning through my years of lifting is that THE way you lift is the most important thing; I think too many fighters make the mistake of bodybuilding instead of strength training, especially when it comes to lifting weights. For years I did the typical body builder routine, and although it gave me a strong foundation to start with and a certain physic I am proud of, It is not conducive to my fighting to lift that way, Bulk muscle is not as useful to fighters as the explosive lean muscle mass used for fighting.

Strength building for MMA fighters

Tearing down muscle tissue, and not having time to let it heal properly obviously has negative effects, as fighters this causes a problem, Because we use some of those same muscles in our every day fight training. And it could lead to a greater chance of injury for us. Another key factor in strength training for fighting is *flexibility, One must keep this in mind when they decide on a lifting program, as flexibility it’s SO important for us in this sport. I learned years ago with my gymnastic training that strength training and flexibility can go hand in hand, and For fighting the muscles MUST be pliable, so I stretch in between sets, before, after, as MUCH as I can. Any chance I get. I am emphatic about it for me moving and stay warm is the key. . This will also help keep injuries down. It is much harder to keep the body flexible with bulk muscle mass. And one should take this into consideration before they add lifting heavy weights to their repertoire.

The biggest mistake I make when training, has to do with my own vanity, I will sometimes lift more then I should because I know it will give me a certain look that I like to have. I think it’s important to remember why you are lifting weights. Is it for your looks or for your sports performance? Me personally, I do it for both, and that works for me. However I am very aware that just because a fighter has *large* muscles and a certain physic, does not necessarily mean they are training the best way for MMA, keep in mind the bigger and buffer those muscles are the more energy and oxygen they are going to need during your fight, and in a sport where having good wind is worth more then gold this really is an aspect one must pay attention too. Also those *big* muscles are not going to relax easy on you either, and when they are getting pounded on or being used during your fight you might be more prone to injury.

Strength building for MMA fighters

Last year I spent my time training without heavy weights, and focused a lot more on my fight training and plyo’s, I was amazed that when I went back to trying to lift heavy, I could actually lift more weight then I had been able too before. IN truth I am not 100% sure why, it is just something that happened that I wanted to share Lastly, remember that every “body” is different; I suggest trying to diversify your routine often to see how YOUR body reacts and what gives YOU the best results, ultimately let your body be the judge of what works, and what does not, and perhaps someday you will have a nice body like me (Laugh) Just seeing if your paying attention. 😉

Do you change up your routine when you are training for a fight:

Yes, absolutely about a month prior I cut lifting down to only doing plyo metric lifting, and a few weeks before cut it out completely, I do this mainly because The training gets so intense my body would not have time to recover properly If I did not discard it from my regular lifting program.

How long have you been weight training?

I started really getting into lifting when I was 16. Prior to that I did gymnastics and danced so I have been doing some form of strength training from the time I was about 6 years old.

What got you into weight training?

From early child hood I understood the benefits of being strong for a sport. And I love pushing my body it to its limit. That, and when I went to my first actual lifting gym, there was a woman in there who had a really cool looking body in my opinion. I started to ask her questions, she gave me some tips and from there I was hooked.

Who do you see as a role model in weight training and bodybuilding?

I still adore the way Cory Everson looks; her and Rachel Mclish have always been my favorite. Perhaps because they brought bodybuilding to the public eye for females. I also have learned a lot from my good friend Chuck Williams who is a personal trainer and ex competitive body builder, and still am amazed at how much my coach Marco Ruas knows and teaches me about strength training for fighting

A quick note to all the females out there. Lifting weights *will* improve your strength and sports performance. If you get frustrated at not being able to lift much at first, just remember that as with anything it takes time and patience. so KEEP at it.

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Debi Purcell fighter girls gym Debi Purcell - Founder of Fighter Girls Debi Purcell

Debi Purcell MMA fighter
Whiplash! Queen of the cage
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Mind Muscle Motivation Mayra Conde

Mind Muscle Motivation Mayra Conde
Mind Muscle Motivation Mayra Conde

Mind Muscle Motivation Mayra Conde At 5′ 4″, 160 pounds, Mayra Conde has built herself up from solitude to solid muscle, conquering every challenge in her wake. She’s a dead ringer for actress Maria Conchita Alonso, but her bodybuilder physique and Brazilian jiu-jitsu background have prepared her for a different kind of performance. Hook n Shoot: Revolution will give Conde her first major showcase after years of competing in smaller and lesser-known shows.

About female fighter Mayra Conde

Born in Guatemala City, Conde grew up on a farm with her grandparents. She enjoyed the peaceful nature and warmth of her rural setting. “My grandfather was my source of strength and he always gave me the will to succeed at anything I set out to do,” said Conde, who developed a special bond with him when she was learning to ride horses. That sense of comfort was disrupted when Conde’s parents asked the nine-year-old to move to Toronto, Canada to be with them. Her grandparents knew it was the right thing for her to do, with more opportunities and a better education.

Early age of Mayra Conde

In Canada, Conde was thrown into a harsh world she could not understand. “I was constantly picked on because I couldn’t speak English and I was very small,” she said. To make matters worse, her parents insisted that she speak Spanish at home and English at school. Without a tutor or special arrangements, Conde took class just like everyone else and had to learn a foreign language as she went along. Remarkably, Conde never failed a grade and was able to speak and understand English within two years. Today, she’s bilingual and happy her parents wanted her to know both languages.

Having few friends, Conde counted on the one person who couldn’t let her down-herself. When her father introduced her to sports drinks and nutrition, Conde began to read bodybuilding magazines starting in the sixth grade. “I was infatuated with nutrition and being stronger and bigger at such an early age,” said Conde, who began bodybuilding at age 16. After seeing results, Conde gained a newfound confidence in herself and overcame the negativity that had surrounded her. For once in her life, she was in control of the situation and “trying to challenge my personal best all the time.”

Now in high school, Conde found her results paying off in other ways. “I remember going to the weight room and people were amazed at how strong I was and I started making friends,” she said. “I started doing heavy bench and guys would invite me to work out with them.” Before long, Conde was fending off dates and getting compliments about her muscular figure.

After high school, Conde obtained her labor card and made a living in construction. As a welder by trade, she even worked as a foreman and enjoyed the ease of availability for work. Ironically, her family was not supportive of her physical transformation at first, as Conde pointed out that “in Latin America, you are supposed to be pregnant by age 20.” Competition was at the heart of her physique. In August 1998, without any grappling experience, Conde won first place in the women’s heavyweight division in the Canadian Grapplers Challenge. She defeated both of her opponents quickly, the first one by guillotine choke. “It was a natural movement when she shot in on me,” said Conde. “People asked me how long I had been grappling and I said that I needed to get started.”

Mayra Conde Female Body Builder

But bodybuilding was something she could always rely on and in late 1998, she moved to California to be closer to Venice Beach-the Mecca of bodybuilding. She left Canada with Olga Bakalopoulos, a friend whom she had met at a bench press competition. Bakalopoulos was the perfect roommate, since she didn’t mind the bodybuilding lifestyle of egg whites and crazy shakes that mere mortals could hardly stomach. Conde trained her and before long, Bakalopoulous could bench press over 200 pounds and leg press over 800 pounds.

Mayra Conde begins Mixed Martial Arts

Yearning for something new, Conde walked into Beverly Hills Jiu Jitsu Club and marveled at Mark Kerr’s explosiveness while being so massive. She decided to take some lessons not realizing where it would take her. After only seven weeks of classes, her trainer Bas Rutten asked her to compete in the Bas Rutten Invitational, a feeder MMA show held in Denver, Colorado. Conde eagerly accepted the challenge.

In February 1999, Conde went into the Bas Rutten Invitational with an open mind and the determination to win. Her opponent, Kelsey Beard, reportedly had three years of kickboxing experience. “When I fought, I had my guard down the whole time because I wanted to find out what it was like to get hit; I wanted to find out if this was for me or not,” said Conde. “When she finally hit me in the face, I remember thinking, ‘This is nothing.'” Conde took Beard to the ground and pounded her out. “Once I get into a fight, perhaps that darkest moment in my childhood creeps back and tells me to not let ‘them’ get the best of me now. I want to have control over my opponents; I want to have control over the challenges that face me,” she said.

In June 1999, Conde returned to Bas Rutten Invitational III to fight Jennifer Howe in MMA, but Howe didn’t show up. Conde, who had gone to Denver on her own dime and slept on wrestling mats at the gym since she couldn’t afford a hotel, was devastated. “I told the promoter to put me in anything. I didn’t care if it was boxing or kickboxing; I just wanted to compete,” she said. Without any standup experience, Conde faced Melissa Hutcheson in a kickboxing bout and completely dominated her. The referee stopped the fight in the second round-only the altitude gave her a hard time.

The win gave Conde the confidence to continue and Rutten turned her on to Marcus Vinicius, Beverly Hills Jiu Jitsu Club’s resident BJJ instructor. “I learned so much more than just grappling from taking BJJ and like the fact that I can close the distance between me and my opponent,” said Conde, who still sees Rutten as her mentor. “Bas has taught me a lot more about how to be a great fighter and how to judge your instincts.”

Mayra Conde Female BJJ State Champion

In 2000, Conde competed in four events. After winning first place in the California State Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships in March of that year, she fought her second MMA bout in Mark Hall’s Cobra Challenge against a 5’9″, 210-pound Samoan. Using her strength, Conde took her opponent down, maintained control and punished her with rib shots. As she turned over, Conde choked her out.

Taking 1st place in the heavyweight and absolute divisions in the U.S. Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships in California prompted Conde to once again test her personal best. She traveled by herself to Lamia, Greece to compete in the first World Wide Pankration Championships. Under pankration athlima rules, competitors wore gi-like uniforms and were not allowed to strike to the face, but kicks and punches to the body were allowed, and so were submissions. Conde thought she would fight over a dozen times, but many of the competing countries did not have women in her weight class. She ended up fighting three times and took home two gold medals. “One girl I fought was the captain of the Israeli police force who had 18 years of martial arts experience,” said Conde. “She did absolutely nothing; I took her down and that was that.”

The following year, Conde flew to Brazil to compete in the World Wide Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships. Competing in the absolute division, Conde faced a much heavier and more skilled opponent. “She had already won the Pan Ams and she was awarded the purple belt after she beat me on points,” said Conde, who returned home with a bronze medal.

Conde finished 2001 with three more 1st place tournament victories in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Now focused on MMA, she sees her fight in Hook n Shoot as her reawakening. “I was very happy that someone out there believed in women for this sport because there are enough women out there that people can get interested in and do something with,” said Conde. “If we, as the fighters, give the public a good show, then we’ll get the respect we deserve.”

Mayra Conde Pro Mixed Martial Arts Fighter

Conde will be facing AMC Pankration’s Angela Restad on the April 13 event and says: “She has some skills and hopefully she can keep up with me. I have to test myself against everyone in my weight class.” Training with roommate and fellow Hook n Shoot competitor Olga Bakalopoulos, Conde feels that with her trainer Marcus Vinicius, both will be ready come fight time. She also believes that the spirit of her grandfather is still with her; he passed away last year but her fighting career is dedicated to him. “He’s been a major inspiration to me and he brought me up to be the person that I am today,” she said.

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Tara Larosa vs. Shelby Walker

Tara Larosa vs. Shelby Walker from Hook ‘n Shoot April 2002. Tara Nicole LaRosa is an American mixed martial artist and grappler whose most high-profile successes occurred while competing in BodogFight, where she became the first and only BodogFight Women’s Bantamweight Champion.

Tara Larosa vs. Shelby Walker

 

Tara Larossa fight stats

BIRTHDAY: 1978-01-08
AGE: 37 Country USA WOODSTOWN, NEW JERSEY
UNITED STATES
HEIGHT
5’6″
167.64 CM WEIGHT
121 LBS
54.88 KG ASSOCIATION:
JACKSON-WINK MMA
CLASS: FLYWEIGHT
WINS
22 3 KO/TKO (14%) 12 SUBMISSIONS (55%) 7 DECISIONS (32%)

5 Losses

Shelby Walker
Boxer pro MMA fighter
Born: February 27, 1975, Kingsville, TX
Died: September 24, 2006, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Height: 5′ 8″
Martial art: Boxing
Division: Featherweight
Movies: Hook N Shoot: Revolution, Hook N Shoot: Revolution 4, Hook N Shoot: Revolution 3

Shelby Walker Fight stats

BIRTHDAY: N/A
AGE: N/A Country USA CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS
UNITED STATES
HEIGHT
5’6″
167.64 CM WEIGHT
125 LBS
56.7 KG ASSOCIATION:
WEAPONS AT HAND MMA
CLASS: FLYWEIGHT
WINS
2 1 KO/TKO (50%) 0 SUBMISSIONS (0%) 1 DECISIONS (50%)

3 Losses

Shelby Walker passed away September 24th 2006  which was a sad day in the female boxing and MMA community! She will be missed by many fans and friends! Shelby went into pro boxing and was making a huge success in female boxing!

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Angela Wilson vs Tanya Vlahac

Angela Wilson vs Tanya Vlahac from Hook ‘n Shoot April 2002.

Angela Wilson fight stats

BIRTHDAY: N/A
AGE: N/A Country Canada PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO
CANADA
HEIGHT
5’6″
167.64 CM WEIGHT
133 LBS
60.33 KG CLASS: BANTAMWEIGHT
WINS
1 1 KO/TKO (100%) 0 SUBMISSIONS (0%) 0 DECISIONS (0%)

2 Losses

Angela Wilson vs Tanya Vlahac

Tanya Vlahac fight record and stats

BIRTHDAY: N/A
AGE: N/A Country Canada MONTREAL, QUEBEC
CANADA
HEIGHT
5’5″
165.1 CM WEIGHT
134 LBS
60.78 KG ASSOCIATION:
TOTAL FITNESS
CLASS: BANTAMWEIGHT
WINS
0 0 KO/TKO (0%) 0 SUBMISSIONS (0%) 0 DECISIONS (0%)

4 losses

Tanya Vlahac passed away at an early age a great person and loved by many who made female MMA what it is today! Many fans friends and the staff at fighter girls will miss Tanya!

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Shelby Walker Hook N Shoot women’s card

Shelby Walker Fighter
Shelby Walker

This interview was conducted with Shelby Walker by Adam Guerara on Feb 11, 2002.
BARNONE:Hey Shelby how are you tonight?

Shelby:I am great thanks Barnone. How are you?

BARNONE:I am well thanks for asking. Shelby can you give is a little info on your back ground? Ht,wt,style etc?

Shelby:Well I’m a blue belt in bjj, I also kickbox, my trainer Stacy Jourgenson is the best!I am 5’8 135lbs and fluctuate around 125lbs.

BARNONE:Shelby can you tell us about your up coming fight with Tara?

Shelby:I could tell you a lot but I will stick to the basics! This is a fight that has to happen and I’m ready!

BARNONE:What started all the bad blood between you two ladies on the UG?

Shelby:I made a post about not having any females to roll with and Tara got on my thread and stuck her nose where it did not belong and jumped my ass. She has a habit of riding all the other females on the UG. And to be honest I want to beat her face in.

BARNONE:WOW that is some strong words. lol I didn’t think it was this bad.

BARNONE:Can you give us a prediction on how you plant to finish Tara and what round?

Shelby:By submission, I will feel her out and in in the 2nd round I’ll submit her by guillotine! Also Tara has her friends emailing me she has them telling me that she is going to stand with me but I got something for her if she does, ILL KNOCK HER OUT”

BARNONE:Wow this should be a good fight and not to be over looked! Shelby what drives you to to fight?

Shelby Walker:Well the same thing that drives a baseball player to play or a football player to play football, I just love to fight I love it!

BARNONE:What do you think of Debi Purcell’s efforts on creating the first female web site for women MMA fighters?

Shelby:I think she has gone above and beyond duty! Thanks a million Debi!!

BARNONE:Any last words for your fans on the UG?

Shelby:Yeah stay tuned for the fight of the year!

BARNONE:Shelby thank you for your time we look forward to the fight!

Shelby:Thanks Barnone, take care and I’ll see you all at the fights!!

Well there you have it folks Sheby “SUPERSTAR” Walker.

Ps:I want to send a special thanks to Debi also for letting me be a writer for www.fightergirls.com Love ya Deb!!

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Fighter Shelby Walker Passes Away

According to manager Larry Goldberg, mixed martial artist and professional boxer Shelby Walker was found dead on Saturday, September 23rd. It is believed that she died from an overdose of pain medication.

Affectionately known as Shelby Girl, she was a pioneer in women’s mixed martial arts and fought in several title bouts during her boxing career. She was 31 years old.

Goldberg included the following in a post he made to Shelby’s web site, “She was a wonderful person who inspired many people. However, she succumbed to personal demons. Shelby was loved and will be greatly missed by all that knew her.”

He continued, “Shelby should be remembered as the fun loving beautiful person who was the life of any party and got to live her dream. There is so much about her life people never got to know. I had the privilege of managing her and befriending her and watching her fight 2 world champions and experienced with her the thrill of victory and agony of defeat… I know Shelby will be looking down on all of us from heaven.”

We at Fighter girls.com would like to send out our heartfelt condolences to Shelby’s family, her fiancé, and to our good friend Larry Goldberg. Shelby is loved and missed by us all.

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Deborah Sunshine Fettkether Fighter interview

Deborah Sunshine Fettkether Fighter
Deborah Sunshine Fettkether Fighter

Here it is. The first official Fighter Girls interview. This was done with Deborah Sunshine Fettkether Fighter in January, 2002. Sunshine is well on her way to establishing herself as one of the premiere thai boxers in America and overseas. Yes, she’s also the chick that knocked out that guy in a thai boxing match in Arizona, but thats not the way she wants to be remembered, and deservedly so. So thank you to Deborah Sunshine Fettkether Fighter for taking the time to do this, and to everyone else, enjoy.

Deborah Sunshine Fettkether Fighter

FG: What’s your full name?
SF: Deborah Sunshine Fettkether

FG: How or who came up with the name Sunshine? We love it, by the way.

SF: Fettkether is my married name. I’m not sure how my parents came up with Sunshine, but that’s what I’ve always gone by, never Deborah.

FG: What is your height and weight?
SF: I’m 5’8″ 147 pounds

FG: Who are your Coaches and Trainers?
SF: Bob Karmel and Raul Monreal at Back Alley Camp in Chandler, Arizona

FG: How about your training partners?

SF: Oscar Rosas, Danny Brandt and Ian Jarvis are some of my sparring partners. We have a lot of women in the Gym also, but I don’t spar them much because they’re smaller.

FG: Are you single/married?
SF: I’ve been married 4 years to my husband, Mike

FG: Where do you reside?
SF: In Mesa, Arizona

FG: Are you from that same area?
SF: No, I’m from back east. My Dad was in the military so we moved every 2 years or so. When he retired about 8 years ago, we moved to Arizona

FG: How did you get started in kickboxing?

SF: About 5 years ago, when I met my husband, we had both been into martial arts since we were 12 or 13 and decided to check out a new Muay Thai gym that had opened up in Tempe, AZ. We both signed up and I’ve been doing it ever since.

FG: Any styles besides kick boxing?
SF: I started in Tae Kwon Do. I’ve also done Shotokan, BJJ, Wing Chun Kung Fu, and boxing.

FG: How long have you been at it?
SF: Muay Thai, 5 years.

FG: Do you train mainly with men or women?

SF: For sparring, maily men. Although we have a lot of women at the gym, I don’t spar them much because of the size difference. The next biggest woman under me is 130 pounds.

FG: What does your daily training consist of?

Deborah Sunshine Fettkether Fighter : When I have a fight coming up, I train twice a day. Once in the morning, then again at night. I also have to run in between training sessions. A workout usually consists of stretching, jumping rope(30 min straight), 3-5 rounds of shadow boxing, pad work with a trainer(anywhere from 5-12, 3 min rounds, depending on the number of rounds I’ll be fighting), heavy bag work, sparring(3 times a week), If I’m boxing we add double end ball and speed bag.

FG: Do you train full time or part time?
SF: I guess most people would consider that full time.

FG: What do you do for work?
SF: I work at a treatment center for kids with developmental disabilities. I do graveyard, so its mostly paperwork and because of the hours I have plenty of time to train.

FG: What do you believe gives you the edge in competition?
SF: I think my endurance and the training and preparation we do for every fight. If I’m going to fight 5 rounds I go into the fight knowing I could fight 10 if I had to.

FG: What weaknesses do you have that you are trying to correct?

SF: My aggressiveness. That’s something that doesn’t come natural to me and I have to work at it.

FG: Is there another fighter whose style you think you emanate or resemble?
SF: No, not really. I tend to do things my way.

FG: Who are your favorite fighters and why?
SF: I really like to watch Oscar De La Hoya fight. The way he boxes is so technically pretty, he’s fun to watch and to learn from.

About Deborah Sunshine Fettkether Fighter

FG: Who would you most like to fight and under what rules?
SF: I just want a really good REAL Muay Thai fight against a good fighter that actually trains full time in Muay Thai. Not a girl that kickboxes and decided to take a Muay Thai rules fight so she trains knees for a month. Unfortunately, I have to look outside the United States to get that type of fight. I know of NO US female fighter with REAL Muay Thai training willing to fight me. I’m supposed to be fighting Sue Glassey full Thai rules in New Zealand on March 16. She’s a European Muay Thai champion, so I’m looking forward to that.

FG: Do you have any plans to fight in NHB/MMA in the near future?
SF: No, with boxing and Muay Thai I don’t have time to grapple. I’ve done jujitsu before and don’t enjoy it as much as stand up fighting. My first fight was MMA. I got choked out with a guillotine after about 6 minutes. It was suppsed to be one 10 minute round. I had only trained about a month on the ground and a couple months in Muay Thai. I had no idea what to do when she took me down, I wanted to stand. I’m suprised I lasted 6 minutes.

FG: How much longer do you plan on competing?

Deborah Sunshine Fettkether Fighter : I guess another couple years or so.

FG: How many more times do you plan on fighting in that time?
SF: As much as possible. I love to train and fight. I’d fight once a week if it were up to me. Last year I had 6 pro fights, which isn’t bad, but I’d like to have more this year.

FG: What do you hope to do once you stop competing professionally?
SF: For one thing I need to finish college. My husband and I want to have kids. Actually, I’d be more than happy with one, but he wants a couple….we’ll see.

FG: Where would you like to see women’s fighting go?
SF: I’d like to see it get more popular and more accepted so that promoters are more willing to put female fights on their cards. I want to see female fighters looked upon as legitimate athletes who work just as hard as the male fighters.

FG: Do you think women get unfairly ranked in this sport?
SF: There are always going to be those close-minded people who think women should be at home doing laundry or something, and shouldn’t be fighting. Fortunately, those people are becoming fewer and fewer.

FG: Tell us about your recent trip to The Ukraine, How were you treated?
SF: Other than the bad judging and decisions we were treated very well. The decisions in the fights were very blatantly bad. Their Team was very good, really tough, but so was Team USA. I knocked my fighter down twice, she had to get treatment for her left leg because of damage from my kicks, but they still ruled it a draw. The Ukrainians are great hosts, very friendly and eager to show us their country and their way of doing things.

FG: And how was it different from fighting in the US?
SF: It was by far the biggest crowd I’ve ever fought in front of. Kickboxing would never draw those numbers in the US. The production of the shows was very good. Another thing was the cheerleaders….I’ve never had a team of cheerleaders cheering in between rounds before.

FG: What has been your most memorable fight to date and why?

Deborah Sunshine Fettkether Fighter : Probably my first pro boxing match. The girl I fought was really tall and had awesome reach. She had the hardest punch I’ve ever felt, even counting all the men I’ve trained with. She got me really good with a straight right in the second round. I felt my knees start to give out and my eyes closed for a second. That’s the closest anyone has ever come to knocking me out.

FG: Do you have any advice for the new up comers girls who re just starting out?
SF: I know it can be intimidating to walk into a gym full of male fighters and start training. You just have to tough out the first few days or so, know that you have just as much right to be there as any guy in the place. Eventually you’ll get used to it and start feeling comfortable.

FG: Who has been your biggest influence?

SF: As far as the martial arts go, I would have to say my first TKD instructor, Robert Kane. He was very traditional, focused more on street self-defense, not the flashy kicks and fancy forms normally associated with Tae Kwon Do. The way he presented the martial arts to me sparked an interest that will last a lifetime.

FG: Who is your favorite fighter to watch?
SF: Oscar De La Hoya, I also like to watch old Muhammad Ali fights.

FG: What is your record in the different events that you have competed in?
SF: 2-1 amatuer boxing, 10-3-1 amatuer Muay Thai and kickboxing. 1-1 pro Muay Thai. The Ukrainian fights are being called exhibitions by the US sanctioning body (USKBA), so they don’t count on my record.

FG: When was you first fight?
SF: In 1997, here in Arizona. It was MMA. I think we were calling them shootfights back then.

FG: Do you have any other fights scheduled?
SF: Feb 3 in Tanzania Africa vs. Monica Mwasanga and then March 16 vs. Sue Glassey in New Zealand.

FG: Do you find it difficult to strike a balance between being a woman and being a fighter?

SF: No, not at all. I guess I was born to do this, it just comes natural.

FG: Do you think that the people around you like your husband or other close friends don’t treat you like or forget that you’re a woman because you fight?
SF: No, not my husband at all. I don’t feel as though anyone else does either.

FG: What’s the one thing you most want your fans to know about you?
SF: A lot of people, especially locally, know me as “the girl that fought the guy”. I want people to forget about that whole thing. Its over with, it was almost 2 years ago, and I will not be fighting any more men.

FG: What is your favorite past time other then fighting?
SF: Shopping and going to the mall. My husband is the only guy I’ve ever met that likes going to the mall. So I suppose my favorite pastime would be shopping with my husband.

FG: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview.

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