Just a little over a week ago my Gracie Barra teammate, Anna Symonds, and I fought on the May 16th Intense Championship Fighting (ICF) 13 all-female MMA card.
After driving over 12 hours from Portland, Oregon to Great Falls, Montana on Wednesday of that week, Anna and I weighed-in on Thursday, fought on Friday night, and made the long return trip home on Saturday. It was a whirlwind!
When the ICF originally approached my team, they were trying to put together an all-female MMA card that included a four-woman Pro Flyweight Tournament. Though a number of other excellent match-ups were secured for the card– including potential fights for some of my teammates– there weren’t enough takers on the Flyweight Tournament and I was matched with Lynnell House for a standard pro fight.
Just as we were heading to the rules meeting on Friday night, my coach got a call offering us the possibility to fight a second time that same night if I won my first fight. Of course, we jumped at this rare (and probably soon to be illegal) opportunity.
My debut professional fight was against Canadian pro Lynnell House (now 2-2), a heavy-hitting striker who made it three minutes into the first round before being submitted via armbar. We were the first fight on the card, so after that match I had about an hour to game plan for my second opponent.
My second fight of the night was against another strong standup fighter, Golden Gloves title holder Ariel Beck (now 0-1). Ariel is very high-caliber boxer from Butte, MT who agreed to turn pro that night on just a few hours notice. The fight quickly went to the ground, and in the second minute of the first round she tapped to a rear naked choke.
Even though I had two separate matches on the card, I spent the least time in the cage of any fighter (save my opponents). Every other bout went to decision that evening, including my teammate Anna Symonds who lost a close split decision to her more-experienced opponent Heather Wilson. Anna trained and continues to train very hard, I have no doubts that she’ll use this as fuel to leap back into the cage.
At the end of the day, I was able to participate in a very rare all-female fight card, rack up two wins on my pro debut, meet excellent fighters and WMMA promoters, and work with the best fight team in the business. I’m grateful for the opportunity to train and compete with so many talented people and look forward to the next event!