Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Michelle Ould Interview

Don't judge a book by it's cover. You have heard that many times in your life. If you see Michelle Ould for the first time, you see a beautiful woman. But you see Michelle fight, or even just get to know about her, you see she is as tough as they come. Michelle trains out of Ultimate Fitness, if you know the sport, you know some of the great talent that fights in that Sacramento gym. SO if you can hang there, then you are legit, and Michelle can hang there. Another thing that is very likeable about Michelle is her love and passion for the sport. That is the kind of person you want to root for. Michelle is starting to get some recognition in the sport, and she deserves it, and there is no doubt she will be getting more and more recognition. She has a tough fight coming up on May 16th against Zoila Frausto that is bound to be a great fight. And from there, you will be hearing the name Michelle Ould more and more.

Q: First, Michelle, thanks so much for taking the time to do this.
A: No problem, I appreciate the opportunity to talk about myself...JK! I do appreciate you asking me for an interview though.

Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Well currently I am living in Sacramento, California by way of Boise, Idaho. I have lived her for about a year to pursue my training at Urijah's gym Ultimate Fitness. I have 2 sons age 5 and 9. They have adjusted well to the move. We live in a great community next door to their school. I am happy with my decision and am trying to get my mother to move here too!

Q: Growing up, were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports?
A: I have always been a very athletic and aggressive individual. I was good at pretty much every sport I participated in! I loved gymnastics and soccer the most. I held a lot of records for track and field, especially in the dash, long jump, shot put. Unfortunately my parents were alcoholics and drug addicts so it was hard for me to compete due to lack of money and interest, but I participated if it was local and free every chance I could get. It was my only escape.

Q: So what got you interested in training for MMA?
A: I was interested in boxing for a long time and met my ex-husband who is a pro boxer when I was 15 and started training. I never got to compete because I was in and out of trouble, for fighting as it was, but I loved the training and picked up on it fast. I got off track but 2 kids and 10 years later I decided to pursue it after I saw a friend of mine compete. I did the same type of workouts and cross training as him, so I figured I'd be good at it as well.

Q: How long were you training before you decided to fight?
A: About 2 months LOL!

Q: Any memories of the first fight?
A: I remember thinking when the cage closed, "What have you just gotten yourself into?" and she was about 20lbs heavier than me and that kind of messed with my head. Definitely stuck to the game plan on that one. She was a boxer so although I hadn't trained wrestling yet, when I was in the walkway waiting to walkout by buddy showed me to trip if the takedown didn't work. SO I used that move about a minute later. Stupid in hindsight, but hey, whatever works.

Q: Was fighting something your family and friends supported?
A: Yes, everyone always knew I was really competitive and scrappy since a young age. Unfortunately they don't posses the same type of motivation so it's not something they are very educated about or very interested in unless they are talking with friends or with me. It kind of bums me out that my family isn't more involved or even into exercising but to each his own. That's why it wasn't hard for me to make the move to Sacramento. I wanted to surround myself with a large gym so that I could have more people to relate to.

Q: What is your record so far?
:A 4-2-1, and that no contest should have been a win since the girl I had in an armbar started dropping knees on my face. But I rematched her and won. My first loss is still controversial and I don't really put a lot of thought towards it because it wasn't a legit loss, it was B.S. Lynn Alvarez however, beat me up in my 2nd loss..... we beat the crap out of each other bad! She's a stud!

Q: Any fight you are most proud of?
A: Not really. I don't think I have reached my full potential yet.

Q: Where do you train?
A: At Ultimate Fitness in Sacramento and I do strength and conditioning at Midtown Strength and Conditioning as well.

Q: So do you, like most fighters, have a nickname?
A: I was just recently donned "Thundercat" LOL. Always was my favorite cartoon so I think it's hilarious.

Q: What would you call your biggest strength right now, and one thing you want to improve?
A: My confidence and all around conditioning has improved a lot! I use to be really anxious and untrusting of the sport after that first loss because it was so unfair! I have come a long way since then physically but the mental part held me back. Now I feel stronger than ever in both aspects. And I think I am pretty well rounded at this point. That's why it's called MMA.

Q: Do you have any favorite fighters to watch?
A: I'd like to see Tonya Evinger fight again eventually. I like watching Joseph Benavidez, he is crazy unorthodox, and I'm fortunate to train with both. Of course Urijah and Chad Mendes as well. Very explosive and well rounded guys.

Q: As a female fighter, what did it mean to have Cyborg and Gina Carano main event a big U.S. televised show?
A: I think it should have happened a lot sooner and that fight was over-hyped and I wish it would have lived up to it. Hopefully other women that are in different weight classes get the same opportunity and continue to open doors for us.

Q: Pound for Pound, in your mind, who are the top five females in the sport right now?
A: Hard to say because I think there are a few out there that haven't been recognized yet. Miku, Hiroko, Cyborg, Nunes, LaRosa.

Q: If you could make any two fights happen, what fights would you like to see?
A: Meisha Tate vs Tonya Evinger and Jessica Aguilar vs Lynn Alvarez.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who fight or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Just because we fight doesn't mean we aren't complete divas! Or that we are violent or unlady like. Every female fighter I have met has been completely different and fights for different reasons, so good luck trying to group them all together and place a blanket stereotype!

Q: Usually when you watch a show on TV, and the women's fight ends up being the most exciting fight of the night. Why do you think that is?
A: I don't really think that they're always the most exciting or the best fights, I just think they are a lot more memorable and rare to see. However, that being said, those women also know that this may be their one big shot at exposure or they realize how lucky they are to even be on a card, so in those cases they give it their all and that's when the fight takes the cake!

Q: Do you ever see there being a major U.S. women's only company?
A: Ya when I start one LOL! Seriously though, there hopefully will be one soon, but I don't know if I want that responsibility until there is a larger demographic of women to work with that aren't so dam difficult.

Q: DO you think women's MMA is becoming more accepted by fans?
A: Yep, thanks to Gina and Cyborg. That's the truth, like it or not.

Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training for MMA, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: To train and spar for at least a year before competing. And then to also compete in a variety of disciplines. And don't train with a boyfriend or mess around with coaches. Never a good idea.

Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: The rest of my time goes to my kids. Being outside with them. That is my greatest joy.

Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Michelle Ould.
A: Right now I am in training camp, so I wake up and get the boys ready for school. Eat breakfast with them. Then go to morning practice. Then pick my kindergartner up, then back to practice after lunch. Then pick up my 3rd grader, then back to the gym for their class. Then evening class. Every other day is slightly different, but that's pretty much the norm for now. Throw in a few massages. Sundays I rush to turn in homework for my online classes in the evening. But Sundays are usually family days. A lot of laundry and cleaning and hanging out with the kids and the dogs, which all happen to be hilarious. I have a very full, productive life right now. I am very grateful!

Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I have a huge spot in my heart for the underdog. I have always been the underdog and the poor kid that got picked on, so it is hard for me to see anyone else go through it, whether they be disabled or a hardhead or the elderly or neglected children or animals. I feel guilty when I buy stuff for myself, I feel I have so much and I don't want to get attached to materialistic things because I have done well enough without them. But it is hard for me to not spoil my kids due to how little we had growing up. I make em work for it though, and they are also animal lovers and aren't very materialistic at all.

Q: Describe Michelle Ould in five words.
A: Getting better every single day.

Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Sure... Ultimate Fitness for being such a great and supportive place to train, especially Master Thong and Fabio Prado a trainers. Tonya Evinger for helping me entirely. Slade and Molly Bittler for their line, Tussle Fight Gear, which is very supportive of women's MMA. fightergirls.com for supporting us as well. Sportsgeeks and MMARising. Ambition Couture Clothing, Born2Bang.com, MMAKO, Cheapshot Clothing, and I love you Mom. And I miss my brother Josh. He was killed 3 years ago. Love you brother!

Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so what are they getting in Michelle Ould the athlete and fighter?
A: I am always looking for sponsors. Most of the ones I mentioned only are able to provide services or help promote me and training is getting very expensive, especially as a mom and student! I am always plugging them though regardless because anyone that helps me in any way will get the same in return, and now that I am getting more recognition it is even better for everyone involved. I am active on the forums and the Internet and twitter etc. and have a lot of avenues in which to promote a sponsors brand or services. And I am pretty good at it! I am very marketable and well spoken and just a well rounded person that is only getting better! I plan to be on top shortly and I hope others want to come along for the ride!

Q: Michelle, again, thanks so much for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you for allowing me to talk about something that I am very passionate about. I hope more young women find the courage to follow their dreams regardless of what they may be. And just because you don't see results right away, don't give up! Life is unfair and sometimes others will get undue credit or attention, but don't allow that to get you down because your hard work will pay off, but only you can get yourself there. In the end, it's only you in that cage....

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