Sunday, October 10, 2010
Amanda Wilcoxen-Morgan Interview
With a record of 10-1, that tells you Amanda Wilcoxen-Morgan is talented. In my opinion, she should be 11-0, because I was there to see that loss and...... I don't think she should have lost that decision. Amanda is what you call a well rounded fighter. I was impressed with many different facets of her game. If you are a casual fan, you may not have heard of her, but if you are a hard core fan of women's MMA, you have likely heard of Amanda. But casual or not, you will hear much more of her. Amanda is soon going to be one of the women on your t.v. screens fighting for one of the big companies, and trust me, you will be impressed.
Q: First, Amanda I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you and my pleasure!
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Sure, why not! I'm 22 years-old, married to the best man and coach in the world. We're both Christians and give all the glory to God every day. I go to school full-time to attain my bachelors degree in Respiratory Care Therapy and minoring in psychology and philosophical religion while working 40-hrs at a local grocery store while training at least another 40-hours each week! Phew!
Q: Were you especially athletic growing up? Play any sports?
A: I was probably the most UN-athletic kid ever! I was always harassed and picked on for being an overweight bookworm and a loner. I did try out for softball for a week, but it wasn't for me when I was a sophomore in high school.
Q: What initially got you started training for MMA?
A: My mom enrolled me at a local dojo in the Toledo area when I was fifteen where I tried out Aikido, then picked up the Japanese Jujitsu and Kodokan Judo classes two months later. I had a lot of problems as a kid and depression and low self-esteem topped my list and martial arts was the only thing that seemed to perk my interest outside of books.
Q: Was the training something you picked up fairly easy?
A: Weirdly enough, it was. Aikido is a really complex martial art and requires a lot of eye/hand coordination and stamina than most people give it credit for. I think when I added the grappling and throwing portion of my training, it made everything as a whole easier for me.
Q: How long did you train before your first fight?
A: I started training in 2003 and had my first fight the week of Thanksgiving 2007. It was the most exciting thing that ever happened to me.
Q: Was fighting something your family and friends supported?
A: Generally, yes. My parents were always behind me then and they still are now. A lot of my friends back then didn't understand why I did it and some of them would make fun of me until they saw how serious I was about it.
Q: Where do you train at now?
A: With my husband in Toledo at Japanese Jujitsu and More on 1419 Bernath Parkway. You can check the school site out at www.morganmma.com
Q: Can you give your overall record so far.
Q: Which fight so far is the one you are most proud of?
A: That's a tough one between when I fought in Las Vegas the night before UFC 100 and my first time in King of the Cage. I think I'll have to go with how I handled myself when I first fought against Bobbi-Jo Dalziel in my first King of the Cage event in April 2009 because my coach and I were battling really, really tough times and were moving from our old gym to another dojo. In that KOTC fight, I discovered how strong of a head I have after being kicked senseless in my head several times in the opening round. But I pulled off a d'arce choke in the second round, a submission my coach, Bob Morgan, had only told me about just seconds before I made my way into the cage!
Q: What would you say is your biggest strength and the one thing you most want to improve?
A: My biggest strength is my heart and ground game. One thing I want to improve on would be my hands and head movement.
Q: I just got to see you in person fight against Jessica Zomcik, losing by unanimous decision, in a rematch of a fight where you submitted her. There are people who feel you should have won. What did you feel about the decision?
A: I guess to be politically correct, it's what happens when I leave it in the hands of the judges. I went in there knowing that this was the crowds and the area's favorite girl. She's fought for the organization more than I have, and I made a mistake of trying out new tools and toying with her too much. I didn't initiate as many takedowns on purpose, because I actually felt confident standing with someone for the first time! Next time, the judges won't be there to save her and give her the win.
Q: What was your game plan going in, and did you feel you were able to execute it?
A: For the most part, yes, save for the whole judges scoring against me for the favorite, but it's what I get for not taking it down sooner.
Q: Is there something looking back you wish you had done different?
A: Taken her down in the second round.
Q: Is it harder to prepare for someone you have already fought? If so, what makes it different?
A: I wouldn't say harder, actually a bit easier because every single night I saw her face over, and over, and over again. I had to dissect everything of what she did in our first fight, in her fight against Ms. Brents, so I was able to go in there, knowing she believes herself to be a boxer, and be aware of what to expect from her.
Q: Are there any fighters you are a fan of or love to watch?
A: I love me some GSP, Forrest Griffin, and Randy Couture! Megumi Fugii is awesome as well.
Q: In your opinion, who are the top five female fighters in the sport pound for pound?
A: Hmm, tough one. So many out there!
1) Megumi Fuji
2) Sarah Kaufman
3) Hisae Watanabe
4) Julie Kedzie
5) Satoko Shinashi
Q: Do you ever see a major U.S. women's only company being viable?
A: Of course! I see it becoming one day as big as the superbowl!
Q: Often you watch a show that has one women's fight. Somehow that fight always turns out to be the most exciting fight on the card. Why do you think that is?
A: Women still have to prove themselves and referees are so gun happy to stop girl fights so much quicker than the men. You see so many girls and women that get into the cage in these barnyard cage shows that are poorly promoted, and most times they are taken straight out of the crowd, and they just give the serious female MMA athletes a horrible name.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about female fighters?
A: That we need jello or mud to wrestle and that we must forsake our lady like mannerisms to be top athletes.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to train for the sport, what's the biggest piece of advice you would give her?
A: Be prepared to sweat, cry, and take your body and mind to places you've never knew where you had limits, and blow those limits out of the water.
Q: Outside of training and fighting, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love working on my novel manuscript that I'm hoping to publish within ten years, reading, collecting penguins and socks, and origami.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Amanda Wilcoxen-Morgan.
A: When I'm not at my mundane job, I'll wake up at 4AM or 5AM (I'm allowed to sleep in just 1 hour two days each week!) to do my morning cardio and weight training for a few hours, take a small break for breakfast and nap, walk or jog to class with my coach, then depending on the day we warm up for an hour with wrestling shots, sit-outs, take downs, or we'll work boxing/kickboxing. Take another break for a few hours, then return back for Japanese Jujitsu.
I work with the kettlebells 2-3x a week, usually every other day, and then we do hard conditioning drills towards the end of the week where we have a few extra hours to play with to improve my game. If I can still walk by the end of the day, I take freezing cold ice baths and watch Family Guy or UFC to help me heal : )
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I want a fez hat like the one Matt Smith wore as the 11th Doctor in Doctor Who! Fezzes are cool.
Q: Describe Amanda Wilcoxen-Morgan in five words.
A: Spunky, Spazzy, Smiley, Tall, Strong
Q: So what's next for you?
A: Hopefully Bellator or Strikeforce. It'd be nice to actually be paid for taking and dishing out beatings!
Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: Thank you to Jesus Christ, my coach and husband, Bob Morgan, my parents, my awesome team mates, fans, friends, and co-workers. Thank you Fight Chix and Isiah Pitts of Fight Funds.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they reach you and what are they getting in Amanda Wilcoxen-Morgan the fighter and person?
A: Yes! Definitely need sponsors! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my trainer at 419.297.4161. They will be receiving a well-rounded fighter and a young woman that is college educated, feminine, professional, and knows what it's like to hit rock bottom and still come back for more. I'm an awesome role model for younger women who have self-imagine problems.
Q: Amanda again, I want to thank you for doing this. I was really impressed having seen you in person the first time, and can see a big future for you in the sport. Any last words before you go?