Saturday, February 5, 2011
Vanessa Crowder Interview
Sometimes you hear people say "I was born to do this" or "I was born to do that". I believe Vanessa Crowder was born to be a fighter. From being smacked around by her brothers at a young age, to fighting her way out of a wheel chair (she explains in the interview), to boxing, to MMA, Vanessa is and has been a fighter. And once you get to know her just a little, it is impossible not to like her. Currently 2-0 in MMA she also clearly has a good skill set, and clearly loves the training aspect of the sport, which will be a big boost for her. So hear is a chance to get to know Vanessa Crowder.
Q: First, Vanessa I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: You are so welcome. Thank you for having me.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: Sure. I am 26 years old, I Just got married two months ago to the most wonderful man in the world. We live in Fort Benning GA. My husband Stan Crowder is in the U.S Army and is stationed here. I am from southern California, all my family is there so being able to fight out there is something I look forward to one day. I love training as much as I love the fight. When I'm not training or shooting with my husband my nose is in a book. I have Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis and have had it for 10 years now. I lived in different hospitals for almost a year when I first got sick and ended up in a wheel chair. I wasn't supposed to be able to get out of that chair but I prayed to God and asked him if he would just let me walk again then I'd deal with the pain. So that's life I wake up in pain and go to sleep in pain but I can walk! I can train and I can fight.
Q: Were you especially athletic growing up? Play any sports?
A: I started playing softball at 9 years old and I sucked! lol I would get hit in the face with a ball every game, every practice. I lived in left field. My mom asked me every day if I wanted to quit, I said no. Then half way through my first season my coach brought me in to pitch. I had found my place! Ever since that I was great. Played every base, hit every ball. I don't know what it was, maybe having a coach believe in me. I played all the way until I got sick.
Q: What initially got you started training for MMA?
A:I have two older brothers who beat the crap out of me and use to say it was so if I ever got into a fight I could take a hit lol. So I guess I should thank them. I just always wanted to fight. When I was 21 I went into a gym and I started doing Muay Thai and just feel in love with it. I was a natural. The coaches there had asked if I ever trained before so It just clicked for me from the first time I threw a punch. I then started boxing and my first fight was at ringside world boxing championships. After two boxing matches I knew it wasn't for me so I started doing Jujitsu along with everything else and started going to the MMA fighters classes at the gym and loved it.
Q: Was the training something you picked up fairly easy?
A: I did pick it up easy, well the boxing and Muay Thai anyways lol. I didn't love the ground very much. But after going through level 1-3 of the modern army combatives I had to start liking it because there is a lot of ground training. I now am working on my wrestling and find that I love it.
Q: How long did you train before your first fight?
A: I was training for a year but actual training for my first MMA fight was 3 month. I was working out 7 hrs a day 6 days a week. My coaches had to make me go home every day.
Q: Was fighting something your family and friends supported?
A: My brothers and sister love it. My whole family really thinks its great. However my mother does not like it. She worries, she says she doesn't want me to get my nose broken and she doesn't want to see people hitting me lol. But they are dying to get to see me fight person. All my friends think its great, my husband is very supportive and coaches me. He also fights. I do run across those women that look at me like I'm nuts for fighting. I am not the typical 'army wife' they don't understand why I would willingly get hit in the face but it just makes me laugh. I tell them the point is to try and not get hit.
Q: Where do you train at now?
A: A little bit of every where right now. Since I moved to fort Benning my husband has turned our house into a gym. Everything is matted so I wake up and I am at the gym. I go to different places to train and people come in to train me. We are looking to start training at Matt Larsen's Combat fitness center for up coming fights here in Phoenix city, AL.
Q: Can you give your overall record so far?
A: I am 2-0 in MMA
Q: Which fight so far is the one you are most proud of or is there something else you would say you are most proud of?
A: I am proud anytime I fight. I am proud that I overcome the pain I am in to get in there and fight. I am very proud to have gone through level 1-3 of Modern Army Combatives as a civilian. Its always an honor working with our armed forces. Now my last fight my opponent came in 20lbs over weight! I was so mad but took the fight anyways and got a KO at 38sec so that I am VERY proud of!
Q: What would you say is your biggest strength and the one thing you most want to improve?
A: My biggest strength is knowing I am in pain everyday and still do this so that alone gives me an advantage and also knowing I wont ever quit. Win or lose I'm in it until the end.
My ground game is what I most want to improve most. I don't want to be a fighter that's a 'good striker or has a 'good ground game' I just want to be a great all around fighter. I want my ground to match my stand up.
Q: Name the one fight you have seen that you will always remember?
A: Gina Carano vs Cris cyborg It was the first time I saw Carano look beat before a fight started. You could see the fear. Both women are amazing fighters and seeing a torched be passed so to speak during that fight is something I'll always remember.
Q: Are there any fighters you are a fan of or love to watch?
A: I am a Huge Fan of GSP but who isn't. Besides the fact that he is an amazing fighter I love his attitude. He has such great sportsmanship and never sinks to anyone level who is trash talking him. He just puts it all out there in the cage. I am a big Fan of Cris cyborg. She is a beast in her training and I love it. She works so hard and it shows in every fight.
Q: In your opinion, who are the top five female fighters in the sport pound for pound?
A: Cris cyborg, Megumi Fujii, Jessica Aguilar, Zolia Frausto, Marloes Coenen
Q: Do you ever see a major U.S. women's only company being viable?
A: Oh absolutely! Women are making their mark on this sport and we are not the only ones who get tired of not seeing more women MMA fights on shows. I think one day there will be an all female company and it will be around for a long time. We are not going away we are only getting stronger.
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: Well in this sport women always have something to prove because it is a male dominated sport. We have to work harder and prove we are just as tough. Also I know this is for me anyways, I have the mind set of I can't let another woman beat me not after training as much as I did and taking hits from men that out weigh me by at least 50lbs! I think that's why I do prefer to train with men. Because if I can take their hits and handle their weight on the ground then I should be good with a women who's my weight.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about female fighters?
A: That we are trying to be like men. I have seen a lot of women that think they need to talk like a guy, walk, dress, and act like a man to be good at fighter or get the respect of the men that fight.That's just not the case. I am proud to be a woman that can get in there with the guys and hold my own and do MY own damage. A women that 'has a pretty face' and can still take a hit and keep moving forward.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to train for the sport, whats the biggest piece of advice you would give her?
A: Train hard, don't give up and have coaches that you can trust so when they say your ready for a fight you know that you can trust that you are.
Q: Outside of training and fighting, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love reading. I will read at least 4 books a week. I also love cooking. My husband and I also enjoy shooting, that's a big one for us.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Vanessa Crowder.
A: I wake up get ready, take my morning meds and eat my breakfast. I get on the treadmill, get on the bag, do my morning work out that is up on the board for that day. Read, lunch, nap, then afternoon workout, a lil T.V then evening training session. Dinner, shower, spend time with my husband then bed and we start the day over again.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I am a HUGE Harry potter freak lol love the movies love the Books even more. Yes I know how old I am but I can't help it lol
Q: Describe Vanessa Crowder in five words.
Stubborn, Strong, Resilient, fighter, Funny
Q: So whats next for you? Any idea when you will be fighting again?
A: Right now I am just trying to get my body in the best shape it can get in. I am hoping to fight in the G2 summit in Las Vegas this summer and then Go pro after that.
Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
Yes, Fightchix, Tussle, Fightergirls They all have great Products but more then that are The best people. The encouragement and support I have gotten from Tim, Slade and Elisabeth means everything. So Get online and get some of the best fight clothing out there!
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they reach you and what are they getting in Vanessa Crowder the fighter and person?
A: I can be reached through my facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org They are getting a true fighter, someone who fights everyday and never gives up in and out of the cage. I am proof of that just by not being in a wheel chair anymore.
Q: Vanessa again, I want to thank you for doing this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you so much again for wanting to Interview me. Just thank you to everyone out there who supports me and God bless.