This is my NAAFS women's MMA roundtable. The women in this interview are all women who have fought for the NAAFS. Part one is word association and part two is fun and serious questions. The people involved are Amanda Wilcoxen-Morgan, Andria Caplan, Jessica Zomcik, Jordan McDonald, Kristin Dewitt, Lalani Malley, Lettia Suchevich, Rebecca Gruitza, Shannon Floyd, Tamikka Brents, and Trisha Barr. Each fighter will be represented by their initials. So it will be, AM (Amanda), AC (Andria), JZ (Jessica), JM (Jordan), KD (Kristin), LM (Lalani), LS (Lettia), RG (Rebecca), SF (Shannon), TBR (Tamikka), and TBA (Trisha). Since Tamikka and Trisha have the same initials I added the second letter of their last name.
Part 1: Word Association
AM: Not letting others see your weakness
JZ: I wish the league was still around
JM: Good in moderation
LS: Best fighting organization, duh!
SF: Every step I take
TBR: Not many have it
AM: What keeps me going
JM: The secret behind success
LM: The pain in all my muscles and tears of frustration
LS: Breakin' people's faces
SF: The driving force that helps me complete my goals
TBR: T.I. song on my workout mix
TBA: God, Family and my school
AM: What keeps me in line
JC: Changing my entire life
JM: Vital if you want to be great at something
KD: Hard work
LM: God and my faith to help me carry on
SF: The heart and passion I have towards something
TBR: Needed in every aspect of the sport
TBA: So hard to come by these days- as for myself, I just don't have it in me to quit!
AM: To become better
JZ: Perfect practice makes perfect
JM: Fun until a few weeks out from a fight
KD: Ouch! But a good ouch
LM: Practicing to achieve my best
LS: Only way to stay sane!
SF: Go hard or go home
TBR: The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in the cage
TBA: Love it- one of my favorite things to do
AM: To utilize and learn every aspect of the game
JM: Blowing up
KD: Umm Winning
LM: Test of my abilities
LS: #1 Sport in the mutha' f-n world!
SF: Motivation/dedication and excitement
TBR: My anger outlet
TBA: One of my greatest passions in life
JM: Wish they could find her a suitable opponent
KD: Super nice
LM: The Machine that will rust (but by far my favorite female fighter)
LS: LOVE U
TBA: One of my heroes
AM: Angry powerhouse
JZ: I remember watching a video years back on her saying into the camera "I'm Tara M***** F***** LaRosa" then laughing and asking not to air that.
JM: Glad she's back
LS: Old school (still relevant)
TBR: 125lb maniac (in a good way)
TBA: Declared winner of the Twitter war versus Miesha Tate
JM: My 1st female MMA role model
KD: Flip floppy
LS: Heard she got fat?
SF: The American Gladiators
TBA: The actress? lol
AM: Pig idiot
JM: Typical business man
KD: "Spits raspberries at him" like a little kid
LM: Holds the key and future of women's MMA
LS: Fuck you
RG: Missing out
TBR: Doesn't give female mixed martial artists a chance
TBA: Why does he look like a mob boss lately?
JZ: He's nice
JM: Gives lots of support to his fighters outside of the cage
KD: NAAFS dude
LM: Great promoter!
TBR: Runs an awesome organization and love his commentary
TBA: Promoter of one of the best organizations on this side of the country
AM: Bird cage dancing
JZ: First person I met from the NAAFS
JM: Awesome in many ways
KD: I love her, she's awesome
LM: Best matchmaker by far and sweetest woman you will ever meet. Love's MMA with a passion
LS: What's Up ??????
RG: MMA Bitch
TBR: Love her...my favorite matchmaker!!!
TBA: Best matchmaker I've ever had the pleasure to work with
JM: SO glad I ended up fighting for them!
KD: Fun events, not many smaller class fights, need knees and kicks to the head, dumb Ohio rules.
LM: One of the best fight organizations around.
LS: Awe! You're so nice!
SF: Opportunity to show your dedication and love for MMA
TBR: Great organization that is helping put female fighters on the main stage as well as their males.
TBA: Always looking forward to fighting there again
Part 2: Questions
1. Why did you initially start training?
AM: To lose weight, get in shape and manage depression.
AC: I started training so I wouldn't be so anxious all the time.
JZ: I needed a different sport to focus on.
JM: I was always a tomboy and some friends of mine were doing it and knew I'd love it. They convinced me to try it and the rest is history.
KD: I needed to release my anger or I was going to kill somebody, or cause some serious damage.
LM: I wanted to fight for my grandfather, he is my inspiration in all I do. I just want to make him proud and smile in heaven.
LS: It just felt natural!! I loved the Thai family my boyfriend trained with and had a lot of anger as a waitress.
RG: Because my son started at age 3, and then I eventually started training because it looked fun...that was 8 years ago.
SF: Josh Hendricks introduced me to MMA after joining an all female cardio kickboxing class at Evolve.
TBR: I love contact sports, whats got more contact than a fight?
TBA: Loved martial arts and wanted to compete in MMA to constantly push myself to improve.
2. How long did you train before your first fight?
AM: 3.5 years
AC: 7 months before my first Muay Thai fight. 3 years before my first MMA fight. Between injuries and fights falling through, it took forever.
JZ: Seven months
JM: My training was sporadic leading up to my 1st fight so it's hard to quantify. Off and on for a few years but I didn't get serious about it until my first fight.
KD: Like 2 or 3 years. I dunno.
LM: One year and a few months.
LS: 9 years to the day... I passed through the end of a rainbow...real talk.
RG: 7 years for a fight. About 4 months tillI competed in grappling and kickboxing tournaments.
SF: I had been at Evolve for 8 months but had only been training with the men in the MMA classes for about 4 or 5 months.
TBR: Almost 4 years.
TBA: Kempo- about four years, MMA- about six months
3. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
AM: Progression towards that bloodbath fight.
AC: Winning in front of a crowd that was 100% for my opponent.
JZ: Rematch with Amanda Wilcoxen.
JM: So far each fight has replaced the last as my highlight. Therefore my last fight in September 2010 is my current one :-)
KD: Just fighting!! And being able to fight on a card with two of my teammates.
LM: All fights honestly. They all help evolve my game in a short period of time.
LS: Seeing the friends I've made because we're training partners have so much success!
RG: Climbing into the cage, my career is still very young :-)
SF: Fighting for NAAFS at their first all female show, September 2010 against my friend Trisha Barr.
TBR: Winning the 2010 NAAFS Women's Lightweight title
TBA: The best things have been the character and skills it's developed in me, and the people also, not just the ones I've ministered to, but the ones who have ministered to me as well.
4. My biggest strength is?
AM: My heart
AC: I won't give up even if it seems like a win is impossible.
JZ: Sewing, I'm really good and sewing....
LM: My dedication and hunger to learn.
LS: I refuse to quit.
RG: My reach and my guard.
SF: Being passionate about what I do! You can have talent but with no heart, you will not succeed.
TBR: My chin and my strength
TBA: My God-given heart and determination
5. One thing I want to improve is?
AM: My confidence
JZ: Flying Go-GO Platas
KD: My wrestling and ground
LS: My cardio....
RG: My wrestling
SF: I want to work more on wrestling
TBA: My wrestling
6. My dream fight would be me vs__?
AM: Marloes Coenen after Ronda Rousey
AC: Don't care who. I'd just like to fight for a title eventually.
JZ: Barbara Walters
JM: Whoever holds the top spot once I get there
KD: A douchy abusive ex boyfriend or maybe, Jessica Philippus! Can you say REMATCH! <3 you girl.
LM: Lady Gaga
LS: My ex mother-in-law....only person I'd love to smash legally.
RG: Someone tall like Amanda Lavoy. I'm tall and sometimes I think I rely on my length and reach too much, so it would be cool to SOMEDAY fight against someone with my body type to see how I fare :-)
SF: My dream fight would be me, actually winning! I don't care who the opponent is...
TBR: Cyborg for any title she has.
TBA: Anyone right now
7. What gym to you train at?
AM: Japanese Ju-jitsu and More out of Toledo, Ohio.
AC: Daddis Fight Camp
JZ: Team DNA
JM: Nowhere at the moment but I'll find a home soon.
KD: Walker MMA Academy
LM: Team One, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
LS: Mostly Flow Grappling, but I'm a renegade lol
RG: Team Bundy MMA, Niles, Ohio
TBR: Team Warrior Concepts out of Springfield, Illinois woot woot!!
TBA: Infinity Arts
8. The top five pound for pound women in the sport are?
AM: 1. Megumi Fuji, 2. Marloes Coenen, 3. Cyborg, 4. Zoila Frausto-Gurgel, 5. Julie Kedzie
AC: Cyborg, Megumi Fuji, Marloes Coenen, Miesha Tate, Rosi Sexton.
JZ: Cyborg, Fuji, Kaufman, Frausto, Baszler
JM: Megumi Fuji, Cyborg, Sarah Kaufman, Marloes Coenen, Jessica Aguilar
KD: Cyborg, Megumi Fuji, Tara LaRosa, Marloes Coenen, Miesha Tate. In no order.
LM: Cyborg, Megumi, Jessica Aguilar, Liz Carmouche, Sarah Kaufman
LS: I don't care about that.
RG: Google it
SF: I look up to Jessica Eye. I think Ronda Gale is one to watch out for. The DNA Princess is extremely tough and has tremendous heart. Tamikka Brents is fighting her last ammy fight April 16th (NOTE: Tamikka won), expect big things from her. My brain is on my local girls who I believe will be at the top.
TBR: Cyborg, Marloes Coenen, Megumi Fuji, Tara LaRosa, Sarah Kaufman....not in that order.
TBA: Cyborg, Marloes, Megumi Fuji, Zoila, Tara LaRosa
9. The top five men pound for pound in the sport are?
AM: 1. Georges St.Pierre, 2. Anderson Silva, 3. Randy Couture, 4. Frankie Edgar, 5. Urijah Faber
AC: GSP, Frankie Edgar, Eddie Alvarez, BJ Penn, Anderson Silva
JZ: Miguel Torres, Nick Diaz, GSP, Frankie Edgar, Anderson Silva
JM: GSP, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Jose Aldo, and since this is just top 5... I'ma give Frankie Edgar the edge but there's a lot of incredible talent out there.
KD: GSP, Jon "Bones" Jones, Cain Velasquez, Jose Aldo, Anderson Silva. In no order.
LM: BJ Penn, GSP, Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, Ben Henderson
LS: I don't care about that.
RG: Google it
SF: I'm going local again. I think Travis Clark is going to terrorize everyone at 185. OPP has tremendous heart and is just plain crazy so be ready for him this summer. Clint Musser will be making his pro debut soon and did you see Doug's last fight. I'm sure you did and be ready for more excitement from Bhrandon Poindexter. "All we do is Evolve"
TBR: GSP, Anderson Silva, Fedor, Jose Aldo, Anthony Pettis (the kick heard 'round the world sold me!)
TBA: Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo, Jon Jones, GSP, Anthony Pettis
10. One fight I saw and will always remember is?
AM: Megumi Fuji and Zoila
AC: Gina Carano vs Kaitlin Young
JZ: Dent vs Lozano
JM: Forrest Griffin and Stephen Bonnar
KD: Jeremy Myers win by head kick at Absolute Action MMA in a skirt.
LM: I forgot who the Neo Samurai fought, but he is funny because he dances in the ring!
LS: I don't remember their names, but NAAFS May 2009 when he cute nerdy dude beat this tall man in like 20 seconds then asked for his girlfriend's hand in holy matrimony....so sweet!
RG: GSP vs Koscheck
SF: Ronda Gale and Marcia May because it had special meaning to me. I'm beyond excited for Ronda and what she will be doing this year.
TBR: Anthony Pettis vs Ben Henderson...you know why!!!
TBA: Marloes Coenen's first title defense because I met her the next day, shiner and all, and she was awesome!
11. One fight I wish would happen is?
AM: GSP vs Silva
AC: Zoila Frausto vs Cat Zingano
JZ: GSP vs Cris Cyborg
JM: Hendo vs Fedor (and it just might!!! Fingers crossed)
KD: Dana White vs Cyborg. Ooooo yeahh
LM: Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather
LS: Will Ferrell vs Lisa Lampinelli
RG: Jessica Eye vs Aisling Daly..oh wait...never mind, that's happening in June :-)
SF: I wish Ronda wouldn't have such a hard time finding an opponent! Grrrr
TBR: GSP vs Anderson Silva
TBA: Marloes vs Miesha
12. The biggest misconception about female fighters is?
AM: That there's no middle ground; We're either really hot and take photo shoots to help promote ourselves -OR- we're butt ugly and use our bad looks to gain attention instead of just out fighting skills!!
AC: That we're not as tough as men. They may be physically stronger, but I think overall we can withstand alot more punishment.
JZ: We can't hit hard.
JM: That we don't belong in combat sports.
KD: We are too girly or weak to fight or that we have to be manly.
LM: That we won't be as entertaining as men.
LS: We don't have a place in the UFC....wtf????
RG: Our technique isn't as good, we pay closer attention to detail, so in some cases our technique is BETTER than the guys.
SF: People think we should be in the kitchen cooking or having kids, booooo to that!
TBR: We are not mean bitches... all the time at least :-)
13. If I could only walk out to one song from now on it would be?
AM: ooohhh....definitely the SMURF theme.
AC: I already have one and the only one song I will use is "Preserver and Overcome" by Reign Supreme.
JZ: "Diva" by Beyonce
JM: I have no idea. I hate having to pick walk out songs. Something with a good bass beat or some gangsta rap usually gets me in the mood :-)
KD: "Give It All" by Rise Against.
LM: I don't have one haha
LS: G.G. Allin- "Fuck Authority"
RG: Lady Sovereign "Love Me or Hate Me"
SF: Spice Girls "Spice Up Your Life"....bahahaha
TBR: "Monster" by Kanye West, Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj
14. If I wasn't fighting I would be?
AM: A full-time ice cream whore :-)
AC: Doing something having to do with animals.
JZ: Finding another contact sport.
JM: I'd probably be an environmental attorney trying to protect the environment.
KD: Racing dogs in the Iditirod in Alaska. Mush.
LM: Some Hacker, or maybe a nurse.
RG: Spending a lot more time making crafts.
SF: I'm a supervisor for Sterling Jewelers, Customer Relations, but I'd rather be a beach bum to be quite honest.
TBR: Fighting crime in hot pink armor that has a matching helmet so you can't see my identity.
TBA: Don't even want to think about that.
15. The fighter who should have a movie made about his/her life is?
AM: Megumi Fuji
JZ: Cris Cyborg
JM: Me!!! Hahaha. Really though. I think we've all got some interesting stories to tell and just about anything becomes watchable with the appropriate background music.
KD: Me!! LOL seriously, Mia L. Hayes-Camara or story of Tussle and WMMA.
LM: Manny Pacquaio
LS: Tank Abbott
RG: Other people's lives bore me.
SF: Anthony Pettis in about 10 years. I watched an MTV special on him and I'm sure he will have a story to tell.
TBR: Matt Hamill
16. My favorite fighter to watch is?
AM: Marloes Coennen
AC: Eddie Alvarez
JZ: Anyone I've trained with. It's exciting to see fighters do their think in the cage when you have a connection.
JM: Anyone at the top of their game.
KD: Forrest Griffin or any of the ladies. Got to support the WMMA family. We got to stick together.
LM: I can't name all of them!!! Manny Pacquaio, Ben Henderson, Jose Aldo, BJ Penn, The Neo Samurai, The Korean Zombie...MOA PALMER
LS: Jimmy Slick
SF: Anderson Silva and Anthony Pettis if we aren't talking local. Local, hands down my man....Bhrandon Pondexter.
TBR: Gina Carano :-)
TBA: Difficult to choose, but I'd have to go with Marloes right now.
17. Describe yourself in five words.
AM: Giddy, Friendly, Geeky, Smiley, Sarcastic
AC: Loyal, Determined, Silly, Loving, Skeptical
JZ: Perfectionist, Crafty, Heavy Handed, Slick, Happy
JM: Approachable, Self-Motivated, Violent, Intelligent, Honest
KD: Tiny, Tuff, Violent, Sweetheart
LM: Filipino, Aggressive, Christian, Motivated, Blessed
RG: Strong, Kind, Creative, Sneaky, Resourceful
SF: Loud, Quiet, Dramatic, Crazy, but very Kind
TBR: Super crazy ninja crime fighter
TBA: Loyal, Determined, Disciplined, Humble, Improving
18. My favorite part of training is?
AM: Learning and working with teammates.
AC: The whole team pushing each other.
JM: Gacking (choking) out guys that think they're just going to walk right through me when we first roll because I'm nice and/or a girl. And if no one else claims it, I'd like to patent the word gacking please, it's a personal favorite.
KD: Everything!! Especially when I work with the little kids, Baby D and Jenna crack me up, and random dance outbreaks or nerd talk!
LS: Francis Healy <3
SF: Ground and pound
TBA: Watching it pay off in the cage
19. My least favorite part of training is?
AM: Weight cutting!
AC: Having an off day.
JZ: Cutting weight.
JM: Walking in burnt out, tired and pissy, knowing you're about to get your ass beat.
LM: When someone farts!!!!!
RG: Having to rub up against sweaty guys, and then wear their sweat on me for the rest of training session. Yuck.
SF: I hate, hate, hate the bike, but it's a must...
TBR: Sparring my brother.....duh
TBA: Those occasional days when you just couldn't put it together for some reason and you see that disappointed look on your instructor's face.
20. One thing about the rules of the sport they should change is?
AM: How nit picky the weight is!
AC: More harsh penalty for PED's.
JZ: Day before weigh-ins for ammy's.
JM: Whatever that call was in the last Strikeforce fight between Mousasi and Jardine; A "majority draw". Whatever that is, it sucks and they should just pick a winner.
KD: Let the chicks throw them bowes, ammy and pro. I want to cut someone with my pointy elbows.
LM: SOCCER KICKS!!!! NEEDS TO BE BACK
LS: Soccer kicks to the head and headbutts- anything goes, pussies!
RG: Definitely should be able to kick to the head in ammy.... you can in kickboxing....why not MMA?
SF: Not sure if I would change any rules. I'm drawing a blank here.
TBR: I like the rules at the moment.
TBA: For ammies, I wish they would allow heel hooks. For pros, 12 to 6 elbows should be permitted.
21. Which is better, 10 point must or the old Pride scoring?
AM: Old Pride scoring
AC: I think Pride scored a bit better.
JM: A happy medium between the two. But if I had to pick one, I'd say fights ending in a draw suck and there's no draws in PRIDE so.....
KD: Can't decide, maybe to death like gladiators or something lol.
LS: Come on.....
RG: Don't know enough about it to give an opinion.
SF: Old Pride, it judged the fight as a whole as opposed to individual rounds.
TBR: The 10 point must system has been leaving a lot of fights as draws... so I like the old Pride scoring better.
22. When I am doing fighting, I want to be remembered as?
AM: Someone that helped WMMA.
AC: Someone with heart.
JZ: An exciting fighter to watch.
JM: Someone great.
KD: The tiny chic who has taken over the world in the sport, or maybe just goofy double tough.
LS: A crazy bitch
RG: A skilled fighter, not a "Female fighter"
SF: Special but not in a good way lol
TBR: A mother f***ing MONSTER!
TBA: Hopefully as a good Christian role model.... and maybe even a talented fighter as well :-)
23. The best person in the sport to play the bad guy in a slasher film is?
AM: Ohh, definitely Randy Couture
AC: Nick Diaz
JM: Don't know who the bad guy is in slasher films but I think Brock Lesnar makes a decent villain in any movie.
KD: Mayhem, Forrest and Rampage all would have to escape an insane asylum. Muwhahahaha creepy.
LM: Wanderlei Silva
LS: Andrei Arlovski. He got them fangs.
RG: Oh geez, I don't know...Felice Herrig maybe?
SF: Josh Oppenheimer would be perfect!
TBR: Gabrielle Gonzaga...he looks like a crazy gorilla.
TBA: Brock Lesnar- all the slashers are huge nowadays and they don't get much bigger than Brock
24. One celebrity I would love to see get in the cage is?
AM: Hahaha, Gen Simmons
AC: Jillian Michaels
JZ: Ed O'Neill
JM: Jason Statham
KD: Charlie Sheen
LS: Nicholas Cage. LOL
RG: Charlie Sheen. Winning, duh!
SF: LeBron James, yep, Bron Bron
TBR: Tom Cruise vs GSP or myself :-) not a fan!
25. Anything you want to plug?
AM: Fight Chix and mu husband, family, friends and fans.
AC: Daddis Fight Camp, Matrix Fights, Titan Fighting Championships, NAAFS, Mixed Martial Marketing, lapelchoke.com, Miles To Go Clothing.
JZ: I'd like to thank my supporters over at Harley Davidson of Erie, Pennsylvania.
JM: Yes I want o thank Ranger Up and Next Level Training Systems for their continue support and for just being awesome companies in general. Ranger Up in particular has some big things brewing so keep your eye out for that!
KD: TUSSLE TUSSLE TUSSLE, GURL FYTRZ, Walker MMA Academy, Nonstop WMMA, Tuf Chik.
RG: My sponsors, Scrap Soldier, Foundation Fight Wear, and Sun City Tanning Hermitage.
SF: Arkham Tattoo. 788 North main Street, Akron Ohio 44310. Eric, Don and Kyle 330-255-1225
TBR: Team Warrior Concepts, Legacy Fight Wear, Just Right Eating, Scandals Nigh Club, and shout out to my bro Bobby who is about to fight in the NAAFS heavyweight tourney :-) (NOTE: Bobby won his first round fight)
TBA: Pick Jesus :-) Other than that, come visit Infinity Arts, our little hole-in-the-wall gym. We could use more training partners over here.
26. Any last words?
AM: Shake and bake!
AC: Thank you Jason for being so supportive of women's MMA. Thanks to Nichole and NAAFS for always making me feel so welcome. Thank you to my team (DFC).
JM: Thank you for your support of women's MMA. You Rock :-)
KD: Don't take shit from anyone- Billy Joel AKA my hero. Oh, and thanks again for letting me ramble again. It's always a good time!
LM: To my sponsors and teammates from Team ONE, God bless you all and keep dreaming and working!!! It all will happen in time.
LS: Yer Cute!
RG: Save the drama for your mama!
SF: This was fun.....
TBR: Jason Adams is awesome!1 He's a pretty cool guy.
TBA: Is that a threat? LOL