Monday, June 24, 2013
Rach Wiley Interview
Photo 1: Jerry Chavez
One could look at Rach Wiley and not expect that they were looking at a fighter. However if one looked at what she did to the face of her opponent this weekend, they would have no doubt that she is a fighter. After working as a ring card girl, Rach decided to try training herself. After suffering a setback losing a decision in her first fight, Wiley bounced back with a first round TKO this weekend. Wiley is still days away from her nineteenth birthday which means Rach Wiley is a name you are likely to hear for many many years.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started training for the sport?
A: I was a ring girl for Danger Fire Promotions here in Topeka, Kansas. I got the chance to meet a lot of coaches and fighters and got invited to a gym one day. I have been going ever since.
Q: Did you when you started training that you would want to fight?
A: No actually. I didn't have any intention to ever fight when I first started. I liked training cause it was a good workout and it was fun. Eventually I got bored just training and wanted to do something with it so I decided to fight.
Q: When you decided to fight, were your family and friends o.k. with it?
A: My mom was really against it because they spent a couple thousand dollars getting my teeth straightened out with braces and orthodontics. My mom was upset and said if I get my teeth busted out or my nose broken, I am gonna have to pay for that myself. That hasn't happened yet thankfully. My dad was cool with it, he was pretty excited.
Q: When you were walking out for that first fight, were you nervous or excited or both?
A: My adrenaline was really high. I kind of don't even remember it very well. Everything seemed like it was going a million miles an hour. It seemed like it happened and was over pretty quick even though it went the distance. It was awesome.
Q: After you lost that first fight, did you spend any time questioning yourself and whether it is something you could be good at?
A: At first I kinda questioned if I should continue but after awhile I got over being upset and told myself everyone loses at least once unless you are Ronda Rousey. I told myself it is gonna happen and got back in there and did it again.
Q: You just beat Misty Blevins by TKO in the first, how did that first MMA win feel?
A: It was crazy. After the ref said stop, I went over to my coaches and was like "oh my gosh, I did it." It was kind of hard to believe it was over. I looked at my coach and said "I'm done right?" and he said "yeah, now go get your hand raised." That wasn't my first win, I am 1-0 in kickboxing, but it was crazy, it was hard to believe it was over that fast.
Q: How important was it to get that win for you and not start your career 0-2?
A: It was pretty important to me, especially for my confidence. I work really hard in training so it was big for my confidence. It is hard to believe in yourself sometimes but it proved to myself that I don't totally suck.
Q: Did you have any specific game-plan?
A: I didn't really have a game-plan. I just told myself that whatever happens happens and I worked really hard and trained my butt off.
Q: The card also had boxing matches so you fought in a ring, did having kickboxing experience and experience in a ring give you an advantage?
A: No, I don't like fighting in a ring at all, I like it to be in a cage. I have this fear of falling out of the ring because the ropes and you can fall in between them. I had her against the ropes a couple times and she almost slipped in between two of them. I like a cage a lot better, it is more secure.
Q: Do you feel like there might be some people who don't take you serious?
A: Yeah, especially because I work at Hooters and also at Title Boxing. I feel like a lot of people are like "oh, you are a Hooters girl, you have to be pretty, you are girly, you can't get punched in the face, you will freak out." People doubt me but I had people come watch me, customers at Hooters, and if anybody had doubts, that fixed them.
Q: Do you ever feel you have to prove something to them?
A: It depends on the day. Some days it will bug me more than others, but people will think what they want and you cant pay too much attention to it. Why waste your time worrying about what other people think. If you doubt me, come watch me fight, that will fix it.
Q: What do you feel is your biggest strength?
A: That is a tough question. I don't know, I think it is pretty equal, I feel confident with everything. Maybe it's cause I just won a fight, if I just lost and you asked me, my answer might be different.
Q: Are there any fighters you like to watch and learn from?
A: I really really like Rose Namajunas, I think she is awesome, I love her attitude. I love to watch her and Pat Barry's YouTube videos. I like Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann a lot, but I really like Rose the most.
Q: Do you know when you will fight next?
A: I am fighting in less than a month here in Topeka, July 20th.
Q: As a female fighter, how excited have you been to watch the progression of Invicta?
A: It is exciting. Hopefully I can be in Invicta some day. It is awesome that there is an all-girl card out there. It proves to people that fighting is not just a guys sport. There are guys who are real skeptical, but that is cause they haven't seen Invicta yet.
Q: Five years from now, where do you see yourself in the sport?
A: I see myself as a pro. Maybe in Invicta, maybe in the UFC, who knows. But somewhere with all the big women fighters.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My Muay-Thai coach Shanon Woodward, my Judo coach Gary Gucciano, and my Jiu-Jitsu, striking, kind of everything coach Wayman Carter. Also everyone at United Martial Sciences, my team, everyone who spars with me and kicks my butt to help me get ready, thanks guys.