How did you get involved in MMA and how long have you been training?
-I walked into Reign Training Center for Jiu Jitsu on a Tuesday class, I was the only girl and I looked at my coach that I had just met at the time and told him “teach me the basics I want do a tournament this weekend” he thought I was nuts and didn’t believe me! I starting training Jiu Jitsu for two days and put myself into a tournament that same weekend. I got second place. So then two weeks later I put myself in the Best of the West tournament and got first place in gi and third place in no-gi against blue belts. I fell in love with grappling and realized that I was actually good at it. Never thinking I would ever do MMA. About 6 months later one of my coaches Luke Adams made me start hitting pads and told me to do MMA class just for fun. I was actually beating up a few boys which was so much fun! So from then on I started sparring and decided to do my first MMA Fight August 20th of 2011 almost a year after starting Jiu Jitsu and only a small amount of time Kickboxing.
Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?
-I train at Reign Training Center in Lake Forest, CA, Mark Munoz’s gym. I train Jiu Jitsu 4-5 days a week, Muay Thai 2-3 times a week and lift weights 3 times a week. Unless I am getting ready for a fight then I train double days, morning and night which takes a lot of dedication and hard work!
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who your fighting and where?
-My next fight was scheduled to be at the Commerce Casino for BAMMA USA against Kristi Lopez who dropped last minute. In a turn of events, Kristi’s next opponent fell through with an injury and I stepped up to get my shot at her at Tuff-N-Uff Beauties & Beasts this Friday at South Point Arena in Las Vegas.
What is your best experience as a fighter? What is your worst?
-My best experience was getting into that cage in the first place which takes a lot of mental stability to have the guts to walk in there in front of a huge crowd. The worst experience was preparing for my first fight, dieting for my first time in my life and worrying every night before I went to bed. This is a MENTAL GAME first!
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-The best Advice I would give women that would want to start MMA is train EVERYTHING but focus most on your ground! Because if you’re a great striker and your ground game is horrible then you’re in a lot of trouble! Even though you have everyone’s sweat on you being a grappler you become very strong. Also train everyday and don’t act like a girl! Go in there and smash the boys! That’s the best feeling is making a guy way bigger then you TAP OUT!!!!
What are some of the hurdles that you think Women in MMA need to overcome before Women's MMA will be considered a top level sport like Men's MMA is today?
-Women need to work just as hard as the men do! Like I said don’t act like a girl in the gym. You’re one of the guys there :) you can be a girl outside the gym. Be tougher than most of the guys and never give up!
When do you think we will see a women’s division in the UFC?
-It might take awhile, I think we need more athletic girls to start training. We can do it, some say I know we can! We just need to keep working hard every day!
Who are your favorite MMA fighters?
-Mark Munoz, Jon “Bones” Jones, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz and Megumi Fujii
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting? Any hobbies?
-I play volleyball and coach the high school boy’s team.
We do have a few questions for the male readership as well.
What do you look for in a guy?
-I like a guy that looks tough and mean on the outside, but is sweet and romantic, does sweet things for me and has a sensitive side with a great heart. Love don’t cost a thing, it’s the little things that count.
What are your turn-ons?
-Athletic, nice abs, nice booty, strong, romantic, affectionate and Go Getters!
What are your turnoffs?
-I hate guys that talk about themselves and brag. I don’t care if you have a Bentley or Ferrari, I prefer you not to! Lol, or Dreamers…..DO IT! If u want something in life do it! Don’t drag it along.
What would you say is your best feature?
-My best feature is for sure my personality! ;)
Any future plans or dreams?
-I would love to be ready for my pro debut by next summer. I would also love to be in Strikeforce someday.
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-Thank you Reign Training Center and Clinch Gear for all my cool gear!
Thank you very much for your time Rachael! We look forward to your fight on Friday and a successful career ahead of you in MMA. Say hello or wish Rachael good luck on Facebook and on Twitter @RachaelCummins.