How did you get involved in martial arts, the sport of mixed martial arts and how long have you been training?
-I've been doing martial arts since I was 10. I got involved in MMA when I started training with Donald Cerrone in Colorado. More background above.
Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?
-I currently train at Jackson's/Winkeljohn's MMA. I go swimming three times a week, strength and conditioning twice a week, and MMA five times a week!
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who you’re fighting and where?
-I am fighting in Albuquerque, NM at the Hard Rock hotel and casino on the Jackson's series 7 card on January 21st. It will be the first time I headline a show. I will be fighting Diana Rael.
What has been your best experience as a fighter and what has been your worst?
-My best experience was when I fought Thricia Poovey. I took the fight with two week’s notice but was training pretty hard. We were going at it back and forth. I remember her bombing on me and I knew I was losing the fight. But there was a little voice inside of me telling me that I wasn't going out like that. I turned the fight around and ended up finishing her with a tko in the second round. It was a real test of heart for me and a big step in my fighting career.
-My worst experience would be when I fought Elena Reid; my head wasn't on right for that fight. I really, really wanted to win but I just couldn't stay focused and it showed in the fight. I was doing well in the first, but then the second came around and I lost control of myself. I gave up on myself. It was one of the worst feelings a fighter can have.
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-Work hard and do it because you love it. It's a tough road but well worth the reward.
When do you think we will see a women’s division in the UFC?
-Hopefully within these next couple of years!!!!
What or who are your inspirations in MMA and life?
-My family! My fiancé Josh, my coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn and all my teammates. I know that is a lot but they all inspire me in their own ways.
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?
-I love spending time with my baby Araya. I love doing adventurous things. I also like arts and crafts! Oh yeah, and dancing.
Any future plans or dreams?
-I want to eventually have a school of my own and teach others what I have learned. I would also like to fight for the UFC one day. I want a big family, and I want to just enjoy life!
We do have a few questions for the male readership as well but sorry fellas Michelle is engaged and a proud mother.
What do you look for in a guy?
-Strong physically and mentally, honest, loving, funny and loyal. Someone who appreciates the little things, someone who is motivated and positive.
What are your turn-ons?
-Confidence, dimples and back muscles.
What are your turnoffs?
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-Team Jackson's, my manager Jahani Curl, Rich Montoya, the Turning point gym and all my friends and family! Also want to thank all the fans who support my career! Without them it would be a lot harder to find fights.
The Karate Hottie is back and you don’t want to miss it! If you can’t make it in person check out the fights online. Say hello to Michelle on Twitter @karatehottiemma. Thanks for your time Michelle and good luck on Saturday!