How did you get involved in MMA and how long have you been training?
-I initially started training Kajukenbo in 2004. It's a martial arts system out of Hawaii that focuses a lot on defending yourself in real life situations. In 2007 I was offered a kickboxing match, and my instructor, Sifu Joe Solis thought it would be a good idea for me to try it out as I was already spending a lot of time in the gym training. We changed up my training to focus specifically on the kickboxing match, and I won the fight by 2nd round TKO. After that, I fell in love with the vigorous training sessions required to prepare for a fight and decided I would like to focus on combat sports. After some discussion with Sifu Joe, we decided it would be best to do mixed martial arts as the sport was rapidly growing and we started implementing Jiu-jitsu and wrestling into my training.
Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?
-I currently train at two different facilities. I train at Fight Capital with my head coach Kenneth Rayford. I also train at House of RYU, where I do all my ground work. I am apart of Drysdale's Jiu-jitsu, who I am blue belt under, I work my wrestling with Johnny Nunez, and Muay Thai with Dayel Sitiwatjana. For the most part my training days are long and tedious. I train about 5 hours total a day. I usually do a morning Jiu-jitsu sessions with Coach Sonny Nohara and afterwards I do positioning drills, or work with Johnny Nunez. I take a break after that and head to Fight Capital where I do boxing with Kenneth Rayford. Depending on the day I might do mitt work, techniques, hard sparring, or all of it. I then head back to House of RYU for evening Jiu-jitsu, more drilling, or Muay Thai with Dayel. Usually late at night I do my conditioning and cardio.
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who you're fighting and where?
-My next fight is October 6th in Kansas City, Kansas on Invicta FC. I am fighting Carla Esparza.
What is your best experience as a fighter? What is your worst?
-My best experience as a fighter is the amount of training I put in at the gym. I have had the ability to train with some amazing people, and from them, I have learned that there is so much to learn that I am constantly growing and evolving every day. The butt kicking’s I receive on a daily basis allow me to remain humble yet hungry at the same time. I am aware that I have so much to learn, and I strive to perform better every time I train.
-I have had so many bad experiences as a fighter. There are two particularly bad experiences I've had, but I'll just focus on one. Lol. It would be taking a fight on a few hours notice. Although I was training, I was definitely not in the right mental or physical state to take a fight on such short notice. I pretty much got my butt kicked and lost a decision. Throughout the fight I wasn't focusing on winning, but rather focusing on surviving. From that, I learned that I will never take a fight again without proper notification or training.
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-There's only one thing standing between them and success...and that's their will to win. If they want to do it, they just have to do it. It won't be easy, but anything worth fighting for usually isn't easy.
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?
-More opportunities to showcase women and their abilities. Invicta FC is doing an excellent job with showing top level female fighters, and hopefully more organizations will follow their trend.
When do you think we will see women divisions in the UFC?
-I honestly have no idea.
What or who are your inspirations in MMA and life?
-Most of the inspirations I've had in MMA and life are people I've actually met and truly admire. In fighting in general, Muay Thai fighter Christine Toledo-Badua and MMA fighter Cat Zingano have truly inspired me. Not only are they phenomenal athletes, but they're personalities and mental toughness is amazing. They are both physically talented athletes who always focus on improving, despite the fact that they just kicked everyone's butts. I truly admire that about them and try to mimic their way of thinking.
-In life, my dad is my inspiration. He keeps me grounded and always supports me.
Who are your favorite MMA fighters?
-Cat Zingano. She recently signed with Strikeforce, and I am so excited for everyone to see how great she is. Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc is like a sister to me, and I always enjoy watching her fight. Other than that, I love Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida.
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?
-For the most part, I spend my free time with my two Beagles. I treat them like they are my children, and they are spoiled brats. I read a lot, I enjoy playing racquetball and taking cycling classes, and when the season is in, I like to go snowboarding. I also love traveling to new cities and trying new places to eat :) I also love COFFEE!
Of course we have a few questions for the male readership as well.
Are you single?
-No. I have been with my boyfriend for almost 5 years now.
What do you look for in a guy?
-Intelligence and someone who can kick my ass.
What are your turn-ons?
-The ability to kick my ass!
What are your turnoffs?
-Self victimization. Let’s take responsibility for what happens in our lives as opposed to blaming everyone else.
What would you say is your best feature?
-Being aware of my emotions.
Any future plans or dreams?
-I just want to grow as a person and experience what life has to offer.
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-Thanks to everyone who helped prepare me for this fight. Kenneth Rayford, Shandon Eguchi, Paul Hirayama, my coaches Dayel Sitiwatjana, Johnny Nunez, Sonny Nohara, Kristian Woodmansee, and Mark Jay. To everyone who kicked my butt during training, Jeff Watkins, Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc, Travis Calanoc, Fannie Tommasino, and Genesis Bravo. And thanks to Babes of MMA for sponsoring me!
Thank you too for your time Lynn, proud to sponsor you and looking forward to your fight on Saturday. For the latest on Lynn “Lights Out” Alvarez be sure to visit her Facebook and Twitter pages.