How did you get involved in MMA and how long have you been training?
-I actually stumbled on MMA by accident. I had never done anything athletic before in my life (unless you count skipping up and down the soccer field holding my friend's hand at the age of 7 athletic) and was going through a stressful time of my life that caused me to look for something..."new". A friend of mine suggested I take up kickboxing simply for the fitness aspect, so I found myself at FusBoxe Mixed Martial Arts. Within two weeks I was completely in love with the training, starting prepping for a grappling tournament, competed for my first time three months later, and I've been hooked ever since. Best "stumble" I've made so far in my life!
Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?
-I train at FusBoxe Mixed Martial Arts in Westminster, Colorado. A typical training week runs pretty balanced between conditioning, instruction, and application. We're a Sambo based gym (and no, that doesn't mean we only train leg locks), so my training is pretty well rounded. I train practically every day but Wednesdays, but the intensity of the training depends on whether or not I have a fight coming up. My biggest struggle in training is actually taking time off to rest and recover. I love the training so much and it’s become such a big part of my life that unless I take off to the mountains to run or climb, I'm typically right back in the gym the day after my fight.
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who you're fighting and where?
-October 13th, 2012 I'm fighting 4-1 Stacy Sigala out of New Mexico at the Grizzly Rose in Denver, Colorado for the Sparta Combat League promotion. I prefer to not know much about my opponents prior to entering the ring or cage with them. That is my coach's job. He does his due diligence and looks up my opponents and designs my training camp accordingly. My job is to train. He tells me what to do, and I do it. I trust in him to know my opponent and prepare me for her.
What is your best experience as a fighter? What is your worst?
-You know I would have to say the same experience (so far) was both my best and worst. The loss I took in February of this year was probably my best and worst. I had done really well competitively, had a winning record, and came from an undefeated female team. Unfortunately I had a lot of personal things going on in that camp that affected my mentality which ended up losing the fight for me in the end. The feeling of losing was horrible. I replayed it in my head, beating myself up over it, again and again and again the weeks to come. Absolute worst experience, however, because of how it affected my mentality and training, hands down I would say it was also my best experience. I learned more from that one loss than I have learned from any other aspect of my training or competitive experience so far.
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-No matter what your background is, if this is something you want and you have a passion for it, pursue it. The training might not come as easy to you as it does to others (I personally have to try much harder than many of my teammates because it just doesn't come as easily), but if you love it, if you have a passion for it, I'm a strong believer that you can accomplish anything you want to. The whole hokey saying Mom used to tell you growing up that you can do anything you put your mind to, is actually true. You just have to be willing to work harder than others might need to. It’s a fast growing sport, so jump on the wagon now and ride along as it picks up momentum!
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?
-This is so difficult to answer. Honestly, I think plain and simple we just need more competitors that are willing to take it seriously. There are quite a few women in the amateur ranks that I think do this more as a "bucket list" thing than as a professional pursuit. Until we have enough serious competitors that dependable match ups can be created in abundance, we will continue to struggle with being taken seriously. If you want to be treated as a professional, you need to behave as a professional. However, I think we are quickly on our way! The female fights have always stolen the show so the struggle isn't due to a lack of appreciation for female fighters. With promotions like Invicta FC stepping up and allowing women the opportunity for more exposure, I think the sport will pick up its momentum as well.
When do you think we will see women divisions in the UFC?
-I really have no guess on this one. It could be months, or it could be years. I think it really just depends on the mood of one person, right? LOL however, recent comments have hinted that Dana White is warming up to the idea.
What or who are your inspirations in MMA and life?
-My inspiration in life comes from my boys. The drive to make them proud to have me as their mom is my inspiration. Looking back, I have no clue what drove me in my earlier years prior to having them. Showing them that taking on a unique pursuit in life is extremely important to me. If they grow up to work in a cubicle because that is the life they want for themselves, than I'm happy with that. But if they want to pursue something else, I want to show them that it’s possible. And that personal journey, that unique pursuit for me is my inspiration in MMA. It’s quite the roller coaster!
Who are your favorite MMA fighters?
-My teammates, not because I'm biased or think they are better than anyone else, but because I am personally invested in each of their personal journeys. The success of their journeys is as important to me as my own is. I see their everyday struggles both in training and in their personal lives, and watching them overcome those and step into the ring, the cage, or onto the mat is so much more rewarding than watching ONLY the finished product of a fighter I don't know.
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?
-Ok, so outside of my fighter exterior, I'm a COMPLETE nerd. I adore reading and writing. I actually just finished writing my first fantasy novel and I am pitching it to an agent as soon as I get done with this fight.
Of course we have a few questions for the male readership as well.
Are you single?
-No LOL, I'm very happily committed to my mate.
What do you look for in a guy?
-Common goals and interests that we can support each other in, a success oriented mentality, a positive outlook, an entrepreneur mindset, active, healthy, rugged, capable, and funny. He HAS to be able to make me laugh. Make me laugh and it’s like a get out of jail free card from any argument :)
What are your turn-ons?
-A good smile, great sense of humor, and a positive outlook.
What are your turnoffs?
-Bad hygiene, negative mindset, and egos that can't be checked at the door.
What would you say is your best feature?
-Hmmmm...I think it all depends on preference, but I would say my eyes. I've always been complimented on the color of my eyes.
Any future plans or dreams?
-I want property in the mountains as soon as possible. I'm not a city girl. I hope to get my book published. And post fight career I would like to get into motivational speaking.
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-Always, always, always to Fusboxe. My team there is my family. To my parents for all their support, there is no way I could do this without them. My boys for their support as well and understanding when we have to postpone ice cream stops because Mom is cutting weight. And above all, to Michael Sullivan for being my confidence when my own is lacking, my balance when I'm feeling unstable, for driving me, supporting me, teaching me, and believing in me. I couldn't ask for a better coach, best friend, or person to turn to when I'm feeling lost.
Thank you very much for your time Maureen and good luck on fight night! For the latest and greatest on Maureen visit her website, blog, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter pages.