Stephanie Joplin Sports, is a contributing writer for Legacy Fighting Championship and has trained in Muay Thai at Revolution Dojo Houston under Uriel “Woody” Figueroa. We recently caught up with Stephanie for the interview below to learn a little more about her.
Prior to working in the sport of MMA what were you doing?
-I graduated from The University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2006 with a degree in Hotel Administration. I have held jobs since then at companies like Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Mandarin Oriental. I am currently working as a private events manager at The Tasting Room Wine Café in Houston.
How did you get into the world of MMA?
-Working in MMA came completely by chance. I had started tweeting quite a bit about Houston sports: Rockets basketball, Texans football and Aeros hockey. A few of my followers suggested that I start a sports blog, which I named “DreamShakeBarbie,” after Hakeem Olajuwon’s signature move. I had some great feedback, but nothing compared to an interview I did with my first MMA fighter, Houston’s own Andrew Craig. I hardly knew anything about the sport, but after I saw the reaction from the readers, I knew there was a niche to be filled. I decided to expose myself to the sport as much as I could and, thankfully, my work got noticed pretty quickly. I changed the name of my company and website to Stephanie Joplin Sports, and Legacy FC brought me on as a contributing writer in January 2013.
Who have been some of your favorite MMA interviews so far?
-This is a tough question! Some of my favorites were my first interview with War Machine (still the most viewed on my site to date), my interview with Renzo Gracie (named “GOAT” by the UG) and my interview with Pete Spratt for Legacy FC 23. I think I might also have to add my interview with Matt Riddle, where he called Dana White a “bald juice monkey” and that he didn’t know sh*t about MMA. That was a good one.
Who are your favorite MMA fighters?
-You’re killing me. Even more tough than the last question! Michael Bisping, Chad Mendes, Ronda Rousey, TJ Dillashaw, Michael Chiesa, Andrew Craig, Luke Rockhold, Mike Bronzoulis and Holly Holm.
Are you a fan of the ladies competing in MMA and why?
-Absolutely I am a fan of WMMA. I look at a WMMA bout the same way I do if males were competing in the cage. They leave it all out there; there are no frills. I think fans are coming around to it more so than they were previously. If it’s good enough for Dana White and the UFC, then we should all be able to embrace women competing in the sport.
You do a little bit of martial arts training yourself, what do you train in and will we see you in the cage or ring someday?
-I do train! Well, I did. I had been training Muay Thai nearly a year when I was injured in March. I have been sidelined ever since with two herniated disks and severe nerve impingement. The doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to return to the sport, but I think differently. Currently, I am on my sixth or seventh specialist and have yet to find a solution, but you can bet your ass I will absolutely have at least one amateur bout in my lifetime. I train at Revolution Dojo Houston and my coach is Uriel “Woody” Figueroa, along with coaches Nethaneel and Samuel Mongonia. I am very proud of all the accomplishments my teammates have made in amateur Muay Thai this year. I just wish I could be with them all the time.
What or who are your inspirations in MMA and life in general?
-There are very few women who are successful in this sport, but I am fortunate that I can call two of them my friends. Stephie Daniels and Breanna Armstrong are very strong and incredibly sharp-witted, intelligent MMA journalists. They have had my back since I first started this endeavor. Tommy Toehold is another person who has really helped me cultivate my own “style.” Although he never reveals his identity, I can tell you he is one of the most kind-hearted people you would ever meet. One day, I would like to be a “Loretta Hunt” or a “Karyn Bryant.” I want to share my passion for MMA with the world.
Do you have any advice for aspiring sports and MMA journalists?
-Of course I do! First of all, you cannot be shy. Ask questions. Also, get some thick skin, because as soon as you put yourself out there, there will be people who don’t like you and won’t hesitate for one second to let you know. It just is what it is. Let them hate you and waste their energy. Hold your head high, smile, and know that, for you, it’s about the sport and hard work. That’s it.
What is something most people don't know about you?
-I am fluent in French and Italian and I really like straws.
How do you enjoy your free time?
-I spend the majority of my free time with my family; they are my whole world. I don’t go out to bars or clubs, so you can find me watching a movie or on the couch watching Friday night fights with my miniature dachshund, Griffin. I also go back to Vegas quite often; this year alone I’ve made five trips up there for fights or to see friends.
Any future plans or dreams?
-I dream of making my family proud. I am pretty happy the way things are right now, career-wise, but if a big publication were to knock on my door, I would be over the moon.
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-I would like to thank all of my sponsors: International Stoneworks, Inc., Future Legend, The Tommy Toehold Show and ProFormance Custom Mouth Guards. I would also like to thank the Legacy FC team for making me feel like family since the very first day I walked in to live-tweet a fight card. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my loving parents and my little sister, Jacqueline, who has spent countless hours editing various MMA articles and interviews over the past year.
Thank you very much for your time Stephanie and keep up the great work in the MMA world! For more on Stephanie Joplin check her out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and stop by her website for more great interviews.