Midwest Fight League in Booneville, Missouri. We recently caught up with Melissa prior to her bantamweight title fight this Friday for the interview below to learn a little more about her.
How long have you been training in MMA?
-I've been training for about 2 years but had a few Injuries that had me down for short times.
Where are you currently training, and what’s a typical training week like for you?
-I train at THE FIGHTERS GYM in Poplar Bluff, Missouri under the coaching and instructions of Don Bell, Randy Johnson, and Paul Wells. A typical training week for me is wake up early when I get my girls up for school, do calisthenics and weight training. Work my day hours, and then MMA gym at 6:00.
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who you’re fighting and where?
-My upcoming fight is against Crystal Stevens. It's in Booneville, Missouri at the Isle of Capri Casino promoted by Robert Hullett.
What has been your best experience as a fighter? What has been your worst?
-My best experience as a fighter has been seeing how I can motivate other girls (grown or small) so that they can achieve their goals if they work hard for them. My worst experience has been losing my temper and losing sight of my own goals.
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-The best advice I can give other women who want to train and compete is, go for it. Show the nay Sayers that you can do it. The mind is a powerful thing and if you can convince yourself you can do something go out and get it. Nothing is Impossible.
What or who are your inspirations in MMA and life?
-My inspirations in MMA aren't even the fighters. It's the people I see fighting for their lives every day from some sort of illness. If they can do all this and not give up, I can do anything. My training and fighting is nothing compared to what they go through daily. My older brother passed away from Leukemia and he was my hero. He is still my biggest inspiration. All I do and strive for is in his honor and memory.
Who are your favorite MMA fighters?
-My favorite MMA fighters are GSP, Lyota Machida, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Cris Santos.
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?
-I don't have a lot of free time, but I love to watch my kids compete. My three girls Hannah, grace, and Danielle play basketball. Grace is 12 and has just begun MMA training this year. And my son Chris loves to Rope and is very active in FFA.
Any future plans or dreams?
-My future plans and dreams. That's a hard question to answer because I am living my dream now. It's not about money to me. I have a successful salon, beautiful home, loving husband, and great kids. I get to wake up every day and do what I enjoy. Fighting is at the top of my list. In the future I just want to see how far I can climb this ladder in WMMA. I plan to go far.
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-Shout outs to all my teammates at THE FIGHTERS GYM, 1DZD, my husband Tim, Hype Xtreme my main sponsor, Wes Bye at Cash City, Jarod Rogul my manager, and Lynn Hart Jr. who is part of my management.
Thank you very much for your time Melissa and good luck on fight night! Send your shout outs to Melissa on Twitter!