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The Theba Thing: Women who like MMA | Community Spirit

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The Theba Thing: Women who like MMA
The Theba Thing: Women who like MMA

"The Theba Thing" is about stepping out of my comfort zone, meeting new people and trying the things that have been on my mind and heart.

I have watched Mixed Martial Arts for years now.  How did this happen?  Well, I was channel surfing one night and caught two men in this cage-like thing - called The Octagon - not just boxing; but kicking, wrestling and engaged in all of these other creative and amazing maneuvers.  I’m sure my interest to stop on this channel also had something to do with these incredibly-built, bare-chested men. I’m not going to lie.  

Nevertheless, I was amazed by the sport itself, because it’s so action packed. You couldn't count anyone out.  A guy could be taller or smaller; have major muscles or look like he’s never lifted a barbell. You just never knew who was going to win with a punch, a submission, a kick, or a leg-lock. Their skills and abilities kept me on the edge of my seat.  Now, my mother was in no way going to watch one minute of two people beating up each other for sport! But I was delighted to learn my dad and brother were fans as well, so we have fun talking on the phone or e-mailing each other during big fights.  In fact, my brother and I have set a goal to actually go to Las Vegas one day for a big title fight.

Through the years, I have learned that I am not the only woman who enjoys MMA.  In fact, one of my co-workers, THV reporter Jessica Duff, actually trains for fitness and is often ringside, cheering the fighters on.  I have been impressed and I felt comfortable talking to her about the sport. But I also know in the back of my head, this five-foot-tall powerhouse could kick my booty.

Just recently Jessica invited me to an MMA event, called Valentine's Massacre (now THAT sounds romantic!). My interest was piqued because I always wanted to go to one of these fights, and because of my commitment to "The Theba Thing".  So, I made the decision to go.  But, I wanted to go with purpose - to talk to women who like MMA, and ask them why they like the sport.

I arrived early at the MetroPlex Event Center in Little Rock this past Saturday night.  The line was already very long and, yes, I was pleased to see a bunch of women waiting.  Many were there to support a son, father or boyfriend on the fight card. 

Several were there with a loved one who liked the sport.  As I entered the event I was excited to see The Octagon where the fighters would use everything in their creative arsenal to get a win.  I walked around taking in the atmosphere and then was invited back stage where the fighters were warming up.  I respectfully kept my distance as they were intensely focused.

I also had the chance to meet a young lady from out of state who would be fighting.  I admitted to her that, though I respected what she did, I didn’t watch women fighters because it makes me too nervous.  She understood and then shared with me that this was her first amateur fight.  I wished her the best and made my way to the front where people were still coming in.  Needless to say, the place was packed – standing room only.

The event was put on by Kingdom Promotions and they put on a very professional and impressive night. It was evident these men and women were well trained. That’s what makes the fights very exciting, just like on TV.  I'm glad I stepped out of my out of my comfort-zone and was thrilled to learn I was in good female company.  So, we women who like Mixed Martial Arts are pretty sophisticated -- in a rough and tumble kind of way.

Jessica wanted me to pass on some helpful information for ladies who are interested in training, whether for competition or fitness. Contact Nathan Kirby, owner and coordinator of Kingdom Promotions, at kirbymma@gmail.com

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