Debi is a highly successful athlete, MMA fighter, and business woman. She runs the biggest Women’s MMA website on the planet at FighterGirls.Com and has her own clothing line. She was trained by the one-and-only UFC great, Marco Ruas (Ruas Vale Tudo). The Combative Corner is privileged that Debi would take time out of her busy schedule to give us this exclusive interview. Thanks Debi! To learn more, visit Debi at here website by clicking the image above. Now for 10 Questions…
How did you know you wanted to compete professionally?
I was just happy to compete at all! (lol) In my time in the beginning, there was not a lot of opportunities… so we needed to create the opportunities. I believe once I decided I wanted to be a part of that creation the decision was made to fight professionally.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle standing in the way of more women competing in MMA?
Dana White. J/… I think the biggest obstacles are ourselves. (like in anything) In one way every girl wants a fight/ in another way she will take any fight and any pay just to get experience.
In another way the pay is not enough to be able to train. So just like the men, women get into it only to realize they can not train full-time to reach their maximum potential. Unlike, say, a baseball athlete who gets paid to train and reach his full potential. That can’t be said about MMA – especially with the women.
What, in your opinion, was your toughest match?
I’d have to say the match that you train for that never happens. That disappointment is beyond words. (lol) And I am fighting against myself really anyway so if I do not perform to maxim potential, that’s a hard pill to swallow. Every match is tough though. Usually the one you think wouldn’t be the toughest.
In your professional life, what has been your “crowning achievement”?
In MMA I think it has been pounding the pavement to get promoters to put women on cards when they didn’t want us there. That, and training to have the skill-level to earn the respect of the promoters to show it was worth it to them! I am also proud of fightergirls.com and for keeping it going despite the many times of financial and emotional losses.
What is it about yourself that has helped you become the champion you are?
Thank you for calling me a champion! (smiles) – “narcism at its finest” – Honestly I’d say my “drive to be the best I can be” and also, other people believing in & putting time into me when sometimes I may have not deserved it or believed in myself. I am truly lucky with that and have been blessed with having the most amazing people in my life who believe in me.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not training?
I absolutely LOVE to backpack. oh read. I read all the time!
What is the most important thing a woman needs to know if they are thinking about becoming a fighter?
First off – do it because you LOVE it! Find the strength within yourself to be the best you can be and don’t worry what anyone else thinks about it after that.
MMA is one of the toughest sports on the planet, how do you stay in tip-top shape?
Training, focus, determination and did I say TRAINING
Out of all the ladies you’ve fought, which one posed the most problems for you and why?
My toughest fight was Akano in Japan. One, because she tossed me on my ass with a sweet throw (hahaha)… and two, because the rules of Smack Girl is 30 seconds on the ground then stand up, no punching to the face, no knees, etc. This did not adhere to my style of mma fighting at all. I felt not at home and I also knew in Japan I had to EARN the win and not let it go to a decision. I let it go to the decision and well… once again disappointing myself. UGH!
Out of all the martial art movie stars & athletes (alive or dead), who would you like to “Have a go” at?
I’d fight Gina Carrano. I’d have loved to have had-a-go at Bruce Lee also, but more to learn then to “have a go” at it. lol.
Thank you Debi, we’ll forever be in your corner!
Hear what Debi had to say about “Bullying” as our Special Guest to our Roundtable Discussion – HERE –