The Re-birth of Roxyfighter
May 28th was one of the turning points in my MMA career, and in my life. It was the day I beat Valerie Letourneau to earn my place in the Ultimate Fighter 18 house.
It broke my 5-fight losing streak, and gave me confidence in myself again that I can still hang in there and win. It was so important mentally for me, but ironically, that fight doesn’t count on my official record. Therefore, sherdog.com shows me with a 6-fight losing streak, which bugs me.
In the TUF house, I learned so much. I had hoped to learn more striking, but I learned lots of wrestling and jiu-jitsu.
I adored my coaches. I learned how to cut weight by watching those around me struggle. I made friends and relationships, and shared experiences we will never forget.
I grew as a person. One thing I realized was that I tend to be a little self-sacrificing. I’m too nice sometimes. Should I change myself? No. I decided that someone with a Disney-child-like niceness CAN survive in this world as long as I protect myself.
Like innocent Plato and Ralph the dog. They were assaulted and abused. But they survived.
Therefore, I made a few private vows to myself after several incidents.
“Rise up. Get stronger. Fight again.” That’s the sign I made for Plato after he was assaulted and abused. Then I added, “Don’t back down.”
Yes, Plato is flicking off the camera.
No, the bruising all over my face is not from a fight.
(if you are curious as to know about the assault, check out these youtube videos:
After I got out of the house, my life changed. I applied those vows to my daily life, and it was hard, but better. I’m first. My life revolves around me. No more working overtime for free. Care about ME first.
Since I had lost, there was no guarantee I’d be chosen to be on the undercard of the TUF 18 finale, but I decided to risk it. I quit my job I loved, left the country and friends I loved, and moved back to the US.
To Las Vegas, no less, on Bryan Caraway’s recommendation. My father freaked out. My mother almost immediately offered to join me. So I moved in September 2013, and my mother joined me in October.
I visited a few gyms and was actually just about to join one, when I visited Syndicate MMA to honor a promise to my friend Amanda Lucas (Hallikainen). There, I met Heather Clark and John Wood. Heather and I clicked, John’s coaching style resonated with me, and I fell in love with the gym.
This picture is hanging on my wall. Members in this picture have since changed around a bit.
I learned so much. I was chosen to fight in the finale against my former teammate.
She had said that I didn’t train hard. I’ll show her that I train hard! I trained so hard through injuries, and made it to the finale. And I lost by decision. But I was so proud of my performance.
I knew I had improved, and I knew I had to keep going. John Wood is an awesome coach. “We can keep your striking style awkward and work with it,” he assured me, and he has.
Back in the US, I can buy things cheaply. I get recognized wherever I go in Vegas, especially Walmart! I’m recognized 90% of the time I go into Walmart. lol I’m so happy when people say hi, or message me on Facebook or twitter or where ever. I’m honored that people want to talk to me. 🙂
For fun, I watch anime – lots and lots of anime.
And write a Japanese blog once a week. It helps me keep up with my Japanese language skills. I only am able to really speak on Skype to one Japanese friend, since the time difference is so backwards. I miss Japan so much and want to visit.
I teach kid’s jiu-jitsu classes at Syndicate in the afternoon, write for MMAsucka.com, and do marketing for several sponsors. Good thing I saved up some money from my job in Japan. I always had it in the back of my mind, funny enough, that someday I might want to stop working to fight, and I had to have money in the bank to support myself. I therefore never bought expensive stuff, I never traveled, never went on long vacations, never went to expensive restaurants. Let’s see how far I can stretch it.
I’ve been training hard, just waiting for another chance to fight. I hope I fight soon….
I still love my gym. I’ve been training a lot with Jamie Moyle, who is just about go to pro and will rock the pro 115 division.
I can’t believe it’s been one year already. I achieved one of my life goals that I had from the very beginning – fight in the UFC.
It was more like a dream, because a goal has to be possible, and when I had my dream, there were no women in the UFC. I have more goals and dreams and I’m continuing to chase them every day. Thank you for reading, and for sharing this time with me as I follow my dreams.…