June 24th 2016
Name – Cassandra Durant
Nickname – The Girl
Weight – 125 Pounds
Record – 5 wins 3 losses
Team – Staple’s Karate Studio
Where are you from ?
I live in Rome NY.
How long have you been training ?
I have been training for 15 years.
How did you get in to MMA ?
After I earned my black belt in taekwondo I began training in various grappling styles. And after competing in grappling tournaments I felt ready to start competing in mma fights.
When did you know you wanted to be a fighter ?
I’ve pretty much always wanted to fight. I was 15 years old when I saw mma fighting. Right away I knew that was the kind of fighting I wanted to do.
Tell us about your nickname how you got it ?
Well there wasn’t many if any girls in my Karate class as a kid. So my teacher began referring to me as “girl”. Years later after training with that same teacher, I was trying to pick out my fight name. After trying 100s of different ones I jokingly said well you always call me “girl” so how about “The Girl”? He loved it.
What is your current record ?
What is your favorite strike or submission ?
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My head teacher/coach Kurt Staple. He has accomplished so much and I hope to be as great of a martial artist as he is one day.
What team do you currently train with ?
Staple’s Karate Studio.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
Either one is fine.
What does being a fighter mean to you ?
Being a fighter means I get to show people what I’m made of.
I get to use the skills I’ve been developing since I was a child and I get to be a role model.
What weight do you fight at ?
135, 130, and 125. I have made 125 my home.
what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
I’m always smiling and skipping out to the cage. I just really enjoy being a fighter.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
Bruce Lee of course.
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Not sure I can pick just one.
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
This is what I’m meant to be doing.
This is my calling.
Who are you fighting next ?
I don’t know yet.
what holes or weaknesses do you see in their game that you can exploit ?
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I want to be remembered as the best pound for pound fighter, but also a good honest respectful person.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My teacher/coach Kurt Staple.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport ?
Ronda Rousey, she definitely got wmma on the map.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
Ameri do te.
What drives or motivates you ?
I want to be the best, but I also want to be the role model I never had. So both of these factors motivate me to be the person and fighter I am.
What is something people might not know about you ?
Most people don’t know that I am an artist. I love drawing and painting.
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
I wanted to be a stunt double for movies, so maybe I would have done that.
What gets you hyped up for a fight do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to go to battle ?
I like to eat snacks and really just focus on what needs to be done.
Who is your favourite fighter ?
it changes with time but right now I’d have to say Anthony Pettis, GSP, and Dominic Cruz.
When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
I like to be outside, at the beach, hiking some trails. But most of the time I am working to support my mma career.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Being part of the first women’s mma fight in central NY.
What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
Take your time, don’t rush your first fight. Make sure you put in the training first.
Where do you see women’s mma in the next 5-10 years ?
Hopefully the UFC will open up more women’s divisions and more female fighters will enter the sport.
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
Yes all my coaches/teachers, training partners, sponsors, family, and friends. I couldn’t do it without you guys!