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June 28th 2016

Fighter Profile
Name – Victoria Leonardo
Nickname – The School Teacher
Weight – 125 pounds
Record – 3 wins 0 losses
Team – Karate Mafia

Where are you from ?
Shreveport, Louisiana. I was born in New Jersey but I’ve lived in Louisiana since I was 4.

How long have you been training ?
Specifically MMA, about 1 ½ years. But I’ve done Martial Arts my whole life.

How did you get in to MMA ?
I did Kung-Fu as a kid. I got back into it as an adult. I’ve always loved martial arts and fighting plus I have an older brother and when we were kids he would beat me up. So ive always been aggressive and I wanted to transition from traditional martial arts to full contact. At the time there was a coach training boxing and wrestling at the Kung-Fu school and I started training with him. Eventually he took me over to Karate Mafia, where I fight out of now.

Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
Three actually. My name when I enter the cage is “the school teacher” because well… I am a school teacher. During my second fight the commentator was talking about it and it just kind of stuck. I also get called “Vicious Vicky” and “Fury.”

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ? Like I said I’ve been into Martial Arts since I was a kid. I’ve always been a fighter in some shape or form. So a defining moment is really a tough one.

Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA ?
Some of them were a little worried. My mom especially doesn’t want to see me get hurt and won’t come see me fight. But I do have support from my family and friends and a lot of them were there for my first fight, including my dad.

What is your current record ?

What is your favorite strike or submission ?
I really like the RNC.

Who is your biggest inspiration ?
It’s hard to say that I have a “biggest” inspiration. I find inspiration from a lot of people. From the guys and girls that show up at the gym and train really hard day in and day out to the little 8-year-old girl who is learning jujitsu for the first time to the girls fighting in Invicta and the UFC who have paved the way for us.

What team do you train with ?
Karate Mafia.

Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
I think mentally I am prepared to fight either way but I have a tendency to take it to the ground.

What does being fighter mean to you ?
Being a fighter means having the mentality of a fighter in all areas of life. Having that “I’m gonna take life head on, work hard, not give up, never quit and seek to continually improve myself…”

What weight do you fight at ?
125 pounds.

What separates you from other fighters ?
My aggressiveness. I have training partners who are women, they are pros training on an Elite
level. I have coaches that have experience and really understand MMA.

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against
There isn’t any particular girl who I’ve dreamed of fighting. I’ve daydreamed about making it to the UFC and fighting for a title.

Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
My toughest fight has been the weight cut. After that is the easy part. But if I had to pick one out of the three…I guess the first one just because of the unknown. It being the first time in the cage and not knowing what it would be like.

What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
I’m going to give this 110%!!! This is my cage and I don’t want you in it!!!

Who are you fighting next ?
Tanika Waldroup out of Texas.

what holes or weaknesses do you see in their game ?
She is tall. I think she’ll be weak on the inside and in the clinch compared to me.

What promotion are you fighting for ?
Battleground 1.

Date and time of your next fight ?
July 16th in Monroe Louisiana.

What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I want to be known as a great fighter a champion who brought it every time she stepped into
the cage but I also want to be known as a great person outside of the cage, who loved God and treated people with respect.

Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
I have a whole team of people who have molded and shaped me as a fighter so to pick one would be tough. Time will tell I guess…

Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport ?
There have been many females who have paved the way and had an impact because without
women like Gina Carano, Rhonda Rousey, Miesha Tate and Christiane “Cyborg” Santos women’s MMA might not have come as far as it has. They got it the attention it deserved.

How would you describe your fighting style ?
It’s a work in progress. I’m aggressive and a bit of a brawler but I’m working on adding some finesse to it.

What drives or motivates you ?
Becoming a better fighter because win or lose if you’re training hard and giving it your all you
will get better. I never step into the cage or ring exactly the same fighter that I was the last time. I want to get better and better.

What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
Maybe a painter or some kind of artist. I’ve always been artistic and talented in that area.

What gets you hyped up for a fight ?
I love seeing or hearing that one of my teammates won. It really gets me fired up!

Do you have any pre-fight rituals that get you ready to step in the cage ?
I don’t really have any rituals other than I walkout in the same pair of wrestling shoes I started out in.

your backstage about to walk out your music hits what’s going through your head as you walk to the cage ?
I used to b-line for the stage like I’m ready to wreck this girl. I still have that mentality but I’ve been trying to relax and enjoy it more.

Who is your favorite fighter ?
Mighty Mouse Johnson. He is so dominant in his weight class right now. He is a well-rounded fighter who is humble but enjoys himself in the cage. I love watching him
When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
I like to draw and paint and spend time with family and friends.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
I don’t really have any huge accomplishments yet but I hope to soon.
What do you think the biggest challenges are for women in MMA ?
Maybe a mixture of different things. Sometimes a lack of support and lack of training partners that are at the right level and body type.

What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
My advice to females wouldn’t be any different from males. Train hard, don’t give up and keep pressing forward.

Where do you see women’s mma in the next 5-10 years ?
In the next 5 to 10 years I see women’s MMA becoming more and more popular. I would like to see the UFC get more weight classes for women like they do in Invicta. The number and level of female fighters is only going to grow!

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years
In five years I’d like to be a pro fighter on some big cards fighting for as many titles as I can get my hands on.

What are your goals within the sport ?
My goal is to get better in every aspect of the sport. I’m going to grappling tournaments and
kickboxing tournaments as well as fighting when I can. I guess the next step would be to get an Amateur title. That would be really cool.

Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
I’d like to thank all my coaches and training partners at Karate Mafia, Elite Combat Academy and Jake Dement’s Old School Boxing.

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