October 28th 2016
Name – Miranda Maverick
Nickname – Fear The Maverick
Weight – 115-125 pounds
Record – 7 wins 1 loss
Team – Springfield Fight Club
Where are you from ?
How long have you been training ?
I started Mixed Martial Arts August 2015.
How did you get in to MMA ?
I started out learning self-defense from my dad, then discovered my strength while dabbling in various sports, and once I saw women’s MMA hit the big screens, I knew I had to try it.
Tell us about your nickname and how you got it
My nickname is currently “Fear The” Maverick for now because my name describes me anyway; I am not the typical cage fighter. My coach started telling me to make them fear me and then it eventually stuck. As a born and raised farm girl, I’m sure I will find something more fitting, but who knows!
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ?
Participating in strength sports and always competing with (and often beating) the boys, along with my dad watching MMA with me, telling me I could be the world champion, really got me interested. It wasn’t until I came to a gym where I was the smallest person and the only girl, and was still able to hold my own against the men, that I made my final decision to devote my efforts to MMA.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA ?
My dad: 100%, although he never pushed me into any of it. In fact, he always reminds me that if I quit, he would not mind because my journey has already surpassed his expectations. He is always preparing me though, giving words of wisdom, and critiquing every decision and move I make. My younger siblings might be a little envious at this point, but they love practicing with me at home and watching me compete. My mom is also center stage when it comes to capturing my moments of victory, always there to give me what I need and record the action. Many of my friends and other family members started out doubting how far I would go or thought MMA was no environment for a girl with so many other options, but I think most have jumped on the bandwagon by now!
What is your current record ?
My current record is 7-1-0 as an amateur.
What is your favorite strike or submission ?
I love the armbar, but also any power strikes such as knees, uppercuts, and hooks.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My father as he has made a successful life for himself with the blessings God has granted him, despite the challenges he faced throughout. He is always there to guide me in the right direction.
What team do you train with ?
Springfield Fight Club is the place I call home as far as MMA is considered. I have been to several gyms, but the people at SFC are top-notch, treating everyone equally and allowing advancement opportunities at every turn if the individual is willing to work to obtain new skills. The knowledge and commitment of the coaches and members combined is phenomenal.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
I have gotten comfortable in both positions. My power on the feet gives me an advantage, but I am very confident in my grappling and jiu-jitsu skills. I like to act in the moment… wherever the fight goes, I will oblige the circumstances.
What does being fighter mean to you ?
Being a successful young woman in this sport is a big responsibility. With a high like the feeling of having my hand raised after an all-in physical battle, the low is equally as drastic. It is sickening, for it is a feeling of utter failure to lose in such an individual sport where it is only yourself to blame. I can never let anyone down and I feel that I must set a good example of sportsmanship, respect, humbleness, and humility. With children, women, and even men who I know look up to me watching me, I feel pressure to give it my all, to be their inspiration just as they are unknowingly my motivation. Even more so, being able to succeed as my favorite person watches is an amazing feeling, for I feel as though my dad can live his dreams that he never had a chance to achieve thru my own. Also, fighting and being successful in doing so is a point of pride for me, showing all of those who ever doubted my dreams that I CAN AND I HAVE achieved the goal that was thought to be a fantasy.
What weight do you fight at ?
I fight anywhere from 115-125lbs.
what do you think separates you from other fighters in your division ?
My strength developed from a young age by working on a farm and an intelligent mindset give me an advantage. I train with men as well, who hurt me worse and hit me harder than my opponents ever will. And, as an added plus, I am used to being pushed to the limits by the unique way I was raised to always self-motivate, self-discipline, and pray. Every other positive will soon follow.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against and why ?
Whoever is at the top of the food chain in my weight division at any given time! …or any criminal who needs a good beating haha!
Who has been your toughest opponent to date?
The fight I had in Colorado against Samantha Gilliland (my one loss). I was not prepared for the change in elevation and out of immaturity and inexperience I got discouraged when I wasn’t able to end it fast.
On top of being a fighter and keeping up with training you are also an honor student can you tell us how you keep up with both ?
Basically, I know how to manage my time and prioritize. Every minute of every day I am doing something with purpose. I have always been successful academically and will not allow failure in college due to laziness. My training at the gym accounts for most of my afternoons plus I work out in any remaining free time; it is my passion, my dream, and a part of me to compete so I make time and use it wisely.
What is your mindset going into a fight ?
I imagine that I am already the world champion and everyone I fight is just a pawn. I also see the opponent as my enemy when I walk into the ring, trying to rip my dream away from me. The thought of another woman kicking my butt is unthinkable to me, as it must be, leading up to a fight. I have been through harder work, more discipline, more brutal training, and have more strength and cardio. The point is… be CONFIDENT and have FAITH. I always pray multiple times throughout training and then right as the bell is sounded to begin.
Who are you fighting next ?
Samantha Diaz who was 5-0 as an amateur.
what holes or weaknesses do you see in her game that you can exploit when you step in the cage ?
I see a lot of holes in her striking, take down methods, and ground game, which I plan on capitalizing on☺
What promotion are you fighting for ?
Date and time of your next fight ?
November 18th in Kansas City, MO. I am the opening bout for the Invicta FC 20 card.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
Being a good Godly person at the end of it all who gave 100%, inspired many to learn some form of self-defense, encouraged women and children to push themselves to the limit, and came out fighting strong from a young age.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My dad is the most influential person to me at every turn, but to give credit where credit is due, my two main coaches and corners from Springfield Fight Club have helped mold this glob of clay. Nathan Stamburski is the man who has orchestrated the fine points of getting me into MMA, as well as trained me from rock bottom in standup, figuring out all of my flaws and weaknesses, and capitalizing on them before my opponent does. Brett Welcome, my other coach, on the other end of the martial arts spectrum, in my mind anyway, is the person who critiques my ground game, and always plays the role of father-figure, trying to point out negatives and reality to keep me focused. I can keep going, but I will mention more of my SFC “friends” soon.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport ?
Ronda Rousey, no doubt, is the true pioneer of women’s MMA, she managed to get it to center stage on the UFC platform.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
I am unorthodox, for I have learned to switch stances and have a wide range of tools in my tool set. I will admit though, I love the ground game with ground and pound and submissions I can rain down at will.
What drives or motivates you to step in the cage and compete ?
The pressure of having so many people I care about watching me who are inspired by my journey, alongside the unexplainable feeling of having my hand raised makes it hard NOT to compete. The possibility of achieving success on a grand scale in the sport and being able to make a living with the very thing I am most passionate about is a motivator in and of itself.
What is something people might not know about you ?
I am an artist, owning and running my own business Art of the Maverick since age 11 doing pencil sketching and silhouettes.
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
The same thing minus fighting: Going to college, with maybe a more extreme workload and involvement in a few organizations. I would spend more time with my other hobbies like drawing, reading, and writing poems too.
What gets you mentally prepared for a fight do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to step in the cage ?
I sleep a lot in the early hours of fight day. Between physicals and warming up, I listen to soft music and rest, drinking water. I always have a Subway sandwich for lunch that day, and peanut butter and honey with granola as an energy boost before I warm up. After warming up, more music, a team prayer, several individual prayers and self-motivating thoughts, and then the walkout. I feel the most comfortable when my dad is right there to hug and punch on before my name is called.
your backstage about to walk out your music hits what’s going through your head as you walk to the cage ?
The worry is gone. It is just me… and that enemy… who dares think they can take away my dream. Every second of my life contributed to the moment I step in the ring. Personal thoughts toward my opponent run thru my head, such as: I have been hurt worse and put through more hell in training than you could ever make me experience. You will wonder what hit you in few seconds, for you have never went up against me. As selfish and unlike me as that seems, I am confident, alongside thoughts of every technique I know and acting out various game plans in my head as I stare across the cage.
Who is your favorite fighter ?
Georges St. Pierre has amazing technique and style, Brian Stann has my utmost respect for his devotion to the military, charities, and the Lord, along with any others who spread their Christianity by living right. Tecia Torres is also a great athlete in the women’s division, and I like Miesha Tate’s attitude and dynamic fighting style.
When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
What free time?! The rare instances I do get free time, it is spent with my family on our farm, alone drawing, writing, or reading a book, or with my head on my pillow taking advantage of sweet sleep.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Getting a call from Invicta to make my pro début with them and sign a contract after just turning 19.
What do you think the biggest challenges are for women in MMA ?
It will never change, but the two sides of sexism make being a woman in MMA hard. On one hand, there are those who hold traditional beliefs that fighting is wrong. Women should wear dresses, submit to the opposite sex, and work in the kitchen or some easy stable job, raising a family. On that same note, many women closer to my age try to make me feel guilty for hitting people and say how it is just wrong to train with so many men, many labeling me as many undesirable stereotypes. Because of the historic, and oftentimes, true stereotype that women are fragile and weak, I have also experienced many instances where men underestimate my toughness, durability, and ability, at first making it difficult to train to my potential. Girls have to prove themselves to be accepted in any physical challenges (which begins in P.E. at 7 years old when the girls are picked last for teams) which requires even more effort. On the other side of sexism, many women are sexualized in the sport, which is much of the attraction to WMMA, to the dismay of many women.
What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
Do something that is different, be unique, if you want to be recognized. And get used to being the nail; in practice I am typically the smallest, one of the weakest, and usually the only woman, which actually helps me. Don’t get discouraged by losses, especially in practice. Training with bigger stronger better people makes women your own size much easier to handle.
Where do you see women’s MMA in the next 5-10 years ?
I see many more women getting involved, with many more women-only gyms opening up and strength sport teams for women (lifting, wrestling, judo, etc.) becoming more common.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?
I see myself in the top world rankings. If I stay at MMA that long and have not made it there, I do not see a point in continuing. I will always enjoy it on the side, but will have my career goal backed by my schooling to fall back on.
What are your goals within the sport ?
To go as far as I can as fast as I can, with successful wins.
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
Springfield Fight Club has made a huge impact on me as a person and fighter. It is a place I have grown in and gained many friends. My coaches Nathan Stamburski and Brett Welcome have been great and focused on me. My main training partners and those who have assisted me along the way are numerous, but I will give a shout out to the key ones including Dallas Jackson, Sandra Barrientos, Hunter Edwards, Roman Graessler, Brian Pearlman, Charley Richardson, Garrett Armfield, and tons more (you know who you are). Also my family, especially my dad, has been the central support system for me. And to the Lord: thank you for each and every opportunity I have had. This has been and will continue to be an awesome journey!
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