March 3rd 2017
Name – Kelly Vilarino
Nickname – Sub Machine Gun
Weight – 105 Pounds
Record – 3 Wins 1 Loss
Team – Ashland Jiu Jitsu Academy/Spartans Boxing
Where are you from ?
How long have you been training in Mixed Martial Arts ?
I have been training for 7 years
How did you end up getting into MMA ?
I saw a WMMA fight and thought I would like to be like the girl who won and try it.
Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
Sub Machine Gun Kelly Vilarino, I got the idea from George Francis Barnes Jr. or “Machine Gun Kelly” the bootlegger gangsta from the 1920’s. My husband threw” Sub” in front because I am small.. “Sub Machine Gun Kelly Vilarino”.
What was your defining moment when you knew you wanted to be a fighter ?
When I saw my first WMMA fight, I thought I wanted to be like that girl who was throwing hands. I thought, I have what it takes so I tried it.
When you decided to pursue a career in MMA what was the reaction of family and friends where they supportive of your decision ?
Some yes and some no.
What is your current record ?
3-1 amateur MMA, I will be making my pro debut.
What is your favorite strike, submission, or combination to use in a fight ?
I was a former college soccer player, so I love any combination that involves kickboxing.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
Two people: My husband Jesse “Stitch” Sumner, who also is a professional MMA fighter. He is very talented and has trained for so long. He has taught me everything I know, He also sustained a serious back injury fracturing his lower back, but yet works through the difficulties and finds a way to persevere. Maria “The Real Deal” Andaverde, This is the women who I first saw fight. Watched her throw hands and thought what a strong woman.. Not only an amazing fighter but also person and mother..She also has shown me perseverance.
What team do you train with ?
I mostly train with my husband, but bounce around between Ashland Jiu Jitsu Academy and Spartans Boxing both in Southern Oregon.
What does being a fighter mean to you ?
Being a fit strong woman, who can take care of herself in a bad situation or put up a good fight at least.
What weight do you fight at ?
Atomweight -105 pounds.
What do you think separates you from other 105 pound female fighters ?
Being an athlete. I played soccer into my young twenties, so conditioning your body for that long period of time. I am also tough and have a lot of heart which you can’t teach.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
Ayaka Hamasaki, she is the Atomweight champ of Invicta.
Who has been your toughest opponent to date ?
Denise Bruckner- Gillentine, very strong woman, her and I will be making our professional debuts the same night.
What is your mindset going into a fight ?
Stay confident, remember your training and take it to them!
Who are you fighting next ?
I will be fighting Grace “Thai Kitten” Cleveland.
What holes or weaknesses will you be looking to exploit in her game when you step in the cage ?
Wherever she wants to take it I will exploit those holes or weaknesses.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
An Atomweight with KO power, who is tough and very exciting fighter to watch.
Who has had the biggest influence on you and your career ?
Maria “The Real Deal” Andaverde.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on women’s MMA and why ?
Well hate to say the same name over again but Ronda Rousey, she started turning heads and most importantly Dana Whites. I feel like veterans of the sport like Tonya Evinger are very impactful as well and deserve more credit.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
MMA, but I love to strike.
What drives or motivates you to step in the cage and compete ?
To show the world your potential and strive for greatness, not just mediocrity, you only got one life to live.
What is something people might not know about you ?
I have an identical twin sister who is a professional women’s football player.
What do you think you would be doing today if you had never found MMA ?
Playing some sort of other sport or traveling.
What gets you mentally prepared for a fight ?
Do you have any rituals that get you ready to step in the cage ?
Getting my hair braided it makes me feel like a warrior.
Your backstage about to walk out your music hits whats going through your head as you walk out ?
Here we go let’s do this!
Who is your favorite fighter ?
Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Maria Andaverde.
When you’re not training what do you enjoy doing in your free time ?
Hang out with my cats and anything outdoors.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Winning the Budo Fights Atomweight Title via KO in the first round.
What do you think some of the biggest challenges are for women in MMA ?
People taking you seriously based on that you are a women and not always but usually small.
What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
Train ladies train and have fun!
Where do you see women’s MMA in 5-10 years ?
Progressing as it is doing now.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?
Hopefully the Atomweight champ of a world renowned MMA organization.
What are your goals in the sport ?
To be an Atomweight champion.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or give a shout out to ?
34. My husband Jesse Sumner, Maria Andaverde, Ash Davis, Scot Davenport Amanda Bell, Morgan George and all the people who have shown me support in my MMA journey.
To follow Kelly and keep up with all her late breaking fight news click the link below to check out her fan page.