sPidA: You’ll be competing in your 2nd MMA bout come April 14th,what did you learn from your debut in Mixed Martial Arts?
Stephanie: I learned soooo much from that fight. I mostly learned that in MMA you can not be one dimensional but well rounded. I think I’m becoming more well rounded.
sPidA: You’ve stayed active in Grappling Tournaments ,would you say your strong point would be your grappling?
Stephanie: Yes, its definitely what I love to do. Its like a chess match on the ground. Being a smaller chick its fun to be able to hold bigger guys down or be able to make space, reverse position and tap them out despite the weight difference.
sPidA : With all due respect to your gym Urban Jungle, have you crossed trained any to prepare you for your upcoming bout at the Legacy Amateur event come April 14th?
Stephanie: Yes! I’ve actually worked with some great coaches from 4 oz fight club. Jeremy and Bob push me in different ways. Those guys have a passion for fighting and I love how welcome they have made me feel. I think its smart to have other coaches helping out and giving me pointers and also being able to spar with other females. I’ve worked with some other great female fighters like Jennifer Scott and Kristy Kester over at 4 oz. I recently started working with my old boxing coach Aaron Pena from Gracie Barra, but Urban Jungle is my home gym. Tony and Michelle are definitely the ones who have inspired me to become a personal trainer and a fighter.
sPidA : Working as a personal trainer, is it easier to stay motivated before any of your competitions?
Stephanie: I think so.I basically live in the gym. My co-workers are so supportive of my training. Everyone I work with is always giving me advice as to what I should be eating, how I should be training and also when I need to rest and recover. They also help passively stretch me out so that’s always nice.
sPidA: What athletes in Mixed Martial Arts/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu do you look up to for motivation, any that you would like to train with?
Stephanie: Marc Ramirez one of my teammates at Urban Jungle who is someone I look up to. He helps keep me motivated and when we hang out its mostly talking about fighting and training. Recently another fighter Justin Rieswerg whom I got to hang out with during his last fight camp, taught me a thing or two about fighting and nutrition. All the women I went to fight camp with last July in Vegas G2 seeing what they are all doing really helps motivate me. I got to train with Carla Esparza and she has become one of my favorite fighters and I sooooo love her style. I would love to train with her again.
sPidA: What are some of your goals outside of Mixed Martial Arts / Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Stephanie: Some of my goals are to finish school and open up my own Self defense gym that is geared toward women and children. I have such a passion for training and helping people out and changing lives for the better,
sPidA: You seemed to have really kept a strict diet to make weight, what will your first meal be after your bout come April 14th?
Stephanie: I have been sticking to a very strict diet. I’ve never had to diet before so its been tough since I love food but the thing I really want to have is a burger and a beer! =9
sPidA: With promotions like “Girls in Gi” making a wave for women in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, how much easier is it getting to cross train and meet other women that share the passion Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Stephanie: It is so much easier to train with women now. When I first started there were no women in my weight class at BJJ competitions. It was mostly guys. I’m so grateful that the sport is growing and we are now able to have such training available such as Girls in Gis. Its so different training with women than men. Our bodies just move differently. Makes it nice.
sPidA: Are your parents very supportive of what your doing both in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/Mixed Martial Arts? How do they feel about your choices in combat sports?
Stephanie: My parents are sooooo supportive of my training. They thinks its cool since I have such a passion for the sport. My dad likes watching MMA so its cool and brags about me to his friends. My grandfather was actually a pro boxer waaay back in the day so no wonder I like it. My mom wants to come to my fight but I don’t think I’m gonna let her. I think it would be too stressful.
sPidA: Thank you for your time Stephanie,wish you all the best, any last minute thank yous to those reading this?
Stephanie: I want to thank my coaches Tony and Michelle/Urban Jungle. My 4 oz coaches Jeremy and Bob and to all my teammates at both gyms. Tussle Fight Gear. Nokout, and everyone who supports me through it all. Last but not least sPidA for taking the time to interview me.