What inspired you to get into MMA? What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had?
Towards the end of high school, I was floating around between living with family. I finally ended up in Las Vegas, NM, with my grandma. She has been a karate practitioner for most of my life. Her sensei was looking for a sparring partner for his daughter, so I volunteered since I was looking to get active to lose weight. I got beat up a lot but continued to train and practice. A few years passed and I relocated back to Albuquerque and started to pursue to compete in fighting. I would definitely say the biggest challenge has been staying consistent and committed since going pro. My career had definitely started out super rocky and going years in between fights and not coming out successful with a win is very frustrating. This year has been my most active year as a professional and I’m hoping to end with 2 wins and 2 losses to close out the year, and to continue to rebuild my record.
Congratulations on your recent win! What would you say to younger fighters about the power of perseverance?
The advice I’d have to give to younger fighters is that perseverance is key to having a fight career. A lot of us give up when things aren’t easy, and fighting will test everything about you to see if you really are committed to succeeding in the sport. Ultimately, I think the people who stick it out through the rough stuff are eventually rewarded for the stubbornness. So, hang tight even if the road’s bumpy and don’t quit on yourself.
There are certainly some talented female fighters out there. What is it like making a name for yourself in a typically male-dominated sport? Any advice for young women that may want to follow your lead?
It’s honestly something crazy to think about. I think if you asked me at the end of high school what I’d be doing I wouldn’t have told you a pro fighter. I’ve always been a little competitive, so being in a male-dominated sport trying to make a name for myself is rewarding. I think being a woman and fighting not only shows that I belong here, but that a lot of us are moms and raising kids. So, it just shows how determined females are and I take great pride in that. For young female fighters: stick to your values and to yourself, because this sport will definitely try and change you!
Earlier this year the UFC announced they would no longer punish MMA fighters for cannabis use outside of competitions. What are your thoughts on cannabis use in professional sports? Do you feel like it has positive impacts on recovery?
In my honest opinion, I don’t think any sport should test for THC. I think Tylenol and Advil can only do so much and that CBD is great. But I think just from being able to use, I know that CBD or even a flat THC dose really helps my body recover when I’m super sore or tensed up. I think it’s awesome that the UFC is no longer testing—the only tricky part is that we do still have to stop closer to fights depending on the state’s athletic commission and their set rules in THC.
As producers of medical THC products prepping for an adult-use market, we’re constantly fighting the stigma of cannabis use. How do you think we can begin to reverse the negative stigma surrounding cannabis use in the world of sports?
I think we can change the stigma by speaking up more. I feel like there’s just a lot of negativity around THC and marijuana products that a lot of pro athletes use it but shy away from being open about it because of the judgment that comes with it. I think that’s why I’m so open about my usage being a mom and everything else. I think who I am as a whole shows that I’m a person who uses THC to help me, and not just a mom who’s a pothead.
We know you’re in camp for your upcoming fight in early December. What are some of your favorite Everest products you’d like to have or try for the day after the fight?
I always head into Everest when I get home from my fights and get edibles and some concentrate. I use concentrate regularly to medicate throughout the day when I’m not in fight camp and pre-fight camp. My go-tos are Supernova OG and Top Dawg. Last but not least, I’ll get some Derived cherry gummies to help with any soreness or swelling. I use these regularly while training and also to help with sleep!
Don’t miss Amanda in her upcoming fight night on Saturday, December 11th!