“I remember ‘Thrilla in Manila,’” she said, recalling the third fight between Ali and Frazier. “I was nine years old. That was the biggest event of my whole life. I knew it was bigger than everything, and those moments impacted me, so, as I grew, I feel like if MMA, women in MMA were a viable sport like it is now when I was 10 years old, I’ve probably would have taken that path as a way to channel my own hurts, my own demons, my own pains, would have found a positive way to channel that.”
And if you are wondering what kind of fighter she would have been, there is no doubt in her mind.
“Would have been a striker!” she said. “Would have been the best outlet for some of my anger frustrations I had as a kid. I think I would have chosen MMA over English boxing because there so many art forms that are at play, and I think that’s what for me makes the sport so exciting. When women became a part of MMA, Ronda Rousey, and Miesha Tate, and Cat Zingano, all those girls came to the scene, I was widely excited by that. And I thought (if) this would have been an opportunity for me when I was younger, I definitely would have. I just connected to it. I’m still happy to see these women doing what they are doing in such a big way, and anything I can do to support it, I’m always looking to do.”
So, it was just a matter of time for her to get her hands in a project involving two of her biggest passions, and even take it further, because her next film, Bruised, will mark her debut as director. She has started camp properly for it, researching the mind and motivations of MMA fighters, spending time with them not just training, but looking deeply at their processes.