you can find Moe on Facebook here
On Sept, 20th, 2013, I became a professional Muay Thai fighter. I fought on a Lion Fight Promotion card in Las Vegas and it was broadcast on national television. The card was stacked with very talented Thai fighters from around the world. Five different countries were being represented that night. To me, being able to go pro amongst these top notch fighters was an honor. The decision to go pro was not made spontaneously. I have been training Muay Thai since 2007. Looking back, I never would have been able to even imagine what I have accomplished in the past 6 years as an amateur. I decided to go pro because I believe I put my time in as an amateur. I spent the past 6 years fixing my technique after every fight regardless if I won. I even ventured into Brazilian Jiujitsu and MMA. I have fought in world tournaments in BJJ and Muay Thai and put myself against the best out there. I love to challenge myself. My fight before I went pro was an amateur MMA match against a very tough, strong opponent in October of 2012. It was a battle and my face took a beating. It was the first time my stand up was not helping me win the fight. That night, I learned a lot about myself. I learned I could take a beating and I learned my opponents would have to kill me to get me to quit. I had to take 6 months to recover from a concussion. The time off gave me a lot to think about. I decided, after that fight, it was time to do this professionally. Even though I lost the match to the decision, my first thought was to fix my mistakes. I never once thought, “I am done.” When I told my coach I wanted to go pro, he gave me the biggest smile and said he had been waiting for me to say those words. Once I said it out loud, I knew it would happen.
I believe in goal setting. If you ask for it, you shall receive it. It is a matter of what you want to do with it when the opportunity shows itself to accomplish that specific goal. I gave myself a time line. I told myself I would become a professional Muay Thai fighter before the end of 2013. Since I was taking a break from getting punched in the face (due to the concussion), I decided to focus on my BJJ until Worlds in May 2013. During Worlds, I got kicked in the face and my first opponent broke my nose. That was a first for me. I did win my match with a broken nose. I did not do as well as I wanted to at that tournament but I am also not scared to fail. I was pretty mad about having to take more time off but it did not stop me from getting back in the ring to start training for my pro fight. My coach and training partners were very supportive and tried their hardest not to punch me in the nose while it was healing. From June until September I trained my butt off. I was ready to go pro. I had my share of injuries, frustrating moments and self-doubt. Luckily, I have a huge support group that keeps me sane and everyone made sure I was training enough and not over training. I tend to over train sometimes. My training becomes an obsession.
During the weeks leading up to the fight, I trained whenever I had free time. Being a mother, my daughter comes first. I wake up every morning at 5:50 am regardless of what time I go to bed. I let my dogs out and get my daughter ready for school. She gets picked up from the bus at 7:06 am and as soon as I wave my last goodbye to her, I either run or do bag work in my garage. I trained with my coach mid day and trained again in the evening in my garage. I work at the gym I fight for as a personal trainer, kickboxing instructor and run two different strength and conditioning classes. I would get home from work around 8:00 pm, get my daughter ready for the next day, get her to bed and then head outside to do my rounds. There were many nights when all I wanted to do was go to sleep but I knew I needed to do my rounds. I kept telling myself that my opponent was training right now. The first few rounds of jump rope were always the hardest because my feet were tight and my body kept trying to tell me: “It’s too late! Just go inside and do it tomorrow.” I refused to agree because that meant I was being lazy. I always felt better when all my rounds were complete.
With the three hour time change from Vegas to Atlanta, I forced myself to train late at night. Some bad things about training late at night was not being able to go to sleep right way because my adrenaline is going. In order for me to go to bed, I would bust out the old college algebra book. Math always made me sleepy. That would help me think of other stuff besides fighting. If not, I would just lay there with my eyes closed but wide awake. I am positive my neighbors think I am a crazy woman for shadow boxing up my driveway hill at 10 pm or making my eshhing sounds when I hit the bag in my garage. For the three months leading up to the fight, I declined many social events. I am very strict with my diet before my fight, which can be difficult, because I love food. For me, it is very hard to watch people eat and drink as much as they want with no worry about how many pounds they could gain from all the sodium content. My husband calls it “my own personal hell. ” My daughter also hates it when I start cutting for a fight. She is constantly telling me,” After your fight, can we go to this restaurant?” Since I am in my 30’s, I have to really pay attention to how much I am eating and the quality of food that I am eating. The weight does not come off as easily anymore. I have to eat right and train hard or the weight stays the same. Even one cheat meal can mess me up and make me have to train even harder the following week to get back to where I was.
The only real con for going pro is having to travel more often. Since I have a family, leaving them can be tough. My husband is a firefighter and owns a Crossfit gym. He has a hectic schedule and we work as a team to make sure our daughter is taken care of. When I leave, everything is on him. He can handle it but it is very stressful. I am grateful for face time. I miss my daughter very much when I leave her. I call her my partner in crime. She goes everywhere with me. She has seen me train since she was 9 months old. She has gone to many of my training sessions and is such a good little girl most of the time. She is 7 years old and in second grade. She knows that when Mommy has a fight, it is serious mode. Right before my fight in Vegas, I face timed my husband. They were at his Crossfit gym and he was about to coach a class. As I was talking to my baby, I started getting all teary eyed. I held it in so she would not see. I know what I do is dangerous. I know I can get hurt. It is a thought that creeps in to my mind but it goes away the moment I step into that ring.
Fighting for Lion Fight promotions is an amazing experience. Even as an amateur, Scott Kent and Christine Toledo, treat you well. I felt like I was a super star when I was over there. To experience Fremont Street, having my first outdoor fight with full rules in Vegas on national television is crazy! I don’t think it could get any better than that for your first pro fight. I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given. I am grateful I went for it against a tough opponent and I am grateful I walked away with a few bumps and bruises. Since I was considered a “Pro”, I was surrounded by fighters who I have kept up with through out the years and even snuck in some pictures with them. I felt like it was now or never and I had to take the opportunity to meet these fighters that I look up to. I met Cris Cyborg. Holy cannoli was I intimidated. I also met Miriam Nakamoto and Tiffany Van Soest. I was very nervous to meet these women who are awesome Professional Muay Thai fighters and I could not believe I met them! I love fighting and I believe there is a reason for everything. It took me popping out a baby with my epidural not working to not fear very much. I will use the word” fear” loosely because I am scared of bugs, lightning, tornadoes, the dark… but not getting punched in the face. I am not one of those fighters that thinks they are the best in the world or untouchable. I just love to train and learn. I am also not afraid to fail. It is a part of the fight game. I have been told I am a perfectionist and I believe that has gotten me to where I am today. I love the feeling of being able to tell my body to keep going when my body wants to give up. Most people do not like that feeling or care to get near that feeling. I believe it takes a special type of personality to be able to fight for the love of it. I hope women can see that Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiujitsu or MMA is not just a male sport. Women can fight too. Women can still be feminine and fight like a man. I am so grateful women fighting is starting to be televised as well. It meant the world to have my family in Texas finally see me fight and it was such a great feeling to have so many people tune in to see my first pro fight. I believe I am blessed with a tremendous amount of support and am so grateful for my fans and people who believe in me. I can’t wait to do it again. 😉
From Lion Fight Show in Vegas
Tiffany Van Soest, Scott Kent and Miriam Nakamoto
With Jose Palacios
With Malaipet Sasiprapa
Weigh In for Lion Fight
With Cris Cyborg
I can’t even remember how I met Moe, but it was definitely online and it’s been a while that we’ve been exchanging words through the Ether. She’s one of these women who you can’t help but cheer for because she is so thoroughly doing what she loves for the reason that she loves it. From the outside, Moe and I don’t have a whole lot in common other than both being on the small end of body size and the shared love for Muay Thai and fighting, but the differences between us are part of what make me admire her so much. As a fighter, instructor, mother and wife, Moe offers a perspective that I find fascinating and invaluable, so when she agreed to write about her experience of deciding to “go Pro” right after her professional debut, I was excited. I’m still excited, actually.***