ADA — Sarah Maloy has done just about everything, from play college basketball at Murray State College to being on the dance team at East Central University. Now, she’s mastering — or MMAstering — MMA, which stands for Mixed Martial Arts.
“I had always watched it when I was a little bit younger before it became mainstream — the only place you could watch it was on the Internet,” said Maloy, who is one of the teachers at Body Tech Mixed Martial Arts. “I first thought ‘ouch!’ I didn’t think much of it. When it became a little more mainstream, and I saw that there were females doing it, it was more like a challenge to me than anything. Once you get started doing it, you just fall in love with it. There’s so much to it. You never know it all.”
Maloy’s MMA career actually began when she turned to Martial Arts to stay in shape.
“Muay Thai is what first got me into Martial Arts. I have always done sports, and I’ve always been athletic. After college, I was looking for something to keep me in shape. So, I started dabbling in Muay Thai. Then, I realized that girls fight in Martial Arts. So, I kind of shifted gears, and started training for my first fight. I actually got pregnant before I had my first fight. As soon as I had my third child, I got right back into the gym and had my first fight when he was three months old.”
Maloy will next fight in May — and fairly close to home for the first time. She will compete in an event May 22 in Hinton. Maloy won her first fight late last year in Aruba.
“My opponent was Rosa Columbo,” she said. “I won by rear naked choke at 4:52 of Round 1.”
Maloy’s fight can be viewed online at www.mmavendetta.com.
The trip to Aruba also offered some relaxation, and a chance to meet some big names connected with the sport.
“I loved Aruba ... it was beautiful,” Maloy said. “The promoters gave us an extra day after the event to spend on the beach. I got to meet a lot of my idols in the sport. Bas Rueten commentated, Shoni Carter fought on the card, and Stitch was my cutman. It was an experience I will never forget.”
Maloy is glad to get to fight at a location in “The Sooner State.”
“It will be my first fight in Oklahoma,” she said. “I’ve always had to travel, so my friends and family can come watch me. (Trainer) Blake (Welch) has fought in a fight there before. So, we’re looking forward to going back.”
She hopes she cannot only stay undefeated, but win a title as well.
“I would like to win a belt some day,” Maloy said. “I’m currently undefeated professionally. Hopefully, I’ll get a title shot some day, and be able to hold a belt.”
While for the most part Mixed Martial Arts has been what Maloy expected, there have been some neat surprises.
“I knew I would have to work hard, but I never realized how intense the sport really is.” Maloy said. “It’s more intense than any sport I’ve ever done. I think I’ve played every sport but soccer. I even danced for East Central. Another big surprise was how nice everybody is. You would think when you get a bunch of fighters together, there would be some problems. Everybody is just super nice and supportive. If you want to train, there’s people out there who will tell you where to go and how to do it.”
Being a teacher at Body Tech Mixed Martial Arts has been rewarding for Maloy.
“I love teaching it to others,” she said. “It’s a great source of discipline. You get self-confidence from it. You get stronger and healthier. I love teaching the sport to others — no matter whether you’re in my classes or not. If you’re coming to workout with me as a personal trainer, you’re going to do some Mixed Martial Arts — you’re going to punch the bags. It’s such a fun and great workout. In the least, you’re going to get your frustrations out.”
Last month, several of Body Tech’s students participated, and placed, in the Mikie Burnett Grappling Tournament in Tulsa. And they have an even bigger tournament next month.
“It’s really rewarding,” Maloy said about seven students placing from anywhere from first place to fourth. “I was near tears during the tournament — especially when my daughter (Jaeden Ward) was out there grappling. It wasn’t because I was scared because I’m confident she could hold her own, it was because I was just so proud. We’ve passed (Mixed Martial Arts) on to the kids, who have worked really hard. For every one of those kids, it was their first grappling tournament. It’s an intense situation, and they all stepped up and did so well. I was really proud of them. Our next tournament is May 15, and it’s a big one — it’s the NAGA Tournament in Fort Worth (Texas). It’s a great tournament, and they’ll get some notoriety for placing. We’re doing some fund-raisers, and taking some donations because with a bigger tournament comes a bigger entry fee. They’re really working hard to get there.
“We’re going to be spending a lot of time in the gym and training everybody, but a good thing about it is that while you’re training somebody else, you’re getting to train yourself. Even if you’re just showing somebody how to do something new, it’s helping you work on your technique. Whoever has something coming up, we’re working with them to get them ready. When it’s you’re time, everyone will be there for you, too.”