Kayla "The Bulldog" Stricker
Hattiesburg - When life throws you a curve ball, you can either swing for the fences or not swing at all. One local MMA fighter chose to swing that bat no matter what weight division she had to fight at.
MMA fighter, Kayla Stricker said, "I started the tournament in Tuscaloosa about a month ago or two months ago. I took that fight on eight days’ notice because they just needed somebody. I was their last choice and it did bump me up a weight class and I was really nervous, but I'm excited."
Kayla "The Bulldog" Stricker usually fights at 115, but she's not only embracing fighting in a heavier weight class. She's also tearing up the division.
Stricker said, "I definitely want to keep my undefeated streak as long as I can. That's what keeps me motivated is just trying to keep that ‘O’ and not lose a fight. It just helps me train harder."
Stricker has always been a winner. In 2012, Stricker was named Mississippi's Female Athlete of the Year. And since she was little, she's been dominating her competition.
Kayla Stricker’s father and supervisor, John Stricker said, "Her whole entire life in martial arts she was training. When she was young, I used to have to move her up in the division in the weight category, because she was hurting the girls in grappling."
Stricker has been known to impose her will on opponents as she tries to emulate the dominance of her role model, Ronda Rousey. Stricker told me why she is inspired by the undefeated UFC Women Bantamweight Champ.
Stricker said, "Just her motivation, the eye that she has when she steps in the cage and just the dedication she shows to her sport."
Stricker's next fight is in New York as she will be taking on Amanda Jones. Stricker tells me why she isn't worried and how her mind set is while inside the cage.
Stricker said, "I just have fun when I'm in there. I probably take the first hit all the time and then after that first hit, my mind clicks into we're in this you know? I'm in this to win it so I have to go for it."
Hattiesburg's own Kayla "The Bulldog" Stricker is seeking to not only win her next fight and advance to the finals, but she's also looking to win the finals, and be the next member of Team USA.