Training out of Seigo Academy of Mixed Martial Arts in Indiana, she already has a black belt in karate and a blue belt in BJJ. She also teaches classes, something very few teenagers could ever say.
As she prepares to fight in the IKF World Classic in Orlando July 19-21, we talk to Peavler about getting into combat sports and her future in MMA.
Wombat Sports: What got you interested in getting involved in combat sports?
Madison Peavler: I started with karate when I was 6. We had a tiny little dojo in our town and I begged my mom to let me try it. I went 4 days a week almost from the start. I watched Gina Carano fight soon after and the rest is history. I think I was just born with it in my blood.
Wombat: What do you enjoy about it?
Peavler: I like that it is an individual sport. I only have to rely on myself. Win or lose it’s all mine. I also like that for the most part everyone respects each other. Some people might not like each other but I think most of us respect anyone who will step into a ring or cage and go hand to hand with another person. That takes courage.
W.S.: How have your friends and classmates reacted to it?
M.P.: My classmates and friends think what I do is cool. My whole 7th grade class is like 50 kids so they all know what I do. Most of the time we don’t talk about it. It’s what I have always done.
W.S.: How about your family?
M.P.: My family is very supportive. I’m lucky because both of my parents enjoy watching MMA and have no problem with me wanting to do this with my life.
W.S.: Who do you look up to in fighting?
M.P.: There are so many…I have been fortunate enough to meet and develop friendships with a lot of the top women. Alexis Davis, Julie Kedsie, Jessamyn Duke, Elaina Maxwell, Sarah D’elio, and I will always love Gina.
W.S.: How do you feel about the future of females in MMA?
M.P.: When I started there was not a real place for women in MMA. Only a few were known and they did not have much opportunity. In just the past couple of years that has changed dramatically. The future of women is looking awesome. I believe that Shannon Knapp and Janet Martin have a lot to do with helping that along.
W.S.: What comes naturally to you in fighting?
M.P.: I think I am naturally aggressive. I tend to always push forward. I am natural at stand up.
W.S.: What have you found difficult?
M.P.: My ground game is not as strong as my stand up. So I guess I would say I find it a little more difficult. I have been studying BJJ for 3 years. I will be on my HS wrestling team this year too. I would not say I’m bad at it but it doesn’t come as natural as stand up.
W.S.: What are your aspirations in fighting?
M.P.: I want to fight for Invicta one day and the UFC. I think I will always teach. I think that’s something I will always want to do. It would be cool to be in the UFC Hall of Fame.
W.S.: Anyone you’d like to thank/add?
M.P.: There are so many people I would like to thank for being so supportive. I could not begin to list them all.
I have to most importantly thank God for blessing my life. My parents and family deserve a big thank you too.
Some other names that I need to mention are Alexis Davis, Jessamyn Duke, Elaina Maxwell. and Sarah D’elio. These girls have all taken the time to talk to me and hang out with me and encourage me.
I have several coaches that I could not do this without…Anthony Cruz, Tony Rogers, Shane Smith, and RJ Hesketh.
Thank you to all my students and their parents at Seigo Academy, my church family, Sam Wilson, Janet Martin, every person who has donated money. Thanks to my sponsors Tussle Fight Gear, Klench Mouthguards. Hydrotech, Straight Outfitters, and Graphix Now. Thanks to my best friends Ariel and Ashlynn that let me just be Madison.