Out of New Jersey, Layla Newton is getting a huge head start.
The 11 year old already has 7 NAGA titles under her with one in kickboxing. dhe has been training out of Team Taino martial arts with Eddy Torres, Yasmeen Salhani, Taylor Samarco and Rell Jefferson for the past 4 year.
Wombat Sports: What got you interested in getting involved in combat sports?
Layla Newton: I got interested in combat sports by watching the ufc with my dad. I saw Ronda Rousey fighting and I said to my dad girls can do this??? He said girls can do anything they want.
Wombat Sports: What do you enjoy about it?
Newton: I enjoy it because MMA is many sports rolled into one. I like pushing myself to new limits and to learn new styles of the sport.
W.S.: What comes naturally to you in fighting? What have you found difficult?
L.N.: I find boxing difficult for me because I’m used to Muay Thai and not boxing. What comes naturally to me is jiu jitsu.
W.S.: How has your friends and classmates reacted to it?
L.N.: My classmates where surprised because I really don’t talk much about my sport in class. My friends are excited that I’m doing something different from other girls and kids my age. They are always cheering me on and want me to keep doing well.
W.S.: How about your family?
L.N.: My family is very supportive and encouraging. My brother was a wrestler so he is always trying to help me with different moves and take downs. He said that I have inspired him to get back into shape and he is starting jiu jitsu in a few weeks.
W.S.: Who do you look up to in fighting?
L.N.: I look up to everyone who trains in this type of sport. However Amanda Serrano has inspired me the most and is the reason I am pushing myself to get better at boxing. One day I hope I’m as good as she is.
W.S.: How do you feel about the future of females in fighting?
L.N.: I feel happy that there are a lot of females in fighting because people think boys can do anything and girls can only do certain things. I believe that girls can do anything they want to do if they put their mind to it and push themselves.
W.S.: What are your aspirations in fighting?
L.N.: I want to continue to learn and be the best I can be in as many areas of MMA as possible. My goal is to be a professional fighter and win a UFC title!
W.S.: Anything you want to add/thank?
L.N.: I would like to thank my coaches because they pushed me to my limits and helped me throughout all the years I’ve been doing MMA. I would also like to thank my mom and my dad for doing everything for me and helping me throughout my life. I also want to send a positive message to all girls out there. Just be you! It doesn’t matter how you dress, how you look, how your hair is. All that matters is that you are true to yourself! Just be you!! Please follow my journey on Instagram (@hurricane_layla_), Facebook, Twitter (@HurricaneLayla) and YouTube.