If we are talking about the future of the women’s divisions of MMA, look no further than the IMMAF.
Their youth divisions for athletes under 18 have provided a secure environment to grow and learn. It also gives them an opportunity to prove their skills against others and win championships.
In the coming weeks we are highlighting some of these athletes.
Coming off a bronze medal finish in the IMMAF World Youth Championships in Bulgaria, 14 year old Allison Keenan is providing a vision of where USA’s female athletes are heading. She is training out of Kihon MMA in Desert Hot Springs, California under coach Eddie Bates.
Wombat Sport: What got you interested in competing in MMA?
Allison Keenan: I was actually put in MMA because i was being bullied and I eventually started going with my team and watched them compete at grappling tournaments and cagefights and I fell in love with it I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
Wombat: What do you enjoy about it?
Keenan: I enjoy being able to learn so many different types of fighting like Muy Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu etc.
W.S: How have your friends and classmates reacted to you competing?
A.K.: My friends and classmates are very supportive especially when it comes to preparing for a fight and helping me mentally prepare.
W.S.: How about your family?
A.K.: My family love being able to support and watch me grow to be a strong independent young lady. My mom does get nervous because this sport does come with a lot of injuries but she loves being able to see my determination, fierceness and ambition.
W.S.: Who do you look up to in fighting?
A.K.: I look up to my teammates they’re all very strong people they’ve helped teach me everything I know and help make me a better fighter each and everyday.
W.S.: How do you feel about the future of females in MMA?
A.K.: I feel like the future is very bright for the females that do MMA there’s not too many of us and we do make a big impact in the fighting industry.
W.S.: What comes naturally to you in MMA?
A.K.: What comes naturally to me in MMA is being the first in the cage. I always try my best to be the aggressor when it comes to the first few seconds of the rounds.
W.S.: What have you found difficult?
A.K.: I’ve found that you have to be 3 steps ahead of your opponent. You need a game plan and you need to know what to do and be fast when your in a tuff situation so that is a little difficult for me.
W.S.: How has it been to compete in the IMMAF?
A.K.: It was an extremely amazing experience being able to compete for IMMAF. I got the opportunity to take home so much knowledge and memories and carry it with me for a lifetime.
W.S.: What are your aspirations in fighting?
A.K.: I want to be able to go pro and compete with the best and grow my knowledge every-time and especially be someone the kids can look up to and help push them to do the same.
W.S.: Anyone you’d like to thank/add?
A.K.: I want to thank my parents and coach for supporting me the whole way and pushing me to be the best and for helping make this even possible for me. I would like to thank the administration of IMMAF and USFL for making this championship happen.