The Great Grappling MatchI got a call from my matchmaker (that's the person who sets up fights for me) to ask if I was interested in competing in a grappling match (which is pretty much a wrestling match with submissions) against Tonya Evinger. I'd been trying to get a fight with her all year, and, so, my response was "Of course!". I was excited! They told me the promoter (a typically dirty lot- who are not to be trusted) who give me $500 to grapple and $500 more if I won- in addition to gas money, room and board. I was all over that. I took time off of work- got my posse together (my husband, Debi and Katelynn) to corner me.
I was told that Tonya, an excellent wrestler, would be coming in at 140 pounds. I was cool with that, though I was at 125 at the time. I worked to gain as much as I could and brought heavy clothes and 4 pound hand weights to make my weight more impressive at the weigh in. With all that- I weighed in at 135.
We found out that the promoter would only be able to get us $100 after we got down there (LA area). I was not pleased- but I was game to grapple. Tonya was irked, too, and was not willing to bust her hump to cut weight at that price. So, she came in probably over 150. She's 5'8"- so you can just picture us looking like little sprout and jolly green giant. I didn't care- I was there for the match.
She brought her entourage with her (including a camera crew that is covering her life for a possible reality show on Spike tv). A couple of her girls spotted Debi and Katelynn and wanted matches with them. Of course, you know, my girls were totally game! When it came down to brass tacks, though, whoever wanted Debi- she backed out. Maybe she found out that Debi had a kickboxing title? Who knows.
So, Katelynn and I are getting ready- we're both a little nervous- these girls are awesome wrestlers and jujitsu trained (we are judo trained- this is a jujitsu match). Katelynn goes first. The girl rushes her to the side and gets her down! Katelynn defends like a champ and almost catches her in an arm bar at one point, but the girl has too much ground game. In the 5 minute match, she defeats Katelynn by points only (no submissions). Katelynn was pretty disappointed, but eveyone who watched could see how much potential she has. I was SO proud of her!
Next, I was up- I was pretty much warming up next to Tonya- weird for me to talk to someone prior to a match. She was very cool- no attitude whatsoever. I have to admit- I liked her. I've watched her fights on tv a few times and was always impressed with her talents. We get in the ring, touch hands and I'll be darned if she didn't get around to the side and get me down on my back rather quickly! (I'd been training for a front attack.) We had eachother in headlocks at the same time. We got out and were both attempting arm bars and head locks for the rest of the 5 minute match. She was on top the whole time, but she didn't submit me. So you can guess who one. She got me on points. I was just glad she didn't submit me, but, like Katelynn, I was a bit disappointed with my performance.
When it was all over, Tonya let us know that they might air the matches on Spike tv (if they pick up the pilot). Katelynn and I talked about the fact that the world will have an opportunity to see how well Red Bluff girls fight from our backs. We are both looking forward to MMA matches against these girls so they can see our stand up skills (that's where WE shine!)