HOUSTON, TX, November 3, 2011 – Next time in our TXMMA interview series for Garcia Promotion’s Cage Combat 6 is female fighter Ashley Meza, a fresh face out of the Paradigm Training Center in Houston. A Colombian / East Coast transplant, she has recently taken on the task of becoming an MMA fighter with the goal of advancing recognition and respect for women in a sport typically dominated by men.
According to Ashley, women train just as hard and love the sport just as much as their male counterparts. She hopes to prove that fact this Friday night when she takes on Corpus Christie’s Paulina Granados in at the Humble Civic Center for Cage Combat 6.
Enjoy our brief conversation with Paradigm’s latest sensation, Ashley Meza.
Before we get to the fight, tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you outside of training and MMA?
I’m a world enthusiast. Any chance I get to travel, I will take it. I love to discover and enjoy new foods and cultures. It fuels the creativity I have for my painting. I am also a sports-aholic. Watching and playing sports consumes a lot of my time when I’m not in my office sneaking in reading time to get my certification to become a trainer.
What are some of your favorite hobbies besides training?
I love to eat! I also love playing and watching soccer, sketching, and dancing. One of my favorite times ever are horseback riding with my father back in Colombia.
When did you get involved with the sport and what do you love about it?
Well I’ve been involved with martial arts since I was a child. Back in New York City, I studied with Sensei Campos at Mizayaki Dojo. That taught me discipline, technique, and respect. Training in Shotokan became a passion and challenge since I was the only girl there. Sensei Campos was very strict, traditional, and though. It really taught me to never ever give up, no matter what I’m doing.
What’s it like training at the Paradigm Training Center?
How would you describe yourself as a fighter?
Technical and traditional – this is how I consider myself.
When did you decide to make the transition to get into the cage and fight as opposed to just training? Why are you doing this?
The transition didn’t happen too long ago. What I hope to accomplish more than anything is being able to gain more respect and support for female athletes and fighters. I want everyone to realize that we train just as hard (as the men) and love the sport just as much!
What’s it been like getting ready for Friday night?
It’s been exciting and pretty hard, actually. More than anything though, what has been driving me crazy is depriving myself of all the goodies my taste buds and stomach crave!
What do you know about your opponent, Paulina Granados?
All I can say is it will be like going on my first blind date! <laughs>
How do you think you’re going to win this fight?
What else would you like to accomplish in the near future?
I’ve got a lot of goals and dream. Always have. For now, my focus is to first of all win this fight and also get my trainer’s certification.
Any last words for your opponent?
I’m just looking forward to meeting her and best of luck.
Any last words for the fans? For anyone else?
I just want to thank everyone for all their support and help. Also, I want my mother to know that I love her and that I’m so very happy she will be there Friday night despite the fact that I know how much this (fighting) frightens her. It means a lot to me.
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