Now 26 years old, New York-area transplant Ashley Meza been involved in martial arts for practically as long as she can remember. Her mom enrolled in karate when she was a teeny, tiny 5 year old and she’s been involved in it ever since. Be that as it may, becoming an MMA fighter was never the goal but simply the natural progression of her wanting to test herself.
“My mom’s main thing with me being involved in martial arts was that she wanted me to be able to protect myself if a dangerous situation ever presented itself. But she really doesn’t like that I’m doing this (MMA) at all. I got into it because I decided to challenge myself and my technique. MMA has done that for me since it involves so many different styles and forms.”
Heading into her amateur MMA debut against Paulina Granados at CC6 last November, “Polvorita” had gone through several months of intense preparation with her team at Paradigm Training Center. Her opponent was a seasoned Muay Thai fighter and one that was no stranger to hard competition having just gotten back from a training trip to Thailand. Many people thought Meza was the definitive underdog in that bout but she did well. And the fight was a closed one.
“Paula was a tough fighter but I felt that the win should have been mine,” she says reflecting on the bout. “I did a good amount of damage in that bout and landed what I was throwing. It’s all in the past now though. I learned some lessons and it’s geared me into what I know I need to work on more.”
Fast for a few months and now Ashley is ready to step into the cage all over again for her sophomore appearance.
Preparing for her bout against Stephanie Alba at Legacy Amateur Series 8, she’ll be facing a different challenge altogether than the one she faced in her last bout. This time, her opponent will be more submission and wrestling based as opposed to being primarily a standup fighter. In short, this will be a fight that will test an entirely different set of skills for Meza, if not her overall comfort ability with MMA in general.
According to her, she’ll go into the cage on April 14th knowing that she’s worked as hard as she possibly could to get after it and try to secure the win.
“I train with the best,” she says. “MY teammates are all extremely talented and knowledgeable athletes so I learn a lot every time we train. I know once your feet hit the mats and that bell rings, it’s time to work! I don’t get a lot of slack for being a small female. The majority of the guys I train with are 6 feet or taller and weigh between 160-190 lbs. so I’m forced to work even harder and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll be as ready as possible for this fight.”
For more on Ashley Meza, check out her previous interview with TXMMA prior to her debut here.
I’d like to send a big shoutout to my sponsors: Deviate Auto Sport, Orto Med, Duel Athletics, The Lot, and Mi Casa Broadcasting. Also another big shout out to my teammates at Paradigm and at the boxing spot with coach Aaron Navarro and all my teammates over there. Also thanks to coach Renan at Zion MMA! Big love to my friends for the love and support and of course everything in the world for my mama… love you! Thanks Mike and TXMMA.com for the interview! – Ashley Meza