By Mike Calimbas
Former elementary school teacher-turned-fighter looks to stay undefeated at Belts of Honorius in Austin.
Belts of Honorius is approaching! With the June 29th Austin amateur MMA event now barely over a week away we continue our fighter profile series by featuring Fitness Fight Factory’s Karen Kovach.
Currently 1-0 in amateur competition, Karen moved into MMA after a scholastic MMA background that includes multiple sports such as collegiate level track & field – including the heptathlon. She’s also been a female adventure racing champion, former elementary school teacher and a children’s minister and is currently celebrating her twelfth year of marriage with husband Ryan. She’s also a mom of two – including TXMMA’s 2012 kid competitor of the year, Dillinger Kovach – and currently manages Fitness Fight Factory’s new Azle location.
Talk about a busy schedule!
“Initially my husband and I got involved in MMA after we realized how much time we were investing at the gym with our son Dillinger Kovach. It did not take long for my competitive nature to come out. I first started competing in jiu-jitsu. Then more aggressively training in MMA once we partnered with Johnny Bedford at F3 (Fitness Fight Factory). I love the chess match of jiu-jitsu and MMA brings a whole new thrill to the fight! I love seeking out adrenaline and this sport is the ultimate adrenaline rush!”
Moving forward, Karen Kovach has attacked her own training in MMA as much as she has attacked every other facet of her life from sports in her youth to her role as a mom.
“I would describe myself as an aggressive fighter with a lot of heart. I train with a purpose in every area of MMA, from stand up to ground work. If you have ever visited F3 you would totally understand why I compete in MMA! I am surrounded by the absolute best coaching staff! UFC Fighters like Johnny Bedford, Dustin Pague, Belator Fighter Evan Cutts, and Legacy Champion Will Compuzano is our fill in! We are a sister school with Mohler MMA also so I am able to cross train with pro-fighters and friends Jinh Yu Frey and Amber Stautzenberger. I also have another great friend and training partner, who has been with me from the very beginning of my training, Valerie Taylor. She is currently a Jiu-Jitsu fighter who is preparing for MMA as well. We have a lot of light weights at our gym so I am also surrounded by guys that compete in the 125-135 weight classes in MMA, especially a set of twins named Blake Wells and Trevor Wells. These guys push me to be better with every practice and I love every minute of it.”
“My last fight I took on a three day notice against Alyssa Hook Buffer. The fight was originally set at 125. I asked for a catch weight at 120. My opponent was already making a cut to be at 125. She came in at 121.8 and went back out to try to run off the last 1.8 lbs. She came back in for a final weigh in at 121. I weighed in at 113. I accepted the match up. She was an experienced boxer now out weighing me by a good 15-20 lbs. the day of the fight. The fight ended in with a rear naked choke in 1:47 sec in the first round. I was victorious!”
Looking to stay victorious and test herself, Karen Kovach will soon be taking on Austin-based River Warth on Belts of Honorius. River is 2-1 and has been competing for several years so Karen looks at her as a great opponent to test herself against.
“She seems well-rounded with experience in stand up and on the ground. I think we have similar styles but I match up very well anywhere this fight goes. River and I are going to bring a fight! I’m ready for whatever she has to bring. Bring your “A” game River! Let’s do this!”