FIGHTER PROFILE: Miranda Maverick

UFC 258: Miranda Maverick eyeing Valentina Shevchenko
Maverick Getting her hands wrapped pre-fight. Photo Courtesy of Zuffa LLC.

One of MMA’s most promising fighters is UFC Flyweight, Miranda Maverick. Since joining the promotion the young grappler has compiled a 2-1 promotional record and will be making her return to the UFC Octagon at UFC 269 on Saturday night. Maverick will be facing Erin Blanchfield and she hopes to bring her promotional record 3-1 and hopefully not get robbed by the judges like in her last fight.

Maverick was born on July 1, 1997 in Tunas, Missouri. Maverick started out working on her family’s Farm and this instilled a hard work ethic for Maverick who started Grappling after encouragement from her father after watching Ronda Rousey. First she started Jiu Jitsu and then also competed in wrestling at the high school level. Maverick eventually figured out she wouldn’t be competing in wrestling in college and decided she would turn her sights to competing in MMA. Maverick decided that while school would be her main focus she could still compete in Martial arts. This led Maverick to get her bachelor’s degree in 2018 from Drury University where she majored in psychology and sociology.

Maverick made her amatuer MMA debut on August 29th 2015 against Jean King for Impact Elite Gym Fight Circus promotion. Maverick would bring home the win via Submission (Triangle Choke.) In her next fight she’d face Maddie Reid for the ShoFight promotion, she’d win by TKO (Punches.) She’d win her next two fights by Armbar the first against Stephanie Hull Young and the later against Jessica Sotack. Maverick would go on to fight Samantha Gilliland unfortunately for Maverick this would be her first and only loss of her amateur career. She’d win her two final amateur bouts before going pro she finished her amateur career with a 6-1 record.

Maverick would go pro on November 18, 2016 for the all female promotion, Invicta FC against Samantha Diaz. Maverick missed weight by 2 pounds but would win by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke.) Maverick would then go on to fight Kalyn Schwartz in March of 2017  she’d win by Submission (Armbar.) She’d then go on to face Gabby Romero which she’d win that fight too by Unanimous decision. She’d then get the first loss of her career when she faced Brogan Walker-Sanchez. Victoria Leonardo would be Maverick’s next opponent she’d win by Submission (Armbar.) She’d fight four more times before getting a contract with the UFC.

Maverick would make her UFC debut in October of 2020 where She’d face Liana Jojua.  Maverick would win via TKO (doctor stoppage.)  From there Maverick went on to face skilled grappeler Gillian Robertson,  Maverick would win by Decision. Next Maverick would face Maycee Barber in a three round bout. This fight would be the most controversial of her young career. Maverick would lose by split decision and definitely won the first two rounds but would drop the third round to Barber. The second round clearly was won by Maverick. But MMA fans know the adage “You shouldn’t leave the fight in the hands of the judges.”

Hopefully Maverick will bring home the win when she steps into the UFC Octagon. Hopefully she gets the finish and doesn’t get robbed by the judges again. No matter the outcome Maverick Is still the smartest fighter in UFC history Maverick is currently studying Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Old Dominion University in hopes of earning her PhD.

Movie Review: Bruised

Video: UFC champ Valentina Shevchenko battles Halle Berry in first trailer  for new MMA film 'Bruised' - MMA Fighting
Berry and Schevchenko Face Off. Image Via Netflix Film ‘Bruised’

Last week Netflix released Halle Berry’s directorial debut, “Bruised.” Berry, who also starred in the film, took on the hard task of bringing the world of MMA to the streaming world, and she didn’t disappoint. She took a story about cage fighting and brought it to the world that might not be receptive to it. Don’t forget many politicians tried to ban our sport, so the more mainstream MMA can get, the better. 

In the film Berry played Jackie Justice, an aging former MMA fighter who stepped away from the fight game and the UFC to pursue other things after running out of the cage. Justice who now has reunited with her son that she gave up custody of at birth sees fighting as her only option to provide for her son. So Justice decides to take up fighting again, first in unsanctioned street fights, but then in Invicta the real life all female promotion.

In the film Berry stars alongside real life UFC Champion, Valentina Schevchenko who plays fellow MMA fighter, Lady Killer. It should be known that this was Schevchenko’s acting debut. Berry said this  of co-staring with Schevchenko in an interview with Jimmy Fallon “In this movie, I was fighting the real UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko. And you know what? She had to throw some real kicks, and I had to really take them, and that really broke some bones.” Schevchenko did a great job in their fight scene.

Berry did a good job of going into the world of MMA from training boxing, to practicing grappling. Berry also did a great job covering the hard parts of fighting like the weight cutting. Berry really did a great job of this. Overall I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. It wasn’t an amazing film like a movie directed by Martin Scorsese, but it did a good job taking a dive into the MMA world.

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FIGHTER PROFILE: HOLLY HOLM

Holly Holm

Holly Holm is one of MMA’s biggest stars who’s faced some of the biggest names in the sport. Holm who started off as a boxer and transitioned to MMA has produced some of the sports wildest moments including an upset victory against Ronda Rousey. Holm is always training and even at forty is producing some great fights and is second in the UFC Women’s Bantamweight division, an impressive feat for any athlete especially in a sport whose athletes have a short shelf life.

Holm was born on October 17, 1981 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her father is a Church of Christ preacher and her mother is a massage therapist. Her parents divorced when Holm was in High School. Holm always was an athlete; she competed in gymnastics, swimming and diving. Holm also played soccer when she was younger. When Holm was 16 she was taking an aerobics class and her cardio kickboxing teacher Mike Winkeljohn noticed her abilities and encouraged her to train, which Holm did and was a natural. 


Holm would win the International Rules Adult Women’s Welterweight Division championship at the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) USA National Amateur Championship Tournament. Holm would finish her amateur kickboxing record career with a 6–0–2 record. Holm would then go on to start a professional boxing career. Holm held several boxing world titles and is considered to be one of the best female boxers of all time. Holm finished her boxing career in 2013 while fighting MMA at the same time.


Holm started her MMA career in 2011 when she beat Christina Domke by TKO (leg kicks.) for the Fresquez Productions promotion which was owned by her Boxing Promoter, Lenny Fresquez. From there Holm Would move on to Bellator and then Legacy FC before signing with The UFC. Her first fight in the UFC would be against Raquel Pennington, Holm would win via a split decision. From there she’d face Marion Reneau in July of 2015 she’d win by unanimous decision. Holm would then go on to face Ronda Rousey for the Bantamweight title she’d win by KO (head kick and punches.) In her next fight she’d lose the title to Miesha Tate.

Since losing her title Holm has gone on to face some of the toughest names in the Bantamweight and Featherweight divisions including tough loses to Cris Cyborg, Amanda Nunes, and Valentina Schevchenko. She is a great fighter and is currently ranked second in the Bantamweight division and sixth in the women’s pound-for-pound rankings and is riding a two fight win streak with victories against Raquel Pennington and Irene Aldana.

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FIGHTER PROFILE: VALENTINA SCHEVCHENKO

Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) fights Liz Carmouche (blue gloves).
Valentina Shevchenko lands a punch on Liz Carmouche. Photo coutesy of Jason Da Silva USA Today Sports

One of the toughest female fighters walking the Earth today is Valentina Schevchenko. Schevchenko  has gone toe to toe with some of the best female fighters of all time including Amanda Nunes, Holly Holm, and Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Schevchenko is currently the women’s flyweight champion and she is set to defend her title at UFC 266 against Lauren Murphy. Schevchenko is the first woman to have defended the UFC Flyweight Championship belt. 

Schevchenko is of Ukrainian descent, but classifies herself as Russian. She was born on March 7, 1988, in Frunze, Kirghizia, USSR. After the fall of the Soviet Union Kirghizia became Kyrgyzstan where Schevchenko has citizenship in Kyrgyzstan. Schevchenko came from a very athletic family; her mother was a multiple time Muay Thai champion.  Her mother was also the president of Kyrgyzstan’s national Muay Thai association.  Schevchenko’s father was a soccer player and played on the  Kyrgiz national Soccer team. Schevchenko’s sister, Antonina Shevchenko is a fellow UFC fighter. 

Schevchenko’s life has been centered around Martial Arts from the young age of five, when she started Taekwondo. She took up the sport as it was a family activity that involved both her, her mother, and her sister. At age 12 she switched to Muay Thai kickboxing and freestyle Brazilian Vale Tudo. It was at this time that she got her nickname “Bullet” because of the speed she moved around the ring at. At 15 she made her professional debut in Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA. From the age of 15 through 2015 Schevchenko won 50 Muay Thai and Kickboxing matches.


Schevchenko took a hiatus from her MMA career between 2006-2010 to focus on her Muay Thai and Kickboxing career. Schevchenko eventually started fighting in MMA again which led her to the UFC, where she first fought in the year 2015. Her first fight for the promotion was  as a replacement for Germaine de Randamie against Sarah Kaufman on short notice. She would win by split decision. She would then go on to face some of the best names in the UFC including Amanda Nunes, Holly Holm, and Joanna Jędrzejczyk. She lost to Amanda Nunes both times, but the second fight was so close and a split decision, that many in the fight world have called for a third fight between Nunes and Schevchenko.

On December 8th, 2018  Shevchenko won the vacant women’s flyweight title against Joanna Jędrzejczyk by unanimous decision. Since then Shevchenko has defended her title 6 times and hopes to defend it again next time out. 

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FIGHTER PROFILE: AMANDA ‘THE LIONESS’ NUNES

One of the most dominating fighters in the fight games today Is Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes. Nunes has been on an amazing 12 fight win streak, and is the only Woman to ever hold two belts as the reigning UFC Bantamweight and Featherweight champion. She is the only UFC fighter male or female to attempt to and successfully defend both of their titles. During her run, Nunes has taken on and beaten a who’s who of the greatest women fighters of all time including multiple wins over Valentina Schevchenko, and victories over Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, Miesha Tate, and Ronda Rousey. And at the moment it seems like there’s no one on the UFC roster who could stop Nunes reign.

Nunes was born on  May 30, 1988 in Pojuca, Bahia, Brazil. A small town outside of Salvador, the capital of Bahia. She was raised mostly by her mother as her parents split when she was four years old. Nunes has two older sisters her mother also raised, and worked many odd jobs to support. Her mother trained as a boxer and her uncle was a Vale Tudo fighter, so fighting is definitely in Nunes’ blood At first Nunes’ father did not agree with his daughter fighting, but as her career has progressed he has become more comfortable with his daughter being the most dominant fighter in Women’s MMA history. 


Nunes is a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Daniel Valverde. Nunes is also a brown  belt in judo.  Nunes got her start in Martial arts after her sister invited her to a gym to start training BJJ when she was 16 years old. Nunes also started training in boxing at this same time, and discovered her passion for fighting. At 17 she moved to Salvador and began training full time under Ricardo Carvalho. She began living in an apartment in Salvador, but this became a hassle due to the distance between the gym and her living quarters, so Nunes began living in the gym. It was at this gym she got the name “Leoa” which means lioness in Portuguese. They called her “Leoa” because the symbol for the gym was two lions, and because she was the only woman living in the gym.

Nunes started training MMA in 2007 and by 2008 she was competing in MMA. She lost her first fight by submission but then won her next five. She then made her Strikeforce debut where she made a statement knocking out her opponent Julia Budd in 14 seconds. Nunes then went onto Invicta FC where she went 1-1.

Nunes then went to the UFC. She made her UFC debut at UFC 163 in Brazil winning by TKO in the first round. Since making her UFC debut she’s gone on to beat a who’s who of the UFC women’s roster including multiple wins over Valentina Schevchenko. Nunes has also notched victories over Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, Miesha Tate, and Ronda Rousey. Nunes is set to take on Juliana Pena at UFC 269 in December. 

On top of a successful Career in the UFC Nunes is also a mother. Nunes and her wife UFC strawweight Nina Nunes welcomed their daughter, Raegan Ann Nunes in September of 2020. Nunes is the First UFC champion to also be a mother. 

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