Melanie LaCroix

California is known for it’s beautiful bikini-clad models so it may come as a surprise to fi nd out that Melanie LaCroix hits people in the face for a living. Getting smacked around isn’t necessarily our idea of fun, but this is one fi ghter we’d be happy to take a beating from.

So fi rst things fi rst… are you single?

Yep, I am.

What do you look for in guys that you date?

The number one thing is honesty, that’s key. Someone that’s athletic and likes to do fun things. But I’m a total rent a movie girl. I can’t be with someone that wants to go clubbing every night, that’s just not me.

What do you do in your free time? Do you even have any?

I love going to good restaurants, especially ones with good dessert, hah! I like going camping. I like photography and writing poetry and I love sunsets. I live right across from the beach so if I’m not training at the time I have to catch the sunset.

Speaking of training, where are you training out of right now?

I’m training out of Ricardo Machado’s in Redondo Beach

And that’s working out well for you?

It is, I love it there.

How did you get into the whole MMA thing?

You know its kinda weird, I really enjoyed boxing when I was younger. I was overweight and out of shape though. It was really hard for me at fi rst, but I always felt like it was such a perfect idea, the training and the channeling of aggression. So a few years later I started boxing for real, and shortly thereafter I was exposed to MMA for the fi rst time. The fi rst time I saw it I was like ‘holy cow!’ It was a perfect fi t, so I decided to make the transfer. I started doing jiu-jitsu and everything sort of just fell into place.

So what’s it like working out with a bunch of gnarly dudes?

You know, there are a couple of problems you come across when you’re a girl. One of them is the obvious, just being around guys and being the only girl. It kinda makes you a target. You’ve got the guys that act like they want to teach you but it’s only to get close to you. And then you’ve got the guys that genuinely want to help you, but when you start to show that you’re kinda strong, they crush you and you get hurt. But you kinda just learn to put the blinders on and work hard and eventually people start to respect you. Right now I’ve got a great group of guys around me.

Do you get nervous before you fi ght?

Yeah, I do. And now I’m at a point where I don’t want to let anyone down and It’s almost like you want to win more for other people than yourself. So yeah, I get really nervous, but once you step into the cage and the door closes, there’s no room for those feelings.

How does your family feel about you competing?

Haha, my mom refuses to come to my fi ghts. But having just lost, now she feels like maybe she can go to my next one. She just doesn’t want to see me get punched in the grill. My family is really supportive though, they understand it’s really important to me.

Speaking of your recent loss against a tough Katrina Alendal, any thoughts on that?

Yeah actually. I went into the fi ght feeling pretty good mentally. I had a slight injury, and I was taking it kinda easy leading up to the fi ght which I think hurt my cardio. That’s no excuse at all, I needed to keep my cardio up and I didn’t, it was totally my fault. At one point she kicked me in the leg so hard. It was a perfect shot and it made it hard for me to move. I mean, I broke her nose bad in the fi rst and she was fi ghting like it was nothing. It was a good fi ght, I learned a lot from it.

So what do you do to bounce back from that?

Well fi rst, I had to come to terms with the fact that my cardio was an issue. And that’s a horrible feeling because that’s something you can control and I dropped the ball. I don’t like that feeling and I don’t ever want to lose a fi ght again because my cardio wasn’t there. But it’s crazy how losing a fi ght motivates you. It’s almost like a panic feeling but it helps you bring it to another level.

That’s a great mental attitude to have. So do you have another fi ght lined up yet?

It’s not defi nite yet, but I should be scheduled to fi ght again in November.

Good deal. Thanks for the time Melanie, we look forward to seeing you in the cage again soon!

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