Sharon woman makes the move from the classroom to the cage
By Sabrina Bates, News Editor
Amy Kurrelmeyer, 22, said an elective kickboxing course jump-started her infatuation with the field of mixed martial arts.
Since then, Kurrelmeyer has honed her skills to compete one on one with others in the cage with the hope of soon making a professional career out of ultimate fighting. She was recently named the 2008 Female Fighter of the Year by HB Dick Promotions of Paducah, Ky.
“I started out as a kickboxer a few years ago. I took a kickboxing course with Ray (Watkins) on campus, which started my groundwork. I am hoping to do this full time and my goal is to get to Vegas in July,” Kurrelmeyer said. Las Vegas will be the host site for an ultimate fighting event that could provide a chance to network with more fighters and promoters.
The 22-year-old said she initially trained not intending to fight, but eventually entered the ring last May where she became hooked on the MMA style of fighting.
“There are not a lot of females in this area that do this,” Kurrelmeyer said, adding that female fighters are more prominent in populated areas of the country.
So when opportunity knocked, Kurrelmeyer and her trainers at Evolution Martial Arts answered the call.
Kurrelmeyer is scheduled to compete this weekend in Cleveland, Ohio during the Fight Nite in the Flats V event at the Nautica Pavilion.
“Women don’t have a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champion-ship), but some promoters will put on an all-female show. Some will feature only one female match during an event and this is the only female show that day,” Stephanie Watkins commented. Mrs. Watkins is Kurrelmeyer’s manager at Evolution Martial Arts and handles lining up matches for the local MMA fighters.
“Amy is such a role model. She has such a great following. The North American Allied Fight Series sought her out and researched who would be the best opponent for this match,” Mrs. Watkins shared.
The NAAFS is hosting the Cleveland, Ohio event Saturday where Kurrelmeyer will face Jessica Eye in the only female amateur match during Fight Nite in the Flats V.
Eye is undefeated with only two matches under her belt. She fought last year during Fight Nite IV in the first-ever female MMA match during the event.
“I have seen one of her fights. I never really get nervous, but there is always a lot of adrenaline pumping. I train for everything and expect anything,” Kurrelmeyer commented.
Mrs. Watkins admitted the young fighter typically spends six days a week at Evolution Martial Arts strengthening and training.
“Ray thinks that when she’s training, her opponent is training. And when she’s not training, her opponent is training. But Amy is a dedicated fighter because she trains even without a trainer. Ray knows that she is so motivated and dedicated, she doesn’t need someone telling her to train because she is already doing it,” Mrs. Watkins added.
Kurrelmeyer admitted when she is in the ring, Watkins’ words seem to cut through all of the excess noise in the arena during her matches.
“There is just a different relationship between you and your trainer. It’s not his words, but the way Ray says it, that cuts through everything else,” Kurrelmeyer said.
The young female MMA fighter moved to Sharon from North Salem, New York to attend UTM. Since then, Kurrelmeyer has fought in the cage four times. Her record is 3-1.
None of her matches have made it past the first round and Mrs. Watkins said Kurrelmeyer’s dedication and talent offer great potential as a professional MMA fighter.
“I just want to thank my instructors — Ray Watkins and Ron Constantino — and my manager Stephanie, for getting me this far and getting everything together. I also want to thank my boyfriend, Michael Gaworecki, for being so supportive. It is a team of all that trains with us,” Kurrelmeyer commented.
Kurrelmeyer’s Saturday bout will be televised on HD net satellite and local stations through Cleveland, Ohio. She is sponsored by La Cabana Mexican restaurant in Martin and Stunner Fight Gear of Hopkinsville, Ky.
Updates will be available online at www.naafs.tv.