“First off I’m a mom, I have a four-year-old, I’m a family girl.”
That probably wasn’t the quote you were expecting to start a profile on someone with the nickname crazy right? That was how “Crazy” Cristina Crist first answered about who she is. Every time she talked about her family, there was always a sense of joy in her voice. Even when she said who gave her the nickname.
“My man, that was him.”
And she was even ok with it.
“I was like, I will own this.”
And own it she has, especially when she fights. While watching her fights, one notices no moments of rest, just pure action. With high kicks, big right hands and take downs coming at a relentless pace, she has certainly earned her nickname. There is a certain confidence and swagger as she fights. But the confidence, the swagger it wasn’t always there, in fact that’s why she walked into a Tae Kwon Do gym in the first place.
“I actually had low confidence and wanted to find something that helps me with my self-esteem. I was kinda a little bullied kid and kinda scrawny.”
And it worked, not only did her confidence boost, but she became a second-degree black belt and started teaching classes. It also helped her because she is dyslexic and has issues with ADHD and training has been a big help with her disabilities.
“It did help me because I’m actually dyslexic so it helped me a lot in school. A lot of times whenever you have trouble with things like that, they say that things that are physical like that help you with focusing. I also went through some stuff with ADHD as well, it helped calm me down.”
After gaining confidence in herself, her curiosity got the best of her and Crist decided to test the waters of mixed martial arts when she was twenty years old. Though she first became interested in the sport after watching The Ultimate Fighter while babysitting her coach’s kids. Afterwards, she started fighting as an amateur She took her first amateur fight in 2011 losing a split decision to Jinh Yu. She lost her next fight in 2012 and then took a hiatus to start a family. Five years later she returned to the cage and went on a three-fight winning streak. Now she is ready to turn pro.
“I feel like it’s the right point in life for me, I’ve waited a really long time for this. I’ve tried to make this happen several times and different things fell through. Especially coming off my last two fights they were my first finishes and I’m at that point where I’m starting to peak a little bit.”
Though she started out shy, it didn’t take much cage time for her to want a career in the sport.
“Really after my first fight I got the hunger for it. After a couple of fights, I kinda went away to start a family and when I came back with Wolfpack it was really like something I could be.”
And there was no doubt in her mind that she would train again after she stepped away for her family.
“I knew that martial arts would always be a part of my life.”
Not only does she have the confidence and hunger for the sport, she wants to change the game as well.
“One of my big goals is I want to be one of the first atomweights in the UFC. I feel like the smaller weight classes haven’t really gotten noticed yet. One person who inspired me with that is Demetrious Johnson. For a long time, they didn’t have his correct weight class and he had to prove himself to get that there.”
She has learned that a fighter’s weight doesn’t determined their skill set and also that a fighter’s age doesn’t either.
“One of my first training partners that I got with these guys (Wolfpack MMA) he really shocked was this 13-old-boy, he’s my boxing coach’s son. When I first went in there they kinda wanted to test me out. I’ve done fighting before I went there, they put me with him and I was kinda thinking, 13-year-old, he should be good but maybe I shouldn’t hit him that hard. And he nearly knocked me out.”
Now having fight experience across several different weight classes and types of fighters, Crist is preparing for her pro debut. For her upcoming fight, she will be fighting at a catchweight of 110 pounds against Andrea Amaro against XKO 41 on May 19.
She expects her opponent to be strong and scrappy but feels she’ll get a finish.
“This fight I believe is gonna get a finish. We’re gonna go out there and we’re gonna try and finish each other. I feel like I could knock her out or submit her.”
With a finish in mind, Crazy Cristina Crist expects to put on a fan friendly performance, which is something she takes pride in.
Get tickets for the Xtreme Knockout event here.