Athletes come to mixed martial arts from all sorts of different athletic backgrounds. Hailey Cowan competed in gymnastics for most of her life. It was her first love and when she was done with that journey, the competitive fire still burned; and Hailey has now been lucky enough to fall in love once again.
You’ve had a rapid progression in MMA going from an amateur to heading into your forth professional fight in less than two years. How did you find the sport?
“I had my amateur debut only 18-months ago. I graduated from Baylor in 2014, having a really nasty shoulder injury. I was an athlete there. Once my shoulder healed up, I was like ‘you know what…. I’ve developed these skills as gymnast my entire life, so how can I keep using them.’ Because when my shoulder healed up, I felt great physically and I just wanted to be able to keep competing athletically for as long as I could. I’ve always loved MMA, so I went into a gym for fun. Walked in, fell in love the moment I walked through the doors. I’m a very all or nothing kind of person. Later that day I called and quit my job; and I started training full-time on the spot.”
What was that first class?
“It was just a cardio kickboxing class. I took it with my dad. I did that in the morning: that was the only option in the morning classes. Then in the evening, I came back, and I did Muay Thai, wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.”
And you were hooked right away?
“Right away. I think I competed in my first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament four or five weeks after that. It was a pretty big division. You know a lot of times to go to those Jiu Jitsu tournaments and it’s hit or miss. There’s maybe only four or five girls in a division. I had a pretty open division. I went undefeated that day. I had five or six matches and won all of those which is kinda cool. I was hooked. Parents, my dad was cool with it. Mom was iffy at first and she (then) got to see me compete and that I love what I was doing. Saw that I was pretty good at it and jumped on board.”
Cowan will continue her MMA journey against Sarah Click on the AXS TV portion of LFA 63.
Check out the full interview at the top of the page.