Kola Shippentower, a former professional mixed martial artist, has signed to play with the Oregon Ravens of the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC).
The 34-year-old Umatilla tribal member went 1-2 as a pro MMA fighter and 2-1 as an amateur. Shippentower’s short-lived MMA career began in 2013, and she last competed in November 2018.
According to an article from East Oregonian, “when Shippentower first started taking martial arts classes, it was for her and her three boys. As a domestic violence and sexual assault survivor, she wanted to be able to protect herself and her family.”
Now Shippentower will trade in the leather MMA gloves for a pigskin.
“It’s a cool opportunity,” she said of getting her chance to play football. “That’s kinda the big motivation behind MMA, it’s male dominated. With that sport and this one, I want to be able to show my boys they don’t have to look to mainstream media to find inspiration and guidance. I want them to know they can do whatever they want.”
She will wear No. 29, but her position has not yet been decided.
The WNFC has 16 teams across the United States, with players from 20+ countries.