Fighting has always been in Miranda “Danger” Granger’s life. Her grandfather was a boxer and her father trained martial arts. When she was just four years old, her dad brought her to Charlie’s Combat Club to train in Tae Kwon Do and she has been there ever since. Her dad would take her to fights when she was little and when she saw females fighting in the cage when she was 12 years old, she told herself she could do the same.
“Ever since then I knew that was going to be my end goal.”
Miranda Granger played softball and basketball in college but she MMA and martial arts were always on her mind.
“I felt like there was always something kinda drawing me back to MMA or drawing me back to martial arts in some way.”
After she finished college, she went back to Charlie’s Combat Club, started kickboxing to get back into shape and after a little while she found herself competing. Since then, Granger has felt like she has found her purpose in life.
“I feel like I’ve kinda found my purpose in life. It gives me a reason to wake up and be happy every single day.”
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Not only has Granger found happiness, she has also found success. She went 5-0 as an amateur and is currently 3-0 as a professional, defeating tough veterans like Jamie Thorton and Ivana Coleman. But unlike many of her contemporaries, she and her coach, Charlie Pearson, are looking for the fighter who can beat her.
“I know there is someone out there that is better than me. All I try and do is try and train harder than that person every single day. Obviously I know I’ve had some success and I’ve fought some very good girls. Charlie has told me multiple times he wants to get me beat, he wants to put me up against the opponents that are going to beat me cause it forces me to have to work harder and fight harder.”
She says it’s her mentality that helps her overcome fighters that may be more talented than her.
“I think that even if people are better than me, my mentality towards fighting and my heart towards fighting are bigger than most. That’s just my opinion. I don’t like to lose so I try to lay it all out there.”
Granger’s coach at Charlie’s Combat Club, Charles Pearson has always known she’d find success and would always be a competitor.
“I have known her for a long time, she has always had that spark inside of her competitively.”
“I expected her to be a very strong athlete in what ever sport she pursued.”
In her next bout on September 15, Granger will face Amy Montenegro for the Dominate FC strawweight title in the main event of the evening. Montenegro will provide the challenge Granger and her coach are seeking as she has fought for Invicta FC and has compiled a record of 8-3.
“I’m excited just because she’s such a big name and I know it’s by far going to be my toughest opponent to date and it’s for a title so there is a lot more on the line. I think I have a lot to prove and if I can beat her I think it can really put my name on the map. Not only am I excited to fight her, but I’m excited to see what I’m capable of.”
The fact that Montenegro will be Granger’s toughest test yet isn’t intriguing enough, Montenegro also trained at the same gym as Granger but Granger was pursuing other sports at the time. But Granger says it doesn’t make much of a difference in the fight because the coach who mainly trained Montenegro at Charlie’s Combat Club is no longer there and it was a very long time ago. She and her coach are purely training her to be the best she can be.
“She trained here so long ago we can’t go off of anything back then, she’s a completely different fighter. She’s made a name of herself all on her own without this gym. So, I don’t think that will have any impact on which way the fight goes at all.”
“Charlie isn’t training me to fight Amy, he’s training me to be a fighter. Where ever the fight goes, we want to be ready for it.”
Her coach, Charles Pearson believes his former student will be a major challenge for his current student.
“I expect Amy to be well prepared and to bring a strong challenge. There is a lot of hype around our fighter but she is still fairly young – Amy has been in the game quite bit longer, this will definitely be a test for us.”
Though Montenegro has the edge in fight experience, Granger believes she has the skills to beat her and that she has been consistently fighting while Montenegro hasn’t fought since December 2017 will help benefit her.
“I think I matchup pretty well, I think that I’m strong in some areas that she maybe weak and I think that I’m strong in some areas that she is strong in. I don’t want to come off as cocky at all but I’m very confident in my skills and I’m confident in my team to get me ready for her.”
“I think that we compare pretty well even though she has more experience, I think that I’ve been consistently been fighting for four years and she’s taken some breaks and stuff too, which I don’t think it will play a huge factor but I’ve been living in the cage for four years.”
As for how Granger thinks the fight will end:
“I just think my hand will be raised. I don’t really care which way or how…hopefully I finish it.”
If triumphant on September 15, Granger will have a signature win on her record and will maintain her undefeated record. At 5-0 she will become a top prospect in the strawweight division and the bigger promotions will start to show interest. Though that is her dream, she doesn’t want to think about it.
“I don’t want to get my mind set on things that aren’t happening yet. I want to focus on what’s in front of me and the task at hand. I’m trying not to cloud my mind with too much. Obviously, I have some big dreams and would love to go to those places and fight there or fight all over the world I would absolutely love that. Right now my only focus is the Tacoma Dome on September 15 and Amy Montenegro.”
With the biggest fight of her life in front of her and her dreams a realistic possibility the thought of accomplishing all of her goals when she was twelve feels surreal.
“It’s surreal, you have to kind of bring yourself back down to reality. If you go back to when I was a little kid, on all of my assignments, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” It was a professional athlete. And so to think, I’m living that dream that I’ve had since I was a really young kid, it’s just surreal.”
“Who knew it would come to this? So sometimes when I get a little bit anxious or nervous or whatever. before a fight I just remind myself, this is where I’ve wanted to be forever.”