In her last fight at Invicta FC 30, Stephanie Geltmacher took care of business… and quickly. “Hold Fast” Geltmacher put pressure on her opponent (Kerry Kenneson) and immediately got take down. As soon as she landed, she was throwing punches and getting into better position. The win came quickly at 3:32 in the first round. Quite simply, she won with skill and ruthless aggression.
Aggressive is a word that fits Geltmacher as she always has been. In fact, it’s what led her to combat sports in the first place, all the way back when she was eight years old.
“I was really rough as a child, always wrestling around in the grass and my dad was like “you should probably pick up some wrestling or jiu jitsu.” We had a friend that had put their kid in jiu jitsu and that’s how that happened. I really took a liking to it, I was really aggressive as a kid.”
She continued jiu jitsu until high school when she joined the high school wrestling team. Thankfully in Hawaii where she grew up, wrestling was popular for girls to participate so she was able to compete against other girls. She excelled and it opened her up to opportunities to compete in college. Geltmacher went to Yakima Community College and Oklahoma City University and was an All-American all four years (2011 at Yakima and 2012-14 at Oklahoma City University).
Right after college, she competed at the Olympic trials for a spot on they Olympic team. She didn’t make it but it was a learning experience. She learned that you have to want it if you’re going to succeed.
“You’ve really gotta want it. At the time, when I was competing in those events, I didn’t want it. I felt like I was more forced to compete, which is kinda sad because now I look back at it like, man those were wasted opportunities because I don’t think I did well in those tournaments because I was pressured.”
It wasn’t her idea to compete at the trials in the first place, it was her coach’s.
“He was like “you’re going to wrestle, I don’t care what you say.”
At that time, Geltmacher was checked out, she wanted an offseason but wasn’t able to have one.
After she finished college, Geltmacher didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. Her fiancée Teagan Dooley, whom she originally met at Yakima Valley Community College before both going to Oklahoma City University was pursuing a mixed martial arts career. It was after watching him did she feel she could fight.
“He started picking up on it and I just kinda like “what are you doing” and he’s like,” I’m training to fight in the MMA scene” and I just followed suit with him.”
It was after his first fight, that she thought she could do it.
“After his first amateur fight, I was like I could do this.”
Then she simply went to the gym and tried it out, it was love at first site.
“The first time I ever sparred and was put in the cage, I was in love with it. It was exciting, it was just sparring, it wasn’t even the real deal. I just got really excited about it and it made me it’s either me or them, that feeling again. I fell in love with it.”
Now she trains alongside her fiancée who she trained with for many years on the mats for wrestling and MMA that means a lot to Geltmacher.
“We met each other in the community college at Yakima, cause he’s from Washington state. We met each other there and then we both got a scholarship to wrestle at Oklahoma City University together so we’ve been competing together for quite a long time. It is special and it’s something we share together.”
The two are competitive with each other.
“Probably me more than him, when we’re on the mat. He’s very strong, he’s a strong burly man. Whenever he gets one on me I try and get one on him. I’m competitive with him and he won’t admit it but he’s competitive with me. If he says anything else, he’s a liar.”
Especially when it’s on the mat.
“He’s tapped me out a few times and I’ve never forgotten any of those taps.”
Dooley, describes Geltmacher as a happy person but as a fighter she is “vicious, imposing and aggressive.”
Their relationship has helped Geltmacher enjoy training MMA and not feel burnt out like she was with wrestling. She has also learned that she has to do it because she loves it, not because someone else wants her to.
“My system is if I don’t like it, then don’t do it. If it’s not in my favor, or if it doesn’t benefit me then no. I just learned to say no and stand by it.”
Geltmacher has taken her new attitude and her wrestling ability and excelled at MMA. She went 3-1 as an amateur and is currently 3-0 as a professional. Her wrestling is elite and she doesn’t plan on abandoning it as many wrestlers who fall in love with their hands do.
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Getting that extra work in 👀 thank you Professor! #motivationmonday #flyweight #invictafc #solidmmacobrabjj #solidfm #TeamTKO #holdfastmma Thank you to my sponsors for making this my reality! I can’t wait to step in the cage Nov 16th in Shawnee Oklahoma! It’s gonna be great! @musclesupplements_shop @corehog @mckissickrx @thetallyotoexperience @anytimefitness_nwokc @olympus_labs
“I want to get in there and do what I do.”
“Wrestling is definitely my number one.”
Geltmacher will look to show off her wrestling once again her adopted home of Oklahoma as she will compete on November 16 for Invicta FC against Liz Tracy. The former All-American is excited to fight in front of friends and family.
“I’m excited that it’s in our home, that we don’t have to travel. It’s going to be good, I’ve made quite the family over her. I’m pretty excited.”
Invicta is the biggest stage the flyweight fighter has fought for and it provides her an opportunity not only to show off her skills but to win on a big stage. Geltmacher would lose big competitions because she was being forced to compete by her coach. Now, she gets the feeling of being at the top of her game.
“For me to be on the Invicta stage and show what I’m capable of without choking or anything, that’s what I wanted, that’s what I always wanted.”
When she got the win at Invicta 30, she felt what she always wanted to feel.
“It was absolutely like, this is what it feels to let it go.”
It was the simple difference of wanting it herself that made her successful.
“I wanted it, I wanted to be there and I wanted to show the world what I had. That couldn’t have gone any better, it was an amazing feeling.”
That fight was at bantamweight but Geltmacher is a natural flyweight. She took the chance because it was for Invicta and it paid off. But now she is making the move to flyweight for the first time in her career, it will also be the lowest weight she will have competed at including wrestling. She says her weight is good and she feels great.
Her opponent, Liz Tracy has more professional MMA experience then Geltmacher but it doesn’t matter to Geltmacher who thinks it will be an exciting matchup.
“I think we matchup pretty well because we’re both wrestlers and I think we’re both short and stocky. I know she has some hands too and I know she has some grappling and so do I, I think it’s going to be a war.”