Sydney Smith

Sydney “Sundance” Smith finds peace in the cage and being a mother

Sydney “Sundance” Smith is a hard-working, single-mother that life has thrown a fair amount of curve balls at. However, life has underestimated what this strawweight mixed martial artist can take and still keep fighting the good fight.  Smith is a 5-3 amateur fighter fighting out of  Waynesboro, Virginia. She is the proud mother to a four month old baby boy and she just put a check mark in the win column for her latest fight at  Fusion Fight League in Montana. Sydney did what is almost unheard of in the sport of MMA. She traveled from Virginia to Montana for her fight against  Genesis Rialmo alone. Money constraints kept any of  her coaches and teammates from travelling with her. This led to her getting the thrill of a lifetime cornering her and helping her to victory on June 12th.

So who cornered Smith at the Fusion Fight League fights on June 12th?

How has she changed since starting MMA and becoming a mother?

Smith answered these questions and more, when I got a chance to get to know the black cowboy hat wearing strawweight fighter.


Hello Sydney! Where did your fight name, “Sundance” originate?

Sydney: My fight name ‘Sundance’ is actually my second attempt at a cage name. My first 2 fights I went by Psycho (my ex said I needed something alliterative) and we couldn’t come up with anything else. Sundance was a pet name I had for my dad when I was growing up. He had an old gun cabinet with a drawer on the bottom and one day I was rifling through it. I found his college wallet which had his old ID’s in it along with a picture of his high school gf that said, To Sundance. After my 2nd fight my ex and I were sitting watching TV when he looked at me and just said ‘Sundance’… the rest is history! My fight name and the black cowboy hat I wear when I fight are both a tribute to my dad who passed away in 2012 from Cancer.


Describe the feeling you had, when Marvin Eastman and Roxanne Modafferi were standing in your corner during your last fight in Montana.

Sydney: So Serena (“Southpaw” DeJesus) and I had made arrangements a couple weeks before the fight for me to wrap her hands and for Marv to corner me… Idk why but it didn’t click in my brain that it was MARVIN EASTMAN until we got to Montana hahaha I think Roxy (Modafferi )may have thought I was a bit touched in the head because I came out there all by myself lol. She was a little reserved at first, and I was kind of in shock that I got to meet her in person to begin with. We got to know each other over Thursday and Friday, so when Saturday rolled around she offered to warm up with me in the cage and in the locker rooms which was SO FREAKING COOL… and then she asked if I wanted her to corner me! Ummmm, yes please!! They gave excellent advice and I could hear them perfectly the entire fight. They were both super supportive and extremely happy for my win, as if I were one of their very own. It definitely was one of the best times of my entire life.


If you could give your fight style a name, what would it be?

Sydney: Ummmm, I really have no nifty saying for my style, other than barn burner hahaha . I’m gritty and I come to bang. Everyone over the years has made note of my facial expressions when I’m in the cage, and it’s come to be known here in Virginia as the Sundance Glare.
Thanks Sydney! Continued happiness and peace. I personally will not be surprised if we see her make her pro debut, sooner than later.
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Lacey Padgett
Lacey Padgett (formerly Neher) is an award winning Blogger, Freelance Journalist and Content Creator specializing in the sport of MMA. Lacey was an active member of the Women's MMA advocacy group that fought on behalf of female fighters to get a fair shot in the UFC. After a hiatus to raise her children, Padgett is back to writing about the sport she loves.