In celebration of Fierce's release, we continue with MMA fighter Jodie Esquibel's interview.
Yesterday, Invicta Fighter Jodie Esquibel told us about how she came to boxing and then MMA, as well about being a girl in MMA. You can read Part 1 HERE. Below, is Part 2 of her interview.
LG: Women and men tend to fight differently. What are your thoughts on fighting a guy verse a girl?
JE: There are guy partners in the gym that you know are going to make you better, and others that aren't. John Dodson and I will stand toe-to-toe and knock the shit out of each other, but he was one of the first friends I made at the gym, so just having that friendship and trust and familiarity makes a difference. We push each other, and trust each other.
Girls, we tend to toe-to-toe right away. But guys go out there with us and we have to kind of see…how hard we are going to hit. If you don't hit me hard, you're wasting my time. If you don't tap me out, you're wasting my time. There are some guys that aren't beneficial for me to train with. Maybe they aren't comfortable training with a girl. But I don't want that.
Being a Girl in the Gym Part 2
Fighters are very selfish and have to be. Fighting is an extremely selfish sport. Me being better is going to help my teammates, and myself. If you're not helping me get better, it's a waste of our time. Taking it easy on me in training won't help me in a fight.
Overall, the caliber of fighter at the gym is unbelievable. Every day is a battle. If you don't bring your A game, it's a sad day.
The Female Component
We do fight different. A girl doesn't punch like a guy. Girls throw differently than a guy, they walk differently, they move different. I'm lucky to have a great girl team, and great guys to work with also.
Rolling [jiu-jitsu] is different with a girl also. We're more aggressive, less methodical.
To be super nerdy, scientifically and chemically, we [women] are just wired differently. Females are emotional. In the beginning , when I was an amateur, my opponent would have this reaction that was like, "bitch, you just hit me" and it's like no, it's nothing personal. You signed up for this.
As women, sometimes we have to curb those raw emotions a little more, so that we can fight more strategically.
LG: Having a female component in the gym is important for training.
JE: It is. Having the female component is awesome and beautiful and great. At first, it's hard because it's another girl in the gym and girls are territorial. Immediately, girls think "what weight does she fight at?" Sometimes, you have to be like, get over yourself.
When a new girl walks in, the response is usually like "who brought the new girl? Oh, that's so-and-so new girlfriend. Okay, cool." And then that's okay. It's instant scan mode.
It sounds horrible; it sounds animalistic. But it's very true. When a new girl comes in to fight, the other girls get dibs. "All right, cool, first round I got her, you get her second round etc." It's ridiculous.
There's a lot of dynamics being in male dominated areas. The fire department, being in the gym training in a male dominated field… You have to keep control. All of a sudden, you are just competing to be the best of everything but really not making yourself better. That's an ugly place to be. Everything is a competition. 'I can throw a ladder higher than you.'
But all of those things I experienced in those other areas and in my life transferred into fighting. You don't fight to lose, you don't fight to be second best. Every time you lose, it hurts. We don't fight to lose at this level.
JE: Everything tied in well for me being able to learn with each career. The yoga studio was brought into my life to bring my ego down for sure. I was out of control. I feel a lot more grounded now. My ego may still be large, but at least I can acknowledge that.
It was fun to open a business and try to slow life down a little bit. It's fun to offer classes and see people happy. It helps balance everything.
Being so red-line all the time with training and paramedicine and helping the swat team makes it nice to step back and go teach yoga. Finding balance is important.
LG: Any advice for women who want to pursue fighting or a life in other male-dominated fields?
JE: I would say, that it’s super important to stay grounded and stay true to yourself because if you're not happy with what you're doing, it's not going to work out. If that's truly what you want to do, whatever your path is, who cares what everyone else says.
You lose ten fights in a row but you still want to do it because it makes you happy? Stick with it. Put your head down and work hard and stay on that path, stay tough until you figure it out. There are people--including women--paving the way.
There are women in the UFC. Not long ago, Dana White said we would never be there. And we have Invicta, which is an unbelievable group creating a place for female fighters to go.
Now is the time to stay with your dream and hard work will pay off.
Women's MMA is here to stay.
Even if it's not done the same way, the result is the same.
We can do just as good as anyone else.
Jodie has a fight scheduled for September 6th. You can find out more about Jodie:
And thank you, readers, for checking it out!