Lion Fight Promotions will host a Muay Thai world interim middleweight (160-pounds) title bout and co-main event, pitting champion Ky Hollenbeck (18-1) of San Francisco, California, against challenger Simon Chu (29-6) of Leeds, England in Primm, Nevada on Sat., Aug. 20.
During the event, women's World Boxing Council (WBC) International Super Bantamweight Champion Jeri Sitzes will defend her belt against top contender Misty Sutherland.
Sitzes, who goes by the nickname "Fists of Fury," is not just a boxer; she's also competed in mixed martial arts (MMA), holding a record of 3-1.
In her last MMA bout, Sitzes earned a third round technical knockout victory over Lacey Shuckman at Strikeforce Challengers 3 on Sep. 25, 2009.
Jeri recently sat down with MMA Mania for an exclusive interview to discuss her upcoming fight, as well as the current state of women's mixed martial arts (WMMA) and its future.
Sitzes hasn't been able to do a ton of research on her opponent, due to the way Sutherland runs her camp. She does know that Sutherland is a left-handed fighter and believes she has properly prepared for the challenges of fighting a "southpaw."
"Honestly, I don't really know a whole lot about her. The people in her camp are pretty secretive. But I do know that she is around my weight, and I do know that she is a southpaw. Basically, that's it. You're basically fighting a mirror image of yourself, so it's not gonna be as clean of a fight. But it's the same for her as it is for me. I train hard, pretty rough. I don't cut any corners."
Sitzes is a firm believer in the way she trains, and she is confident she will have all the tools she needs to succeed on Saturday night.
"I really believe in the training that we do. Like I said, we don't cut any corners. I train, not only with people who are bigger and stronger than me, but also with people who are smaller and faster. I get the best of both worlds."
Jeri is optimistic about the future of women's combat sports. She simply feels that the proper amount of time and effort must be put into growing the sport.
"I think there is a future for women's MMA, but they (women) need to become complete fighters. Get better with Thai Boxing and just Boxing. When we prove ourselves like that, I think everything else will come into play. We gotta figure it out. We can't be 'wishy-washy' about this. It's not ballet. It's not sweet. It's fighting."
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has been critical of WMMA and has gone so far as to state that it (WMMA) will never be featured in his promotion. Sitzes is hopeful that White will, one day, see the light, but is also okay with the potential reality that he may never come around.
"I hope so (White changing mind). He (White) was there at my last fight, and it was a pretty impressive victory. I've met him before. I talked to him in 2003. I asked him, 'Will we (women) ever be able to fight in MMA?' He said, 'no' back then, too. I think he's sticking to his guns. I think he wants girls just to be girls. You know, I'm a girl and I'm a great fighter. I'm a good person, but I'm a fighter first. One other thing: It's not up to Dana White to decide if women should fight in MMA. If he doesn't promote it, someone else will."
She may very well be right. Only time will tell.
We appreciate Jeri taking time out of her training schedule to talk with us and wish her the best of luck on Saturday night.
For more information on Jeri or Lion Fight Promotions, check out www.lionfightingpromotions.com.
What do you think, Maniacs? Is Uncle Dana right about WMMA or does it just need more time to grow and mature? Sound off!