The saying goes that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. This certainly rings true for Cassie Crisano, a police officer and mother of two who is making her professional MMA debut this Saturday, October 13th, against pro boxer Janice Meyer at the CFFC in Dover, Delaware at 135 lbs.
After a car accident in 2002 nearly took her life she was sidelined from competitive athletic lifestyle she had enjoyed her whole life. However, that season wouldn’t last long for Cassie, as she began training MMA four years ago. She had always been one for a challenge, turning out for her high school wrestling team her freshman year and eventually becoming the first female to defeat a varsity male wrestler in her section. She would go on and eventually win a state championship and take 2nd at nationals while racking up an impressive 20-2 record in female competition.
Originally, her plan was to just get back on the mats and prove to herself and anyone that would doubt her that she could make a return to wrestling. That all changed when she stumbled upon MMA in the lead up to Cyborg vs. Carano and she saw how her strong wrestling background could be a great base for a female MMA fighter. She soon found herself in a familiar situation being the only female in a room full of men training MMA and would go on to compile a 3-1 amateur record.
Now, training out of Noel Smith MMA in Glen Burnie, MD, Predator MMA in Bear, DE and Commitment Fitness Strength and Conditioning in Easton, MD she is ready to push herself to the next level of competition by making her pro debut. Should she ascend the ranks and become a known name like Gina Carano, Miesha Tate, Cris Cyborg, or Ronda Rousey she hopes to be able to represent Women’s MMA with dignity and class, something she feels is often missing from the lifestyles of professional athletes across all sports. However, as if being a police officer, a mother, and overcoming what should have been an athletic career ending accident, the thing that makes Cassie Crisano such a compelling fighter to root for is that when I asked about her intentions for fighting, she didn’t hesitate to say, "Overcoming odds that would have discouraged most, both in and out of the cage, I have time and again accepted every challenge thrown in my path with courage and a relentless spirit that refuses to be kept down. It’s my gift and I want to be able to share it with people, to be able to give them back hope and to believe that living their dreams is not impossible and only for the wealthy."
Make sure you’re rooting for Cassie this weekend in her fight against Janice Meyer. For more information on her you can find her at www.cassiecrisano.com, @CassieCrisano. And be sure to show her sponsors some love, as well: Danny Kelly of Commitment Fitness, Nate at Muscle Inc., Wayne Mutata of www.itrainwithwayne.com, Tuffteeth, and Henry Baez of No Games Entertainment.
Cassie Crisano via sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net
Nick Higgins is a freelance MMA writer, recording artist and producer, and all around doer of cool things. Follow him on Twitter @UndercardNick