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Midnight Mania! Former MMA fighter Sharice Davids makes history-winning election to Congress

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Kansas Congressional Candidate Sharice Davids Casts Her Vote In Midterm Election Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

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Former professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Sharice Davids has made United States history as the first openly gay Native American woman to be elected to the United States House of Representatives. A Democrat, she came from behind to win against an incumbent in Republican-leaning Kansas, and joins former professional fighter Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma as former MMA fighters who serve in Congress.

Davids has spoken out in support of Leslie Smith and Project Spearhead, the attempt to unionize UFC fighters. She is a graduate of Cornell University, a lawyer and a former White House fellow. Her election comes as Democrats have flipped control of the House for the first time in nearly a decade. More than 100 women have been elected to Congress in the process, an all-time high.

Davids’ MMA career has taken her from Team Bombsquad in N.Y., where she trained alongside a young Jon Jones, to Jackson-Winklejohn in New Mexico, where she trained for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) tryouts. While she didn’t make the cut to get onto the show, she did tap current UFC fighter Nina Ansaroff. She had two professional bouts, in 2013 and 2014. She told that her MMA career heavily influenced her political career.

“For me, it impacts every facet of my life,” Davids said. “From my ability in staying calm — and it’s not to say I don’t get upset or any of that stuff. But I do think that like when you spend a while bunch of time literally getting punched, if you get angry every time you get punched, you’re not gonna last that long, because you’re gonna get burnt out.

“Just knowing that you do this thing on a regular basis that most people, one, never experience, and two, that you can recognize that you can disentangle your emotions from your physical state, from your ability to perform. For me just being able to recognize that, having that mindset is really, really helpful.”


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