Interview With Elena ReidAs one of the fastest rising prospects in mixed martial arts, former WIBA and IFBA Women’s Flyweight Boxing Champion Elena “Babydoll” Reid is seen by many as the future of the sport. She talks with about her career to date.

There are very few mixed martial artists who are touted as the future of an entire division after just two fights. Reid is one of those few.


Following her 53-second televised destruction of Stephanie Palmer in October of 2008, Reid was hailed by many within the MMA media as a future star. Already a two-time world champion in boxing, and one of the best female boxers in the world, there are few if any challengers in MMA who can compete with Reid’s striking.

Now 3-0-0 and having already engaged in one of the most action-packed women’s bouts of 2009 when she defeated Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson in April, Reid will look to add MMA gold to her collection when she meets Japanese veteran Masako Yoshida in a title fight at an Extreme Beatdown event on October 24th.

Please note that this is a repost of our original interview here. Hi, Elena. Thank you very much for taking time out for this interview. To begin, can you talk a bit about how you first got involved in martial arts and which disciplines you initially trained in?

Elena Reid: I have always played sports, but I started karate at the age of 11. I started kickboxing at 15 and fell in love with it. I was always playing at least 2 sports at a time; even cheerleading, lol.

I was very much an athlete, but nothing kept my attention the way that kickboxing did. Then boxing was introduced to me at age 17 and it was love at first try. “Finally the sport that fit me, like a glove.” (NO pun intended!) It was clear from the start that you were a natural striker, and you even won a kickboxing title in your native Arizona at just 17 years of age. How did your friends and family react to your involvement (and success) in combat sports?

Elena: At first, it was just another sport that I did and wasn’t a big deal. My mother had to drive my brother and I every day after school for 45 minutes there and back to the gym. My father was excited for my brother but not happy with me fighting.

My family is all very supportive now and has followed me around the world to watch my fights. My Mom is always there. She does my hair. My uncle has helped with management. My family is very close and they mean the world to me. In 2000, you made your professional debut in boxing and have since become one of the best female boxers in history. When you first began your career, did you ever envision yourself attaining the success that you have?

Elena: I knew that I wanted to be the best and I just worked super hard. It’s been such a long time, but it has gone by so fast. Throughout your extensive career in boxing, which you still compete in today, you’ve compiled an impressive record of 19-5-6 and are a former WIBA and IFBA Women’s Flyweight Champion. When you first held championship gold, what did that mean to you?

Elena: I waited some time before fighting for a title. I wanted it to mean something and it did. When I got the title, I wanted to honestly not just have a belt but really be the best in the world. I was known for always fighting the toughest opponents and built a respectable career that way. It was a tough road and I didn’t have anything handed to me.

My first title win received an award for Fight of the Year. Mary Ortega and I went toe to toe for 10 rounds. I have a lot of respect for her and all of my opponents. During your boxing career, you competed in a pair of controversial bouts in Germany against German native Regina Halmich. The judges ruled the fights as a Draw and a win for Halmich, respectively, but most observers felt that you had won one or both of the fights and had been robbed in the scoring. How disappointing were the outcomes of those fights and how did they shape your career?

Elena: It was heart wrenching and a true time to grow. I gained the fans in Germany that night, which was almost even more impressive than the fight. I just hope that people always remember me as an honest fighter who really did earn all that I gained. There is still a piece of my heart missing. The first fight was bad, but the second was really tough. I learned that there are just things in this world that you can’t control. “As long as you give it your all and are honest, you can have peace.” Anyone who has seen any of your fights knows that you are one of the most technically sound strikers to ever compete in boxing and your footwork is second to none. How important is technique in a fight and when does sheer power take over?

Elena: I’m always concerned with technique and, thankfully, power comes with technique. I spend hours in the gym doing things over and over for muscle memory. When the fight happens, my body knows what to do. So, hopefully, the two go hand-in-hand, or at least that’s what I strive for.