MMA-Florida.com speaks with Stephanie Eggink, a 125lb pro MMA fighter fighting out of Tampa, Fl with Gracie Tampa. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Stephanie. On Saturday (6/25) you made your pro MMA debut at Crowbar MMA in North Dakota.
MMA-Florida.com How excited were you before the fight?
Stephanie Eggink: I was pretty excited, I had been training really hard and I knew I was more than prepared for this fight.
MMA-Fla: What did you know about your opponent, Trisha Clark?
SE: I didn’t know much about Trisha other than that we were both in the tuff n uff 125 lb tournament in Vegas last year.
MMA-Fla: Can you tell us about Crowbar MMA promotion and how they treated you?
SE: The promoter, Chris, was awesome, he seemed to genuinely care about the fighters. The show was outside at the state fair and unfortunately the fair management didn’t put forth their best efforts, but that was out of Chris’s hands. I’d love to fight on his card again.
MMA-Fla: Please tell how your fight went. And it is available to view online?
SE: The fight went well (for me). I got an armbar early in round one. I honestly wasn’t very happy with my performance though, I had a little “ring rust” and forgot how to punch lol. Next time will be better!
MMA-Fla: You did some professional boxing previously. What made you decide to switch to MMA?
SE: I did boxing for quite a while, I started when I was 16, won nationals at 18 which put me on the USA boxing team. I fought in the Pan American games and then turned pro, but not too long after that I watched my first UFC fight and it looked like a lot more fun so I quit boxing and bought a gi!
MMA-Fla: You also have an impressive 3-1 amateur MMA record. Did you have all your amateur fights while still living in the Northwest?
SE: Yea all my fights as an ammy were before I moved an still lived north of Seattle. I fought in Vegas three times, and Canada once. My one loss was at the Tuff N’Uff finals. I lost on a split decision to Jenny yum (she was ranked #1 in the country
MMA-Fla: What brought you to Florida & Gracie Tampa in particular?
SE: Well honestly what really brought me to Tampa was meeting Cristina Rodriguez, my girlfriend, who lives/ trains/coaches in Tampa. Her, plus the opportunity to train at Gracie Tampa under Rob Kahn persuaded me. It was the best choice I ever made, I cannot even begin to compare the difference in my training and how much I have changed/improved as a fighter. I flew out here a couple times before moving and I knew it was where I needed to be.
MMA-Fla: How did you determine which gym to train at once you moved to Tampa? Or did you know that beforehand?
MMA-Fla: Have you adjusted to the difference in the climate? It must be quite a different from Washington state.
SE: I love Florida! I miss my family but I don’t miss Seattle’s rain and cold weather! It is starting to get ridiculously hot, but I’ll take that over gray skies any day.
MMA-Fla: How long have you been training BJJ?
SE: I have been doing BJJ for just over two years now. It’s become an obsession! I am a striker but honestly I feel just as comfortable if not more comfortable on the ground. I get to roll with a brown belt everyday (Cris) which has drastically improved my game. We both work for Grapplers Quest too, so jiu jitsu is kind of our whole life lol.
MMA-Fla: Have you heard about the women’s MMA G2 Summit taking place on July 4th weekend in Las Vegas? It’s 3 days of seminars and matches. Tuff N’Uff is helping out and they are also holding some fights.
SE: I was asked to attend but we were in New Jersey the week before my fight for a grappling tournament. Then of course last week we traveled to North Dakota for my fight. I just wanted a weekend off and not having to travel, so unfortunately I had to turn down the invite.
MMA-Fla: You also teach boxing/striking at Gracie Tampa. Does the teaching also help you learn? Which class do you enjoy the most?
SE: I teach the kids competition boxing class and striking classes at Gracie. I love it, I have a few kids that I’ve taken to ammy boxing fights, and watching them tear it up in the ring is awesome! And if anything it makes me a better striker since I have to slow down and really think about the technique.
MMA-Fla: Thanks for your time and good luck in the future. Also congrats on getting the win in your pro MMA debut!