Recently signed Invicta fighter strawweight Felice “Lil Bulldog” Herrig has a hyper compelling social networking presence equalled only by her ability to fight. In interview with Corey Smith, she discusses how she got there.
Corey Smith: You initially began your journey in martial arts via Muay Thai. How did that come about? What predicated the switch over to MMA?
Felice Herrig: I could see MMA was where everything was going so I knew I had to go that direction. Problem was I had already established myself as a high level pro in Muay Thai and kickboxing so I didn’t have the luxury of having an amateur career in MMA to learn the ropes.
I was thrown in against pro MMA girls with grappling and BJJ backgrounds and basically learned through trail by fire. I had zero BJJ or wrestling when I started MMA… zero.
CS: After you were released by Bellator as part of their decision to no longer promote female bouts, what prompted you to sign with Invicta FC?
FH: Honestly my management and I requested our release before that news was made so this was not a case of me being let go and looking for a new home. I went to my first Invicta show to support my friend Carla Esparza. I went in there thinking I wouldn’t really want to fight on an all girls show because I liked being the “feature women’s fight” on an all male card. I admit I shot from the hip and actually made this statement to some media outlets.
After feeling the energy and vibe at my first Invicta show I knew it was something very special. Then I had the chance to meet Shannon Knapp and spend some time with her at the show and honestly I knew in my gut then that I would like to fight for her.
I had this fear that she may judge me like so many people do and she really didn’t at all. As a matter of fact I felt like we may have a lot of similarities and she just really understood me. There was an incident in the hotel bar (which I won’t mention names) when “someone” started messing with me. Shannon came out of nowhere and jumped to my defense and I wasn’t even an Invicta fighter at the time. It was that moment that I knew if Shannon had my back like that then she must really have the backs of her fighters.
CS: You maintain a strong social media presence and connection with your fans. How important is that to you personally and to your career?
FH: Social media is so important for me. I think when you engage your fans and entertain them through that media you can really connect. I do my best to engage with everyone but obviously it can get hard to keep up with. A few years ago fans would never have the outlet to connect with athletes, singers, actors, etc… but now this gives them a chance to connect one-to-one and get a true snapshot of our everyday lives. Fans are what got me here so it’s very important for me to stay connected.
CS: Outside of the gym, what types of activities do you enjoy simply for fun?
FH: You know I just like to have fun and be a happy person. I know I can tend to be a bit overboard on things but that’s just me enjoying life. It doesn’t always rub people the right way but I am never out to hurt anyone. I’m a bit of a walking contradiction… I like to travel and visit friends but I like my routine of training and staying in my groove.
I like to write in my journal, read, and design clothes (mainly my fight outfits). I have a creative side to me so I’m always tinkering with things. I just recently discovered bedazzling so everyone and everything watch out!!!
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