RFA 13: 1st ever ring card girl vs. ring card girl fight in MMA

Friday, March 07, 2014

RFA 13 – Cochrane vs. Escudero
Friday, March 7, 2014
Pershing Center
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

RFA 13 Saturday night will be an excellent night of MMA action, headlined by Dakota Cochrane vs. Efrain Escudero. However, down on the card, past the prelim card, and into the opening amateur fights is an MMA first.

For the first time, two ring card girls will be fighting each other. Nebraska natives Stephanie Watts and Alyce Roen will each be having their debut fight, at a catchweight of 110.

MMA Corner sat down with Roen to find out what it is all about.

At 5-foot-2 and 110 pounds, 21-year-old Nebraska native Alyce Roen does not have the look of a fighter. But, as we have learned in the world of women’s mixed martial arts, looks can be deceiving. This Midwestern beauty will make her amateur MMA debut against fellow Nebraskan Stephanie Watts at RFA 13 on March 7 at the Pershing Center in Lincoln, Neb.

“I started training about eight months ago,” Roen told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “I initially started training after I went to my first MMA fight in Lincoln. When I first watched the sport, I automatically fell in love with it.”

Roen didn’t start her journey with the end goal of being a fighter, though. She, like many people who walk into a MMA gym, just wanted to get in shape. However, through training, a passion was born.

“Originally started training at Premier because I wanted to get in shape, just to get myself out of the whole partying stage, and it worked out really good,” Roen said. “All of a sudden I just loved doing it and I thought maybe I should try something new because I have not been able to do anything athletic-wise since high school, so I thought ‘Why not?,’ and here I am.”

Understanding that her first fight is a major milestone, Roen also realizes that this fight is more about learning and growing. Regardless of a win or a loss, Roen is in this sport for the long haul.

“I’m pumped and nervous,” Roen admitted. “For a little bit, I was really stressed out, just because obviously it’s your first fight and you want to do good, you want your hand to be raised instead of the other person’s. Whether I win or lose, from the recordings I want to see what I do wrong or what I do right. Basically how I move. You can’t get better if you can’t see what you are doing. I’ve been training my ass off, but even if the odds aren’t in my favor, I still have my family and friends. It’s not going to make me stop this sport. I’m just going to keep going.

“I’m in it to have fun. I’m not going to lie, I am very nervous. And once I get in that cage, I can tell you right now I am going to be very nervous, but it’s a sport. It’s just like anything else—you got to have fun with it. If you don’t have fun with it, why do it?”

However, the ultimate goal of any athletic competition is to win.

“If I get a win, I’ll be freaking happy. I’ll probably cry, I’m not going to lie,” Roen confessed.

Although the perception of women’s MMA is changing, thanks in large part to fighters like UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, Roen knows the sport still has a long way to go. She wants to be a part of its growth.

“I’m a big fan of Ronda Rousey,” Roen said. “When I look at Ronda Rousey, she’s young and she’s very driven and you can tell that she is motivated to be someone in the sport, and that’s someone I look up to.

“When you see someone so driven in the sport and motivated and just loving what they do, it just gives you motivation to keep doing it. They just push you. It’s great just seeing females in the sport, because, most people—it’s basically like football or anything like that—most people don’t think females can make a name in the sport. People like Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and Sara McMann, it’s great to see, and I want to be one of those people. I want to be a role model.”

Read entire article…

Main Card (Televised on AXS TV at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT):

Main Event | Lightweight Bout (155 lbs)
-Dakota Cochrane, 15-5 (RFA vet, TUF 15 alum) vs. Efrain Escudero, 21-7 (UFC vet, TUF 8 champion, RFA vet)

Co-Main Event | Middleweight Bout (185 lbs)
-Miles Marshall, 3-1 (RFA vet) vs. Andrew Sanchez, 4-1 (RFA vet, 4x NAIA All-American wrestler, 2x NAIA wrestling champion)

Feature Fight | Welterweight Bout (170 lbs)
-Chidi Njokuani, 10-4 (RFA vet, brother of UFC star Anthony Njokuani) vs. Chris Heatherly, 7-1 (WFH welterweight champion)

Featherweight Bout (145 lbs)
-Dan Moret, 6-0 (RFA vet) vs. Luke Sanders, 6-0 (Strikeforce vet)

Lightweight Bout (155 lbs)
-T.J. Hepburn, 2-0 (RFA vet, NCAA Division II wrestling champion) vs. Ryan Shell, 5-0 (DC vet)

Bantamweight Bout | (135 lbs)
-Darrick Minner, 7-3 (RFA vet) vs. Austin Lyons, 10-2 (TUF 15 alum, Bellator vet)

Preliminary Card:

Bantamweight Bout | (135 lbs)
-Chad Obermiller, 9-6 (RFA vet) vs. William Joplin, 8-8 (KCFA vet)

Amateur Card:

Light-Heavyweight Bout | (205 lbs)
-Livingston Lukow, 7-1 (Lincoln, Nebraska) vs. Tony Souders, 9-1 (Hillsboro, Missouri)

Middleweight Bout | (185 lbs)
-Enrique Torres, 12-2-1 (Kearney, Nebraska) vs. Zach Hughes, 5-4 (Omaha, Nebraska)

Heavyweight Bout | (265 lbs)
-Jason Windham, 4-1 (Lincoln, Nebraska) vs. Skyler Heckman, 3-0 (Omaha, Nebraska)

Women's Lightweight Bout | (155 lbs)
-Janie Konyek, 2-0 (Omaha, Nebraska) vs. Erin Smith, 2-1 (North Platte, Nebraska)

Lightweight Bout | (155 lbs)
-Grant Dawson, 6-1 (Stromsburg, Nebraska) vs. Nate Maas, 2-2 (Lincoln, Nebraska)

Featherweight Bout | (145 lbs)
-Morgan Schulz, 4-2 (Fremont, Nebraska) vs. Loyd “Boo” Chase, 6-2 (Lincoln, Nebraska)

Women's Catchweight Bout | (110 lbs)
-Stephanie Watts, 0-0 (Omaha, Nebraska) vs. Alyce Roen, 0-0 (Bellevue, Nebraska)

Middleweight Bout | (185 lbs)
-Brandon Neujahr, 3-1 (Kearney, Nebraska) vs. Sonny Yohn, 2-0 (Denver, Colorado)