Elizabeth Phillips talks growing up on the rez

Elizabeth Phillips talks growing up on the rez

Elizabeth Phillips, 28, sat down recently with UFC.com editorial director Thomas Gerbasi for Outside the Octagon, ahead of her fight with Milana Dudieva on Saturday in Macao, live on UFC Fight Pass.

Phillips grew up in tiny Omak, Washington, much of that time on the Colville reservation. The SikJitsu protege is of mixed African American, white, and Native American heritage.

“I’m not a tribal member of the Colville tribe, but I am Blackfeet and also Choctaw, and so is my older sister, and we were raised over on the Colville rez,” said Phillips. “I’ve grown up in that culture my whole life.”

“If you went to a party on the rez or something like that, you knew that you were going to get into a fight. Someone was going to talk s— and someone was going to get their head knocked off their shoulders. It was crazy. I was getting in fights all the time when I was younger. I used to be this small, quiet person, and then all of a sudden everything changed and I was rowdy because that was just how it was. If you had a problem with somebody, you threw fists at each other and you handled it that way. That was definitely the lifestyle of Omak and where I grew up.”

“I was getting in trouble at one point and things weren’t working out and there’s a lot of regrets I have because of certain choices that I made, so it did get to the point where I was like ‘I need to stay busy with myself and start doing something positive that I like to do,’ and I’m just thankful that I had people that pointed me in that direction of mixed martial arts.”

“There are athletes out there that come into MMA but I truly don’t believe that everybody is a fighter. It (being a fighter) comes with instinct and heart and your attitude. Even when you’re losing and you’re tired and you’re hurt, it’s how you handle it. You can’t teach that, and I don’t think everybody has it. Some people have it and some people don’t.”

“I like to get punched in the face, it doesn’t bother me. I love to sock people up, but at the same time, I can take a punch and I’m not gonna curl up in a ball either. That’s me having a few screws loose.”

“The support is crazy. I’m getting sponsorships from back home in Omak from the Colville tribe and car dealerships and small businesses and things like that, so it’s pretty cool. I have a little, small town backing me up because they’re stoked to have one of their own come out and do something with themselves. So it’s a pretty good feeling.”

Images courtesy of Facebook