Amanda Bobby Cooper, or commonly known as simply, ABC, is becomming a household name in women's MMA. A very strong boxing/striking background dating back to a young age of 11 years old, Amanda is definitely a fighter that brings her "A" game every time she comes out. She is constantly improving her lifestyle and overall MMA / submission game which she invites her fans and friends to follow on the social media networks (links included at bottom of Q&A). Recently ABC was signed to Invicta Fighting Championships, and with the recent deal with UFC Fight Pass, you can be sure to follow her career as she makes herself known in the 125lb women's division!
All Images Courtesy of Shi Lessner Photography
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up and what was life like growing up? (Family, school, friends):
I grew up in a small town in Michigan called Bath. It was known for having the first ever school bombing which happened in 1927 and pretty much drove all the people away so now its just a small town with 1 stop light. Since it was a small town everyone knew each other and their families so we were all pretty close. My family all lived within 5 miles from each other. I grew up with close friends and family.
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
I played basketball, volleyball and softball in high school as well as boxing on the side. I loved softball more than anything in high school and I wanted to go to college for it but after high school I changed a lot and actually started doing boxing more serious and stopped playing softball.
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
My favorite child hood memory was actually between the summer of my 8th grade to 9th grade year. My parents, my two sisters and I went on a 2 week vacation to California for my dad to run his first marathon. My dad bought a van for the trip and we drove there but my dad wanted to make it a scenic route so we stopped at every place you could have imagined. We saw Yellowstone national park, Las Vegas, the grand cannon, St. Louis arches, Mount Rushmore, etc. It was a blast seeing everything with my parents and sisters. We spent two weeks with each other and by the end of the trip we wanted to rip each other heads off but looking back at it now it was one of my favorite memories.
Any interesting child-hood stories and/or fun facts?
I have lots of interesting stories as a child but a few fun facts are: I have never had a bloody nose, my two sisters started boxing before I did, my oldest sister won prom queen with two black eyes.
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
My dad had boxed his entire life growing up and boxed in the marines. During my sisters off season in softball he would take my sisters up to a local boxing gym and help keep them in shape. Soon after, at 10 years old, I started tagging along and learning from them. I took my first boxing fight at age 11. Right after high school, one night at the boxing gym my dad and I were talking about MMA, and I had never even seen a UFC show or a mma fight, my dad told me I should just try one fight and see if I would be good at it. At first I didn’t really know if I wanted to but by the end of the night, I was convinced and I told him that one day I would try it. So the next day my dad called me and told me he had talked to a local promoter that he knew and I had my first mma fight in 2 weeks.
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
I don’t think I was ever ready for my first fight, or my first 5. I was just a tough girl, that grew up boxing and I liked when the crowd cheered for me. All I really cared about was hitting girls in their face and people loving me. I didn’t actually start training mma until my 4th fight.
When the cage locked behind you in your first fight, can you recall what what through your mind? How did your first fight turn out?
It was about 1 minute into the first round of my first fight when I vividly remember thinking “holy crap, I am in a real fight,” as the girl was stomping my feet. I ended up getting a TKO, 40 seconds into the 2nd round. When I was interviewed after the fight by the announcer, Ron Deleon, he asked my why I was smiling the whole fight and I relied back, “it was fun.”
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
3 things I have learned from MMA…
1. Its crazy when you don’t know a lot and haven’t been taught a lot, you feel unstoppable. You feel unstoppable because you don’t know what is out there and as you learn and begin to experience more of mma you start to doubt yourself because you see the big picture and you know how much more there is to learn. The hard part is dealing with that mentally.
2. Once you know enough technique, fighting becomes 90% mental. It becomes a confidence match and if you can make your opponents doubt themselves for just a moment, you have beat them. Even if you are not at their technical level, just by making them feel your confidence, you have the ability to win the fight.
3. Fighting is a mental sport, you cant do it for anyone else. I wouldn’t be able to put up with all the training, the heartbreak, the losing, the mental and physical damage it causes if I was doing this to make someone other than myself happy. You may want to succeed for your family or for your child but you have to want to be the best for yourself or you will never be a champion.
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
Team SFS. Scorpion fighting system.
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
1-0 pro at 125lbs
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
ABC is my nickname. My real name is Amanda Bobby Cooper. Some people know me as Amanda and some people know me as Bobby so I made is short and simple, ABC.
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
I would improve my ability to bully someone inside the cage, I tend to try to make a technical game and play the game but I am working on bulling my opponents and making them feel my strength.
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
My most memorable experience is definitely my first pro win in MMA. The amount of emotions that ran through my body was such an incredible experience and I got to share it with my coach who is also my boyfriend. I worked so hard in that fight camp and my boyfriend was there with me every day making sure I was ready to win that fight. I beat the girl at her own game. I got in her head and made her doubt herself. Winning that fight and jumping into my boyfriends arms was the best feeling in the world.
Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
I had a girl one time try to stop in the middle of the fight so she could go to her corner and talk to her coaches. It was the weirdest thing. As the ref was yelling at her to get back to the center of the ring to fight, she kept saying “1 sec.” He ended up giving her enough chances and he called the fight.
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
Always be humble, as you keep getting better, always know that there’s someone out there training hard to beat you.
Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?
Yes I have a lot sponsors that have and are continuing to support me and my career. I want to thank Bite Me Mouthguards, Jen Kramer and Howell Bdubs, Ken Armour with KBA construction, Darin Zygner Enterprises, Jay General with Freshstart Entertainment, Slade Bittler with Tussle Fight Gear, TeamSOZO, the National Ford UAW (Jimmy Settles) and Dragon Do Fight Gear.
What are your goals for the future in the sport?
My goals are to keep continuing climbing the 125lb ranks and get the Invicta Title then hopefully the UFC with open a 125lb division and I will begin fighting for UFC 125lb title.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?
I think women’s mma is blowing up and it will continue to keep getting bigger and bigger.
If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
I would change it so weigh ins are the same day.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I see myself with the Invicta and UFC 125lb title on my resume. I see my boyfriend and I to be the first mma couple in history to each hold a professional title. I see myself still traveling the world, fighting and experiences all the different cultures.
Favorite type of Music:
Favorite TV Show:
“What lies before us, and what lies behind us are only small matters compared to what lies within us.”
Do you have any children? Do you plan on having any/more?:
I don’t plan on having any kids for a long while. I want to experience the world and live my life and when the time is right I will most likely have a child.
Best day of your life:
Best day of my life is still to come.
Interesting/Unknown Fact about yourself:
If I am not training I am usually gaming.
Playing video games and playing with my dogs.
Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Captain America because he is the cutest.
Facebook Page/Fan Page: Pro Fighter Amanda Bobby Cooper
Email Address: email@example.com
About Shi Lessner Photography
Shi Lessner is a Michigan based portrait photographer.
You can view her work at: www.shilessnerphotography.com
or contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org — Studio: 810-844-0114