If you follow women's MMA, then Stephanie Alba is a name that has been buzzing for quite some time. After going 6-4 on her 10-fight amatuer run, Stephanie has made the jump to the pros scoring a decision victory of Mandy Polk and will be back in the cage in just a few days for her second professional bout. Stephanie has immediate plans to become Legacy's 105lb. Champion, and hopes to make it to the big stage one day. Let's take some time to learn a bit more about Stephanie "The Cyclone" Alba!
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up and what was life like growing up?
I grew up in Houston, TX. I went to a huge high school with a lot of students. I got in a lot of fights and not by choice, it's just something I had to do to defend myself. I would say I had a lot of girlfriends. We used to break dance and it was so fun. Body Rock B girls! lol
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
I tried gymnastics, dance, ballet, tap, I never really stuck with any of them other than break dancing. I also was in a salsa and merengue dance crew. So mostly just dancing.
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
Favorite childhood memory has to be visiting the grand canyon, it was a fun trip with my family.
Any interesting child-hood stories and/or fun facts?
I had a tree named Cindy. lol I loved her and she was my friend I'd climb, her walk around her, play in her. I used to sing a lot and record songs on my radio. haha I used to play church and imaginary friends that we used to go visit in the attic. We would also make up Christmas plays.
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
I went to try kickboxing for fitness and did that right away. Shortly afterwards I took a self defense class and really enjoyed it. They said it was moves from jiu-jitsu so I tried a class and thought it was fun! I started competing in BJJ competitions and then MMA. I always had to fight growing up and it was so cool to actually find an outlet for my aggressions. It was exactly what I needed.
What discipline did you begin with and care to share a bit about your early experiences learning the sport(s)?
I actually started muay thai and jiu-jitsu. I liked striking better at first, I'd skip out on BJJ because it was so frustrating, but then I started to get better – so that's when I started liking it! (lol) I competed in BJJ comps almost every weekend, travelling all over Texas. First competitions were with guys or girls waaayyy bigger. I started off losing, losing, losing and then I started winning, it was awesome.
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
I always knew when I first started that I wanted to fight. My coach finally gave me the okay and it was on.
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?
Oh my gosh it was the craziest feeling in the world. Something I had never felt before, the lights, the crowd, the energy. I lost my first fight by decision, but man did that motivate me to get better.
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
I've learned that no matter what anyone says you have to be confident and believe in yourself, some days are better than others and hard work does pay off.
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
1-0 as a pro. I'll have my second pro fight here on November 14th, 2014. I had 10 fights as an ammy. I fought at 110-115lbs.
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
My nickname is cyclone, the cyclone, lil cyclone. I got that name because I guess on the ground, I'm fast and like to spin around a lot. (haha) My teammate gave it to me and it just stuck. I've also been called taz.
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
Probably my boxing. It is so hard to learn, I just wanna go bang, but there is way more to it than just throwing your hands, its very technical.
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
My most memorable memory would have to be fighting in Trinidad. It was very enjoyable and relaxing experience. Was great to fight by the water, outside. It was awesome, I never wanted to leave.
Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
I would have to say having opponents not making weight. One girl came in 10 lbs over it sucked because I made my weight, I ended up getting a TKO. But then I had another fight where my opponent didn't make weight, I took it anyway she was a lot bigger and I did not do very well that fight. I had a hard cut but ended up making it… but it really had an effect my performance. You move on and learn from it though. Another experience would be having to fight a girl I was friends with, everyone has their own opinions, but I feel if we are in the same division we might have to fight. It's nothing personal, just business. A lot of people get offended by that, I don't know why.
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
I would have to say work hard, and believe in yourself, don't give up on your dreams no matter how hard they may seem.
Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?
To my coaches Jeremy Mahon, Aaron Pena, Jose Santibanez, Daniel Pineda, Tonya Evinger, Everyone at 4 oz and Gracie Barra Champions. Jay General, Ooh lala Cupcake Boutique, Westside Chevrolet, Face Fight Gear. I think that's it.
What are your goals for the future in the sport?
I would really like to be Legacy's 105 Champ. Its a promotion based in Houston, Texas. I know the guys who started it Mick and Collin and Id love to wear that shiny silver belt. Id also like to fight for Invicta or UFC someday.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?
Its amazing how much the sport has evolved. The girls are hungry and getting better and better. Its really exciting to see the girls coming up and be given more opportunities finally. When I first started there were hardly any girls in my division, now there are more and more its great!
If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
The rules on making weight. Especially as ammys maybe a point taken away or a suspension. Its part of your job you should make the weight. I think there should be stricter rules in place for that.
I would have to say sushi mmmm
Favorite type of Music:
I like all genres of music. Music is my soul lol
I don't really have one, not a big movie person.
Favorite TV Show:
First 48, Forensic Files, Nancy Grace
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
I like to sleep and read. Haha is that a hobby? I'm a nerd, I like to read anything on health and fitness. I like to spend most my time in the gym, all day every day!
Who is your favorite super hero and why?
um, I don't have one lol
Facebook Page/Fan Page: Stephanie Alba MMA
Manager Contact (for sponsorship/fight inquiries): Stephanie Alba Stephanie_alba1@yahoo.com
About the Photography
Robert Tapales (Action Fighter)
Watermarked Images / Black Shirt (Alba)
Robert Tapales is the founder / president of Action Fighter Media, an award winning and nationally recognized media organization that specializes in combat sports coverage, particularly mixed martial arts and professional boxing. Action Fighter serves as a media outlet for numerous publications and promotions.
Green Shirt (Alba)
CUFF's goal is to provide quality entertainment to the Caribbean in the form of MMA events. Some of the world's best upcoming MMA talent from all corners of the globe will strap up their gloves to compete on a stage that is unique… The Caribbean islands!!! Our events showcase a unique mixture of Caribbean culture and international sport.