Summer Bradshaw is a professional Mixed Martial Artist fighting out of Pariah Gym, Colorado. Summer went 4-0 in her amateur career, fighting at 150, 145, and 140 lbs before making her leap to the professional stages in 2014. "The Critter" has since gone 1-2 as a professional, but takes each day as a learning experience and each moment as an opportunity to grow. She will be fighting for SCL this Saturday, April 25th 2015 …and she is truly a Fighter on the Rise! Keep an eye out for this one!
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 Caliente, Nevada. Life was awesome back then! My family originally ranched and then planted an apple orchard in Rainbow Canyon. I grew up watching my family work together all the time. Whenever there was a project my Grandpa would get everyone involved. I grew up with my cousins so close they felt like brothers and sisters to me instead.
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
Only baseball and basketball really. I wanted martial arts and other options but it was just too small back then.
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
Shooting bottles with my dad and tubing in the snow. Oh and all the projects that my dad involved me in, he taught me how to laminate a counter at 9 yrs. old among many other things. I have so many really I couldn't single one out.
Any interesting child-hood stories and/or fun facts?
I was more of a tomboy and I loved being in the creek catching frogs, toads, or in the hills catching lizards. Our town was/is so small we had to make our own fun which we did all the time I loved finding big Ol mud holes to wrestle in with the right company. Fishing, shooting, trapping anything I could get my hands into I was trying it!
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
I was born for this! I taught a cardio kick boxing class out of CHS Martial Arts here in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I had one guy come through that was more mma style and I had pondered making the switch for awhile. I really wanted to feel what it was like to be inside that cage. One of the days he came in we started to talk about it and he was a component of my decision to go ahead and get into a gym to see if I was really ready.
What discipline did you begin with and care to share a bit about your early experiences learning the sport(s)?
I started with Tae Kwon Do. I was always fascinated how quickly someone could whip their leg in your face and thinking that person never even saw that coming. Master Chae would make me laugh so hard in the middle of push-ups I fell on my face and I knew I couldn't stop going from that point. This was just too much fun! I remember sparring every week and getting back kicked so hard across the room and landing right in front of my mom who just walked in the Do Jan. She was so concerned and was checking on me which I couldn't even breathe to even say i was okay, but was in the process of peeling myself up to get back in there.
We definitely had a long conversation that evening with her wanting me to stop. She wasn't sure this was right for me.
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
I imagined I would be ready in 3 months after training in an mma gym. Wow was I mistaken it took me almost 2 yrs with a roller coaster of emotions through training and learning me through it all. When did I think I was ready? I relied on the people around me to tell me I was ready since they knew the sport more than I did at the time.
When the cage locked behind you in your first fight, can you recall what went through your mind? How did your first fight turn out?
You know I was looking at that girl like she had no idea what was coming AND then she hit me in the face an I thought shit this is for real and why is my throat so damn dry still?
I did not sell over 70 tickets to let all these people watch me lose! I'm glad my kids aren't watching this…. And so on. Ultimately it took me 2 rounds to relax and work everything I knew and after that I was hooked! I won by unanimous decision against Maureen Riordon.
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
You have to trust the people behind you, game plans are essential in fighting, and ultimately trusting myself.
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
I have a team of professionals backing my better interest. I have had several help me with preparations Warrior Fitness, The Arena for conditioning S.W.E.A.T. Ltd. , Pacific Warriors with some sparring rounds and Juan Gonzalez, Tori Adams, and Donnie Liles who always keeps me in check with laying the smack down on me when needed.
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
4-0 Ammy and so far 1-2 as a Pro
As an Ammy I fought at 150, 145, & 140
As a Pro 140 & 135
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
My dad apparently was a boxer way back in his day and the stories never even came about until he found out my decision to fight. With my first fight scheduled he called all of his buddies, had people lined up from Florida, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Texas, & Utah really all over the country ready to fly in to this fight. And with this excitement was calling me "The Critter" since he was nicknamed The Canyon Critter himself.
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
Speed cause speed kills!
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
Of feeling like I have family at the gym. The camaraderie and the support when it's there.
Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
My last amateur fight, I went out pretty much alone. Not intending for that to happen, but with my coach being sick, fighters not showing, I only had my fiancé and a good ol buddy Martyn Mulholland that drove out by himself to wrap my hands and helped corner me, because of the circumstances. I had never felt all alone in my fighting because I always had a huge team with me every fight. The hotel was under 40° that I was going to try to cut weight in, the bed was made with piss stains showing and the hotel was so musty I couldn't breathe, I was sick from a drastic weight cut done wrongly and I thought why am I doing this? My fiancé drove down the street and rented a new hotel and decided to stay, instead of dropping me there alone as he was originally just my ride out and had to get back to Colorado. I fought the biggest mental battle I had ever dealt with and still came out with the win, but a lot to think about on my path in this sport.
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
Make sure you know you want this! Relax, trust the people around you. If you can't, move on till you find your fit cause you'll need all the support you can get through this sport. AND listen to your body!!!
Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?
God for revitalizing me over and over again! My Avi and my girls, Fresh Start Entertainment, Bad Apple Armor, Sports Food electrolyte strips, XionX, Unique Kennels, SYNTHA Bag, Iron Jaw, The Arena, PHENIX Therapies, BLUPRINT yoga, Warriors Fitness, Pacific Warriors, SWEAT Ltd.
What are your goals for the future in the sport?
To go as far as this will take me and of course to get into UFC and/or Invicta FC and of course be the champ of the world one day.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?
I'm not impressed by some aspects but I will leave that alone. I love where the women are headed. We have come a long way, but I would like to see more of the talent shine more so than the popularity of looks.
If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
Referee licensing and continued training for the fighters protection.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Everywhere!!! Traveling mostly. I'm going to make up for not seeing any of my friends with all this training. I've decided when I retire I will go on a visiting trip and that just might take me a few years.
Favorite type of Music:
Favorite TV Show:
I don't have time to watch TV
"The Critter has spoken!"
Do you have any children? Do you plan on having any/more?:
2 and no more for me nope!
Best day of your life:
I don't think it's even happened yet!
Interesting/Unknown Fact about yourself:
I'm certified American Indian
Crazy fighter yoga
Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Spiderman I guess because of his heart and he was just a regular Joe at one point just like I was!
Facebook Page/Fan Page: Summer Bradshaw
Manager Contact (for sponsorship/fight inquiries):
Jay General with Fresh Start Entertainment
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