By: Nick Portella
Good day fight fans. It’s your boy Nick with The MMA TakeOver here with another exclusive interview. Today I had the chance to catch up with Bryanna “The Pink Ranger” Fissori. Bryanna will be stepping into the cage on May 20 at WSOF Global.
Bryanna is very passionate about her fighting career. She told me that the label fighter is what she has to call herself in the field, but that word is defined differently by everyone. She is a high-level athlete which goes without saying. She can highlight her skills inside of a cage, but the battle is really to perform under pressure. That is her definition of a fighter. That would be true of many others she would consider a fighter. In a non-athletic sense firemen, police officers, cancer patients, parents of teenagers all have their own fight. Hers is just sanctioned.
Bryanna did not discover martial arts until her mid-20s. When she moved to Oahu in 2009 she didn’t know a single soul. She answered a Craigslist ad for a sparring partner and it has been her life since then. She has also trained in a number of specific disciplines to support her overall MMA technique, but she did not focus on a single promotion based discipline, let’s not sell her short though because she does hold a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu under Relson Gracie.
Early in the beginning of her career she was seasoned as an amateur. She had 8 fights with a record of 6-2-0 before stepping onto the professional stage. She did say that towards the end of her amateur career she had some very tough fights because her coach wanted her to go through a lot of trials before going pro. Traveling to compete, weight cuts with a cold, opponent not making weight on same-day weigh ins, bigger girls, smaller girls, and everything in between were part of her adventure through the amateur level to lead her to be a successful professional.
Mango Tree Fitness and Martial Arts Center in Honolulu, Hawaii is the school she calls home. The school has only been around for about a year, but the coaching staff are the same two awesome gentlemen who have been with her from the beginning. Loyalty can go a long way in many things and this is no different. While she does hold a blue belt in BJJ her ground game is strong, but she likes to take fights to where her opponent is most uncomfortable.
The Pink Ranger excels and learns on a daily basis she let me know that her strongest attribute is her work ethic. She did offer the challenge to show her someone who works as hard as she does. She is willing to get the stretcher ready because she is all go which she believes her weakest point. Proper rest and recovery but her mental toughness and work ethic does not allow her to rest properly all the time.
We touched about old school fighters compared to the new generation of MMA fighters. She said that the up and coming generation of fighters will have very little room for competitors like me who started later in life. Kids these days are growing up in fight families, training out of the womb. She teaches children’s classes and admitted that some of these kids are going to kill her in a couple of years!
While weight cutting is a huge topic of interest and fighter safety always being a priority her weight cut depends on how far out she is when she gets started. She generally will have to cut 20 pounds during camp to make it down to 135 pounds. She uses a very basic and logical method to get there. She cleans up her diet, diets down, then hits the Epsom salt bath and dehydrate what is needed at the end. The weight cut is never easy. It pretty much always sucks but she was very proud to say that she has never missed weight. Her awesome co-workers are very tolerant and will hide the food from her as needed.
On the lighter side of things, she has an awesome nickname. Does it get any cooler than The Pink Ranger? I had to ask her who gave her that name and why is came about. She said when she first began training she would do Jiu Jitsu in a pink gi. Her teammates and coaches started calling it the pink ranger suit. Every time she put it on it was “morphin’ time.” Finally, her coach made it official and she became the Pink Ranger. She also said that she is a child of the 90’s so she was a fan of the show. Bryanna said if you haven’t seen the new movie yet, it is very much worth a watch!
Since she has made this journey to being a professional fighter I wanted to know what her one piece of advice would be to someone brand new in the fight game making this a career. She went with a straightforward answer which seems like really good advice. She said it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Making it is tough. Finding time to work and train is tough. It’s going to hurt. Sponsors aren’t going to knock down your door. T-shirts and banners don’t make themselves. You are going to want to kill your coach some days. You are going to have bad sparring sessions. People will think you are crazy. One piece of advice? Pray a lot.
I did touch on her upcoming fight at WSOF Global. She will be stepping into the cage against Maybelly Lima. I had to inquire how much she knew about her opponent before the fight is to take place. She advised that it is always more difficult to get a good reading on international opponents, but she knows enough about her to know that she has this one. With confidence like that it was only right for me to ask her for a prediction. She simply said that she will be going to check another bag at the airport to bring that belt back to Hawaii.
My final question made me smile when I asked her, “Bryanna do you submit to the takeover?” The answer I had been looking for was to follow. “This is Bryanna The Pink Ranger Fissori and I have submitted to the takeover!” It was a pleasure to speak with her and listen to everything she had to say. Besides being a top-notch athlete she has so much knowledge to share with her peers, new fighters, and even the children she trains. I wish her all the luck in her fight on May 20 and look forward to speaking with her again in the future. Signing off for themmatakeover.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA