By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I had the chance to sit with amateur MMA title contender Christina Ricker. Christina has a 2-1 record fighting under promotions such as Apex, Valor, and 50Fifty Fight Night. June 16 Christina will be stepping into the cage once again to claim the 50Fifty Fight Night flyweight belt. Let’s talk with her before her first title shot.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Christina: For me, it means a sense of freedom. The cage is freedom. Yes, there are rules, but in there I can allow passion and instinct to play.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Christina: I took some martial arts when I was 6 or 7, but I began my actual training 2 years ago.
Nick: What disciplines do you train and what belts do you have in them?
Christina: BJJ white belt and kickboxing.
Nick: What camp do you train out of and how long have you been with them?
Christina: I train at Knoxville Martial Arts Academy. I have been there since the beginning. It took one MMA class and I was hooked. Eric Turner and Joey Zonar, they are the best in the world, I get so excited to learn from them. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
Nick: What do you think your best attribute is inside the cage?
Christina: I think my intensity is one of my strongest attributes, I’m here for a battle. Extra points for blood!
Nick: With cutting weight and fighter safety always being a priority. What methods of cutting weight do you use? How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight? Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?
Christina: This is the first time I’ve fought at 125, so it’s a bigger cut. This is a lifestyle, and I’m serious about the sport so I eat right and train like I am always in fight camp. I get my strength and conditioning training from Frankie’s Body Shop, my coaches Chloe and Frankie keep my diet and exercise on point for fight camps. I’ve done whole salt bath bit, and I would rather keep my body ready and not have to drastically cut weight the day of weigh-ins. FBS is excellent at educating me and keeping me on track.
Nick: Most fighters get branded a nickname at some point in their career. Do you have one? If so who gave it to you and why?
Christina: There have been several so far! “Crazy Chris Ricker” Chris “wreck em” Ricker, Chris “Da Killa” Ricker, and Captain Insano, but none have really stuck.
Nick: WMMA has come a long way in a short amount of time. What advice could you give up and coming fighters that are pursuing fighting as a career?
Christina: Keep going! Fights can be hard to secure for one reason or another, but feed the beast! Try BJJ competitions, or kickboxing to stay fresh. Train with people you would trade places with, they will inspire you to do more and be better. KMAA is filled with not only talent but discipline and grit, they give me no option but to be better.
Nick: June 16 you will be fighting for the flyweight title. What does it feel like to be getting your first title shot?
Christina: Amazing! I started competing last September so to have this chance now feels like I’m dreaming.
Nick: You will be facing a tough opponent in Fotini Kandris. Prior to getting into the cage how well do you know your opponent if at all?
Christina: She fought my teammate back in December so I’ve had a chance to watch her up close. I know she’ll go the distance, and that’s she and I are here for the same reason. In watching her past fights she looks to be a fierce competitor, which makes me extremely excited. I want to face the best.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for your title fight?
Christina: Action packed!! She will have my all, and I expect no less from her.
Nick: Should you become the 50Fifty Fight Night Champion will there be plans to make the transition to the professional level?
Christina: I have my goals, and when my coach says the word, we go for it!
Nick: Who is your favorite MMA fighter of all time?
Christina: Oh gosh that’s tough! They have changed over the years, but I first fell in love with the sport watching Forrest Griffin through TUF, so I’ll go with him!
Nick: Christina have you submitted to the takeover?
Christina wanted to give a big shout out to all her sponsors. Huge thanks to FBS Combat Strength and Conditioning, Harvey’s Pistol and Pawn, Humane Society of TN Valley, Little Valley Haven Co., TN Spine, and Affordable Graphics. She is so proud to be backed by such incredible local businesses!
I would like to thank Christina for taking some time to talk with me. I wish her the best of luck in her upcoming title fight and the beyond. Signing off for TheMMATaekOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA