January 11th, 2012
Tiger Muay Thai and MMA welcomes female Bellator FC veteran Leslie Smith
Tiger Muay Thai and MMA training camp, Phuket, Thailand is loaded with female MMA Talent. Already training at the facility are STRIKEFORCE Female fighters Elaina Maxwell and Sarah D’ Alelio. A member of the Gracie Fighter training team, Leslie Smith has made her way to Tiger Muay Thai to support both Eliana and Sarah who are competing in their first professional Muay Thai bouts in Thailand.
A veteran of the Queen’s Cup Muay Thai event when she represented Kaewsamrit last year, look for Leslie to continue working in with the fighters program at Tiger Muay Thai training camp while she is on the island of Phuket.
For MMA fighter Leslie Smith, being a fighter is less about taking on her opponents and more about battling people’s preconceived ideas.
“Fighting seems more difficult than most things,” explains the former Bellator Fighting Championships competitor. “A lot of my incentive is the idea that I’m fighting against people’s perception that I shouldn’t be a female fighter. I’ve always been stubborn like that.”
Smith, a Cesar Gracie student out of California, is in Thailand getting ready for her February 18th bought against Shana “Rock Solid” Olsen set to happen in Fargo, North Dakota. She came to Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket for two weeks to get in some solid training and to support fellow fighter Elaina “The Beef” Maxwell.
Although Smith openly admits she isn’t a huge headliner with “big boobs,” she says she’s always ready for her next fight and the opportunity to improve on her 3-2 record. For her, experiencing Thailand is a way to escape western bias.
“No one is condescending here as long as you fight. At home people are still super encouraging and supportive, but you’ll always hear them say, ‘she’s tough…for a girl.’ I don’t find that here.”