Lisa Edinger (1-1 Pro, 10-2 Amateur) is set to make history as she fights for the first ever professional female Muay Thai title championship (120 lbs) in Pennsylvania for USKA (United States Kickboxing Alliance) this Saturday, April 28th at the 2300 Arena. Edinger’s historical title fight takes place in just her third professional fight. Edinger excelled as an amateur kickboxer winning national title belts for WKA (World Kickboxing Association) in both the 118lb and the 125lb divisions, compiling four knock outs, and going 5-1 during her amateur fights under the USKA banner. Edinger’s last fight in the amateur ranks saw her win the WKA National 125 pound full rules Muay Thai belt in May 2016. Edinger made her professional debut against Ilhame Rahaffari in January 2017. Although she lost a close decision she made history as being in the first ever professional female Muay Thai fight in PA. Edinger then took on Taylor McClatchie, who was coming off a huge head kick knock out for GLORY. Edinger battled hard and proved to be the better fighter, winning by unanimous decision. In her Q&A Edinger reflects on her professional career so far, training for another historical fight and what she is learning along the way.
What did you learn the most from your professional debut fight that you applied to your most recent fight?
After making my pro debut, I learned to play my game and keep my range. I wanted to be sure to work my elbows more and use all of my tools to my advantage. I had to see how Taylor would react to certain situations and use those reactions to get my elbows to hit.
You are no stranger to taking challenging fights against opponents with significantly more experience. Why is that so important to you to do?
I always like a challenge and would never back down to that. I think it’s important to place yourself against some of the most experienced opponents in order to see where you lay in the talent pool. I have all the confidence in my skill and technique in order to beat anyone they place in front of me. My coaches have provided me the techniques in order to take on anyone.
What is the mindset of training during fight week for you?
My mindset this fight is having that shiny belt wrapped around my waist. I don’t see it any other way.
What has been the most rewarding part so far about turning pro last year?
I think the most rewarding part about turning pro is setting up future females for their goals and aspirations. I love seeing some of the girls at the gym training their hearts out knowing that they are capable of becoming a professional in this sport as well. It is so hard to compete with how much attention males receive in the sport but USKA has made it a point to place females at the head of the class. We made history being the first professional female fights in Pennsylvania and now we will make history being the first professional female belt holder. I want to just be able to be a role model for females young and old.
Who were your most significant coaches and training partners this Camp?
My camp has consisted of the same people primarily. I have Steve McCabe working on some new tricks and skills that I haven’t been able to do before he came along. Devon Estes has been pregnant this camp but she is still an amazing partner with pad holding and mits, fine tuning everything when watching our training videos. I continue to see Eric Karner and Derek Kenney who were my first coaches. Julia Hopkins is a HUGE help being such a strong female and talented up-and-comer in the Muay Thai community, fighting for a title herself at Warriors Cup in May. Everyone at 302 bjj continues to push me nonstop and is such a supportive family with so much talent. I would be lost without those guys and girls. Lastly, a special thank you to Stay Fly for allowing me to pop in.
What advice would you of today give yourself of the past on her first day of fight training?
I would tell myself that it’s going to be hard and obstacles are going to get in your way but don’t stop! You are meant to make history! Train like you fight.
As an instructor and athlete who trains out of 302 BJJ in Delaware we know that Edinger will have many in attendance to cheer her on April 28th. Come witness history by getting a ticket through http://uskafights.com/tickets.