Lisa Edinger (0-0 Pro, 10-2 Amateur) is set to make history as she takes on Ilhame Rahaffari (2-2) in the first ever professional female Muay Thai fight in Pennsylvania for USKA (United States Kickboxing Alliance) on January 28th at the Hamburg fieldhouse.
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 fights under the USKA banner. Edinger’s most recent fight saw her win the WKA National 125 pound full rules Muay Thai belt via decision in May 2016. Her many accolades occurred in just over three years from her 2013 debut as she now stands poised for her historic professional debut. In her Q&A Edinger reflected on her road to becoming a fighter, her amateur career, her training, and her upcoming fight.
Fighting Stance Media: What are your thoughts on making history as being one of the first professional female Muay Thai Fighters in PA?
Lisa Edinger: I can’t believe that something I am so passionate about has led me to make history as the first ever pro female Muay Thai fighter in Pennsylvania! I want to set a good example for all females looking to get into the sport. I want to show them that they shouldn’t be afraid to do something out of the norm, and follow their hearts! Try not to take yourself so seriously in a cookie cutter world.
FSM: What other sports did you do prior to Muay Thai? What aspects of these carried over? What got you started in training kickboxing?
Edinger: I played almost every sport growing up, including basketball, softball, and track. I was super fond of soccer, which plays a huge role in my kicks now for fighting. I actually started doing a cardio kickboxing class while living in California for fun and to stay in shape. When I moved I wanted to continue the awesome workout, so I found Nak Muay. I was hooked right away.
FSM: What was the most challenging technique of training when you first started out?
Edinger: The most challenging thing for me to learn in Muay Thai was how to distribute my weight properly for punches and kicks, and also keeping my hands up.
FSM: What was your favorite fight of your amateur career?
Edinger: I absolutely loved my fight with Erin Jimenez for my first National title belt at the WKA tournament. She is so technical, strong, and my hardest fight to date! I constantly had to think and adjust to counter her power.
FSM: What is the biggest thing you learned during your amateur career that will help you as a professional?
Edinger: The biggest thing I learned was not to be afraid to lose and fail. Everybody has ups and downs. You take those losses and grow from them to become better. They shape you and humble you. Have fun doing what you love!
FSM: Out of all your accomplishments what is the most meaningful to you?
Edinger: I enjoy Muay Thai and am so grateful to have the experiences and friends I have because of it. I was able to travel to Thailand this past summer and train with amazing coaches. Kru Teaw and Kru Toy are incredible to learn and grow from at the Sityodtong camp in Pattaya. I am fortunate enough to pass that knowledge on to my students at Algeo MMA and Kickboxing.
FSM: How have your coaches and teammates helped you prepare for this fight?
Edinger: My coaches have always been behind me 100% and supported me. I am so grateful to have them! I traveled with both my corner men, Kru Eric Karner and Derek Kenney, and really got a sense of family. Billy [Algeo] has been behind me since day one. I started doing private lessons with him back in 2012 when I first began Muay Thai. He was the first guy to ever punch me in the face! I admire him as a fighter and even more as a coach. Devon Estes comes up from Delaware to murder me in sparring and I love her for that. All of my family at Algeo MMA are great people who are there to push me and cheer me on. Anytime I am tired or ready to stop they continue to work me and keep me smiling while doing it.
FSM: What advice would you of today give yourself of the past on her first day of fight training?
Edinger: 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 Algeo MMA (previously known as Nak Muay) in King of Prussia, PA, we know that Edinger will have many in attendance to cheer her on January 28th. Come witness history by getting a ticket from her or any other fighter on the card, or through USKA.