Tracker Pixel for Entry

Under Prussia

Wellness | October 22nd, 2014

Photo by Raul Gomez

Mariah Prussia is 3-0. She’s a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Fargo. She’s, in fact, the first sanctioned female MMA fighter in the state. And she’s only been in the cage for one year.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, Prussia will go up against Colorado’s top amateur fighter, recently gone professional, Summer Bradshaw, at the Scheels Arena.

What’s MMA? It’s kickboxing. It’s wrestling. It’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It’s judo. It’s taekwondo and more. It’s two similar body type opponents striking and grappling each other till one proves their strength and power over the other.

“For a lot of the fighters it’s not even really about the fight,” Prussia said to HPR. “It’s the lead up to the fight. All the different training, the discipline, the physical and mental components that really make individuals want to fight is because they are pushing themselves to the limit. And then the fight is just the light at the end of the tunnel kind of thing just to prove your performance.”

With more wins come tougher opponents. She’s also starting to get a lot of fight offers in other states, including Seattle, Albuquerque and Detroit. Prussia has yet to accept an out-of-state offer, but says she will eventually.

As a result, Prussia’s training sessions have been getting tougher and tougher. Her coach is training her to make sure she learns not to show any sign of hurt when struck hard. It’ll only give adrenaline to an unruly opponent.

“At the end of the (last) training session, he goes, ‘If I don’t see you limping, Mariah, tonight, I don’t think I did my job,’” she recalled, smiling.

“Because you are simulating something that is going to happen live, and the more prepared you are and you feel these different things, when you get in the cage, when you feel it, it’s gonna be like, ah, that was nothing.”

The community is intrigued by Prussia, to say the least. And not only is she a year-old professional undefeated fighter, she’s a business owner, a personal trainer, an empowerment and wellness speaker, a coach and a single mother of two boys. She teaches women self-defense through her nonprofit The Now Project. She’s also a Minnesota State University Moorhead alum who played volleyball, basketball and fast-pitch softball.

Her fitness center in south Fargo, Xtreme Measures, has been running for seven years and was built from the ground up within a three-month time frame.

“Our mission is to empower women, one rep at a time, one voice at a time. Cause it only takes one to move forward, complete what you need to,” Prussia said. “But we all have a voice, we all have a story. And when you can connect with your story and learn how to share it that’s when you really become who you’re meant to be ...

“So it’s making sure they feel comfortable and confident because taking the first step is coming through the door. The key is to make sure that we keep them moving forward.”

Though how does Mariah Prussia keep moving forward as she’s just starting to explore and experience this new, fierce fighter side of herself?

In our interview with Prussia, we learn how her strength, courage and confidence have been able to trump her setbacks, surprises and roadblocks.

HPR: What got you into fighting?

Mariah Prussia: You know when you are young, we always kind of think of yeah it’d be kind of cool to get into a fight, not ever really wanting to get into one but it’d be kind of cool to say that I was in a fight, right? And when I was younger and growing up I always had that fight in me. It’s like, try to defeat the odds, and push as hard as you possibly can.

Last year is when I decided that I wanted to fight after getting two sessions from a (local) MMA fighter, Dane Sayers; I realized that I really, really liked it. The sessions were more so to change up my personal training and to add variation to my kickboxing group fitness classes. So when he was showing me all these different things in two sessions, I’m like, wow I’m intrigued. There’s a lot to learn. There’s more involved in Mixed Martial Arts than I ever imagined. So at that point I’m like I need a new goal. I need something to push me.

Photo by Raul Gomez

HPR: How was the training leading up to your first fight on October 26, 2013?

MP: On June 1, 2013, I was playing volleyball, went to set a volleyball and I ended up completely tearing my Achilles tendon. I had surgery June 10, so I couldn’t do anything standing for six weeks. I was on crutches. I told Dane, we’re not going to stop training. We are going to do all ground stuff, because obviously I can’t stand. So we worked on my ground game and I still continued to teach kickboxing with my walker.

The thing is I like to try new things. When I’m injured or if there’s something, everybody has a different twist. Whether it’s a positive or a negative connotation, however you want to look at the scenario, I always try to keep it positive. So by me getting injured I was like, OK, I have to step outside of the box, create new ways for myself to stay in shape cardiovascular wise, because I can’t do the norm, I can’t walk, I can’t do the elliptical or anything like that. So I was creating new exercises at that point, which also enhanced my personal training. So something that could have been a bad thing actually turned into a blessing in disguise.

HPR: Tell me about the experience of your first arena fight (against Harleigh Davis)?

MP: It was a little nerve-racking. It was tunnel vision. The first time going to fight, it was like I couldn’t hear the crowd. I was like OK, I’m walking in this straight line and knowing that they are going to lock me in this cage and I’m not going to get out. So everything is going through your mindset. And as soon as I got in the cage, obviously yes, nerves were still going but as soon as the fight initiated, all of those things go outside the window.

My first fight, yes I won, but didn’t go how I anticipated or how I visualized it, because the first round I was in a standing guillotine choke hold. So basically I’m getting choked for the first five minutes of the first round and the only thing that was going through my mind at that point was there is no way this female is going to beat me after she almost backed out of the fight four days before the fight. There’s no way.

So that drive obviously pushed me through and then in the second round, it was to the point where my neck was so fatigued. Because when you are getting choked for five minutes your muscles are going to obviously be tired. So at that point I knew I had to make it quick in the second round because it was like I was balancing my head – it was a bowling ball on top of a straw. And it just felt like when I was standing there, I hope people can’t see that I look like a bobble head, because that’s what I felt like. At that point I did a double leg takedown and then I won due to striking, she tapped out.

HPR: How long does it take you to recover from a fight?

MP: Depends on how you get hit (laughs). My first fight I ended up having a black eye but other than that, I was fine. I went back to training that same week. Typically fighters will take week or two off depend on when their next fight is, or just in general from training. Some people will fight quarterly. Some fight a little bit more frequently.

HPR: Are you ready for your upcoming fight?

MP: Are you always? I mean (laughs) that’s a loaded question. I think with this respiratory stuff (getting over a cold), it set me back a little bit, but mentally I think I am always mentally prepared because the last thing on my mind is losing. Because I don’t think we ever really lose in life, ever. No matter what the outcome is, we learn from it, right? Our struggles create our strengths.

I feel confident because I have phenomenal trainers. I feel confident because I have the support not only of my employees but the community. I’m very, very blessed. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

IF YOU GO:

DFC Fall Brawl feat. Mariah Prussia vs. Summer Bradshaw
Sat, Oct 25, 7:30 p.m.
Scheels Arena, 5225 31st Ave S, Fargo
scheelsarena.com

Recently in:

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThat old adage no longer applies: There is now such a thing as a free lunch, and it is here to stay. With help from a willing community, the founders of Lunch Aid North Dakota are continuing their…

By Michael M. Miller michael.miller@ndsu.eduLarry Kruckenberg of Cheyenne, WY, a native of Hazen, ND, has authored a new book, “Big Bend Country: A Journey of Good Times, Hard Times, and Hope,” available from GRHC.Kruckenberg…

Thursday, March 19, 4:30- 8 pm1609 19th Ave N, FargoCass County Soil Conservation District is hosting their annual Ladies’ Ag Night supper event. This event has a goal of bringing together multiple generations of women involved…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comIs Texas Senate Bill 8 only the beginning?If it wasn’t so insulting to primates, it looks as if some of the most vocal anti-abortion lawmakers in North Dakota wish to adapt a monkey see monkey do…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com If This Country Isn’t Going to Hell, It’s Certainly Becoming OneIn that most Christians today no longer believe in Christ’s messages, there doesn’t seem to be a good reason to remain one.…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021With Grand Forks being a hop skip and a cruise away from Fargo-Moorhead, our neighbors to the north have some great dining options. Whether you’re planning on spending a weekend or…

Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com15 July 2021“We have a guy that's been involved with the show for many years as a landlord and knew what it was like in the heydays. So he knows where he wants to take it.” says WE Fest General…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comMatt Myers died unexpectedly on August 20 while exploring Iceland with Dr. Jacqueline Bussie, his partner of 38 years. We are still trying, without success, to make sense of it.His large circle,…

By  Sabrina Hornung sabrina@hpr1.com2021 marks the 18th annual FMVA Studio Crawl, the Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists’ largest event. This year 38…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Theresa L. Goodrichsubmit@hpr1.comIt was day ten of our epic southwest road trip and we’d made it to Arizona. After camping in Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, we were exhausted, but fortunately our night in…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…