Meet Destanie Yarbrough, one of the woman behind the birth of the Women’s Heavyweight Division in Pro MMA. Yarbrough made her pro debut back in April of this year, defeating Crystal Parson in just 33 seconds via TKO. She returned September of this year to face Brazil’s Gabi Garcia, losing in round 1 after the Brazilian locked in a keylock.
Yarbrough is now ready to return to action, she talks Gabi Garcia rematch, ambitions of paving the way for Heavyweight women, Ronda Rousey’s return, why she fights, teases an upcoming fight announcement and lots more.
You can view the full transcript of the interview below.
You made your MMA debut against the Number 1 Welterweight and + in the world, Gabi Garcia. How would you evaluate your performance in that fight, and did anything about Garcia surprise you?
The Fight against Gabi was actually my second MMA fight, my debut was in April. I feel I did okay not my best though. I got stiff and veered of from the game plan. Nothing really surprised me about Gabi. She did everything we expected her to do.
If you were to be given a rematch with Garcia, what would you do differently?
I would let loose. Have fun in the ring and let my hands and kicks go.
Do you prefer to go to the ground or keep the fight on the feet?
I’m a striking style fighter so I prefer to keep the fight on the feet. I want a bloody brawl one day.
You are currently the Number 4 ranked Welterweight and + according to the Women’s Pro MMA World Rankings. How do you feel about this?
Honestly I’m shocked I’m ranked so high but I’m not going to argue with the rankings cause there is a reason why I am. I’m also proud to be ranked high because that means I’m being chased and that’s going to help push me to keep training hard!
What are your opinions on the girls ranked above you, is there anyone you would like to face?
Of course I want that Gabi Garcia rematch. I wouldn’t mind facing #2 Sarah Patterson in the future, she seems to have a well rounded game. #5 Anna Maliukova because she’s a heavyweight like me and we are both 1-1.
What separates you from everyone else in your division?
I would say my power, intensity, and personality. Even though it was hard to tell in the Gabi fight, but don’t sleep on me 😉
Has there been any talk of a new upcoming fight for you?
A fight is currently in the works.
What made you want to get into MMA?
“ All my life I’ve had to fight…” – Color Purple
I grew up watching Pride, WWF/ WWE, Premier Boxing Championship fights, and last but not least UFC! I’ve always enjoyed fighting my whole life, probably why I was a problem child. I got into a lot of fights from grade school to high school. I grew up wanting to fight in Pride and UFC, one down and one to go. It was hard to find the right gym and coach for the longest but when I did I took the opportunity and never looked back.
MMA training can be demanding on the body. What do you do for self-care other than the obvious sleep, massages and eating right etc?
What’s sleep? I don’t think I get enough sleep but my body has gotten used to it. I go to the chiropractor once or twice every two weeks. A lot of Epson salt baths, a must!
Aside from MMA, what else do you enjoy doing?
I’ve been playing tackle football since 7th grade so playing football and watching football is one of my big favourites. Go Saints! I play video games as much as I can which isn’t often but I’m an Xbox gal. I love doing puzzles currently working on a 5,000-piece puzzle. I’m also a movie whore! I’m pretty sure I have all the movies I’ve watched memorised, so don’t watch a movie with me if I’ve already seen it .
Ronda Rousey, the woman who put Women’s MMA on the map returns December 30th to face Amanda Nunes. How do you see the fight going, will Ronda return the same?
This is a fight I’m looking forward to watching. I’m not much of a Ronda Rousey fan but I’m looking forward to seeing how she will respond in the fight after being out for so long. I believe she’ll return a better striker and more focused then ever but I wonder if the mental aspect of everything will play effect? Amanda Nunes isn’t going to give up her belt so easily but I don’t think she has enough skills to hold off Ronda. Ronda is going to get her belt back and it’s going to leave a pool of tears from Ronda. Especially with all the emotions she’s carrying into the fight. Go Ronda!
If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?
I can’t really say there’s anyone in particular that I would want to have a dream fight with because of the semi-low numbers in my weight class and I want my dreams to be reachable not in LaLa land. I mean I want to fight Anastasia Yankova cause she’s a brawler and we would definitely keep our fight standing but she’s 125lb fighter too small for me, maybe one day catch weight. My dream fight would be fighting for a Championship Belt in my weight class in a big promotion’s cage like UFC or Bellator.
What do you hope to have accomplished by the end of 2017?
In 2017 I hope to accomplish helping to get weight classes above 135lbs more recognition! I’m going to take 2017 by storm! I’m hoping for at least 4 or 5 fight next year. That’s a lot yes but I can handle the load.
At the end of your career what would you like to be proud of?
At the end of my career I want to be able to say I help paved the way for heavier weight classes in the women’s division. To be able to say I was the Welterweight or Heavyweight Champion of the world. I want to be proud of inspiring other women to get into the Mixed Martial Arts word! Non-the-less I want to be able to say I’m proud of myself with no regrets! Believe to Achieve!
Are you excited to see Yarbrough back in action? Who would you like to see her fight? Let us know in the comments below.