Over the last few months several female fighters competing in the divisions of Welterweight and above (170lbs+) have spoken out about women deserving more opportunities no matter the weight class. These ladies include Katya Kavaleva, Destanie Yarbrough, Erica Grover, Kola Shippentower and Rachel Kemker. The latest woman to speak out is Essex, England’s Stacy ‘The Hammer’ Hayes. She has previously made history by becoming the first female MMA pro fighter in her county.
‘The Hammer’ has been fighting as a pro since 2011 and has rose to prominence in her hometown. She competed for the Middleweight championship back in 2014 for UCMMA 41. She was last seen competing back in May of 2015 when she defeated fellow Brit Claire Smith via a round 1 TKO. Hayes’ has taken almost 18 months off and plans a return in 2017, she reveals to us “I’ll be fighting in 2017, I’ve been trying my hand at boxing in 2016″. She has previously fought at a variety of weight-classes between 155 pounds and 180 pounds, however her preferred weight class is at Welterweight which is contested at 170 pounds. She tells us “I’m comfortable at this weight and more strong, fast and powerful“.
Hayes’ reveals her frustrations regarding her weight class not being given as many opportunities “I have been made to feel like sh*t because I’m a comfortable Welterweight fighter. I’ve had enough, eating disorders came from it. Thank god these ladies are taking a stand. She continues “I’ve been waiting 5 years for something like this to happen. I also have hormone troubles which turns it all upside down very often, I was told my muscle mass was around 64 kilo a lot of women fight 65 and under. I welcome the recognition of bigger weight divisions“.
She has plans to fight outside of the UK in the next year, telling us “I have to be honest there’s more opportunity for me elsewhere such as America, Asia and Europe. I would jump at the opportunity to fight abroad“.
Kola Shippentower, one of the many previous ladies to speak out also fights at 170lbs and shares the same vision. Both ladies fight for the sport and are respectful, perhaps we’ll see these ladies throw down sometime in 2017? Shippentower revealed in a recent interview that she is currently expecting a child and plans to resume training in April 2017.
Are you excited to see ‘The Hammer’ make her return in 2017? Who would you like to see her fight? Let us know in the comments below.
Watch Hayes’ knocking out fellow Brit Claire Smith back in 2015.