After three years on the amateur MMA circuit and numerous amateur boxing matches, Michigan 125-pound standout “ABC” Amanda Bobby Cooper made her successful pro debut this past month at King of the Cage: Unrestricted in Walker, Minn.
For Cooper, having had such an extensive background in the amateur ranks, finding a pro fight proved more difficult than she had anticipated and thus finally ended up facing a fellow debuting fighter who was also having problems finding a fight in Brittany Dugas.
“I had my last amateur fight in February of 2013 and it took a year to get a (pro) match,” said Cooper. “I had a couple fall through. I had contracts signed that fell through. I was having a really hard time finding an opponent who’d stick to a fight.
“I heard that Brittney was having a hard time finding a fight after he last amateur fight in the summer, so we both agreed to fight each other and just had to find a promotion.”
While the two may have worked together to get the fight signed, there was some animosity heading into the bout thanks to a pre-fight prediction by Cooper’s coach.
“This fight I decided I wanted to beat Brittany with what she beats everyone with and wanted to submit her,” said Cooper. “My coach actually posted online that I was going to beat Brittney by submission and she got pretty upset by it and said it was never going to happen and it was a dumb prediction.
“I ended up winning the fight in the second round with an armbar, so it was pretty cool.”
With the explosion in women’s MMA at the moment, many fighters have been jumping into the pro ranks with little to no amateur experience. But as Cooper told MMAWeekly.com, her time in the amateur ranks has proven to be especially advantageous for her.
“I think it’s better to fight tough opponents as an amateur. I would say as a pro too, but you want to get in all you can (as an amateur),” she said. “I actually like my losses because they’ve really helped me out, and you might as well have them as an amateur.
“You definitely learn to deal with the nerves and competition, and learn how to train and fight, so it’s awesome.”
Now that she has made the transition to the pros, Cooper won’t have to wait long to get her big break as she’s headed to the top women’s promotion in MMA very soon.
“I should be getting my Invicta contract soon,” she said. “I’ve wanted to be Invicta for so long. I sent them videos of me, pictures of me every week, and finally after my fight with Brittany I got the call that Shannon Knapp and Invicta wanted to sign a contract with me.
“My goals are just to climb the ranks of the pros and hopefully get a title shot for Invicta. And then if the UFC opens up a weight class for 125 pounds, I would love to compete in that as well.”