by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
It’s not uncommon to see MMA fighters appearing on myriad of television networks, doing a multitude of things.
One of the more unique opportunities outside the sport that has presented itself to athletes was an opportunity to showcase techniques at up to 10,000 times slower than their normal speed on the Discovery Channel’s popular Time Warp series.
Not only did UFC star Kenny Florian help launch the show on its pilot episode, but he recently returned with Dan and Dave Camarillo along with female sensation and American Gladiators star Erin Toughill for the most recent episode, premiering Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.
MMAWeekly.com caught up with Toughill to talk about her experience on Time Warp, as well as what’s next for her in her fighting career.
“Apparently one of the producers on the show, Rudy (Fischmann), trains and is a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, and is pretty knowledgeable about the sport,” said Toughill on how she got involved with the series. “They wanted a handful of people that represented each discipline to the best of their abilities, and I know he wanted to pick one woman in particular.
“I guess he was a fan of mine and requested I be in there. He picked me specifically for the striking element – the punches and elbows – so that was a big honor and pretty awesome.”
Toughill, along with the Camarillo brothers, traveled to Boston and met up with Florian for a day’s worth of taping that included Florian working Muay Thai, the brothers demonstrating judo and jiu-jitsu, and Toughill the aforementioned striking game.
“They wanted me to hit this guy in the stomach, and it was the craziest thing seeing all the (impact energy) flow,” stated Toughill. “Kenny and I did this one part where he was holding a watermelon and I hit it, they caught it in slow motion and it just exploded, that was pretty awesome.”
When MMAWeekly.com spoke to Time Warp host Jeff Lieberman in May, he specifically mentioned being hit by Toughill, and how he wouldn’t want to do it again any time in the near future.
“I think sometimes it still freaks people out who don’t know the sport that a woman can do that stuff,” commented Toughill. “I didn’t even hit him hard, but they had a very visceral reaction to it.
“I think I did a little punch on the other host and he had the same reaction. It was just so strange to them that they had a female do that to them, and they were a little shocked.”
Getting a chance to see her moves slowed down thousands of times slower than normal reiterated to Toughill just how devastating fight techniques truly are.
“It shows that a male or female can do that stuff and generate the same intensity and force if you do it correctly,” she stated. “It just shows how powerful the sport is itself.
“It’s not male or female based when it comes down to technique. It shows that anybody can do it if they are trained properly and execute it properly, and the outcome will be the same.”
Not only was Toughill eager to speak about her experience on Time Warp, but she’s excited to announce that she’s lined up her next fight.
“I don’t know who my opponent is yet, because they’re talking to a couple of people, but I’m fighting August 15 on the undercard for the Strikeforce show,” said Toughill. “It’s pretty amazing that they’re having two female fights on that show, and is a huge thing for our sport.
“I’m really looking forward to Gina (Carano) and Cyborg (Cris Santos) fighting. I think that’s going to be an amazing fight that’s really going to represent MMA at one of the highest levels possible. I don’t look past this fight, I really want to focus on it, but if it goes the way I plan – to win – then I get to fight the winner of the Gina versus Cyborg fight.”
It’s an exciting time for Toughill both inside and outside the cage, and she intends to keep the excitement level up when she gets back to action this fall.
“I want to thank Cage Fighter and remind everyone to check out my website at ErinToughill.com,” she concluded. “Obviously I want fans to check out Time Warp, but I also want them to come check out my next fight as well.
“When I hit that watermelon it flew across the ring, so if I get to smash somebody’s face like that it will be a happy day.”