After a successful run in the amateur ranks that saw her go 4-1 and win a title, atomweight prospect Shyann Farmer ran into some difficulty finding fights. It was this lack of competition that ultimately led her to the decision to turn pro this year.
“I wanted more amateur fights, but things fell through, and it got to a point where there wasn’t a lot of 115ers around,” Farmer told MMAWeekly.com. “I knew when I was going to turn pro I wanted to fight 105lbs, but there wasn’t any 105ers around at all. My coach said I could always go pro, and I said let’s do it.”
Over the course of her first four years in MMA, Farmer feels like she’s come a long way. In particular she’s been able to develop a strong stand-up game to complement her grappling prowess.
“I’ve made huge changes,” said Farmer. “I actually have a video of me my first time sparring. I just looked so funny. My hands were down the whole time. I threw some good punches and kicks. But over the years I’ve developed a lot with my striking.
“My boxing has gotten great. My wrestling and my Jiu-Jitsu has become a strong point. I consider myself an all-around fighter. I’ve seen a huge change in me these past four years in fighting.”
Farmer (0-0) will make her pro MMA debut against fellow debuting Brenda Enriquez (0-0) in a main card 105-pound bout at Combate Americas 17 on Friday in Redlands, Calif.
“I honestly don’t know a lot about my opponent,” Farmer said of Enriquez. “I’ve looked at a couple of her fights. One she did win, but the second one she got beat pretty bad by a girl who is now on The Ultimate Fighter.
“My coach and I can see a lot of ways that I’ll be the more aggressive fighter. A lot of 105ers are like 4’11” or 4’10”, and I’m 5’2”, so I’ll have an advantage there. I’m pretty confident going into this fight.”
Being part of Combate Americas is a big opportunity for Farmer’s career, but also a chance for her to inspire others who come from a similar background as she does.
“This is a really big promotion that is televised all over the world,” said Farmer. “I’m excited to get my name out there and show people that you can actually do something when you come from a small town. You don’t need a big gym with famous names or big names to get somewhere.”