While you might not recognize strawweight prospect Emily Whitmire’s name, you might be familiar with her appearance.
Over the past year, her association with former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate has put Whitmire in the background of various photos; perhaps most famously when Tate helped a young girl with a broken arm down a mountain in Nevada this past September.
“It was a rest day and we kind of wanted to get out, so me and Myra (Fukuno) and Miesha wanted to go up to Mt. Charleston, because Miesha and I hadn’t been up there yet,” Whitmire told MMAWeekly.com.
“It was a beautiful day, we were having a good time, but as soon as we knew there was a little girl hurt up there, somebody was going to do something. There’s no way that if somebody is in danger that Miesha wasn’t going to help.”
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While those around her have been able to be active this year, Whitmire herself had been having difficulty finding a fight until her recent signing with the RFA.
“I have looking for a fight as soon as 2016 started,” she said. “We had a couple of offers, and we accepted, but we didn’t get any return on the other end. Nobody wanted to give me the opportunity. I’m just grateful that the RFA has finally been able to get something going for me.”
Having been a year since she last fought, Whitmire has used the time off wisely and feels she’s matured a lot over the past several months.
“I think I’m a little bit more mentally sound,” Whitmire said. “I just turned 25, so I’m still growing up in a sense, but I’ve come more into my own – even more than I was a year ago – the confidence is definitely there.
“My size, my skillset, I just have an answer for everywhere I go, so I just feel confident going in right now.”
When she makes her RFA debut on Friday in St. Charles, Mo., Whitmire (1-0) will face the debuting Kelly D’Angelo (0-0) in a 115-pound preliminary bout.
“I just have to be the aggressor, be aggressive, and not hold anything back,” said Whitmire of facing D’Angelo. “She’s more of a stand-up fighter from what I know, so I’ve been working my hands five days a week right now.”
Should Whitmire come out of Friday’s bout healthy, she’s eager to make up for lost time and would like to fight again before 2016 is over.
“We definitely don’t want to look past Kelly right now, so we’re definitely focused on that,” she said. “But I’d definitely love to get in one more before the end of the year; hopefully maybe before Thanksgiving. I would love to get one in.”