Spotlight on: Raquel “Rocky” Magdaleno — MMA

You’ve heard that big things come in small packages, but there is nothing small about the punch that amateur fighter Raquel “Rocky” Magdaleno packs. At 4’10” and a 115 strawweight contender, Magdaleno has a winning 6-1 MMA record and no intention of slowing down.


photo by Jesse Kelley

Magdaleno is currently ranked #3 in women’s MMA unified rankings in December ( Her last fight was in November against MI fighter Kyna Sisson, in which Magdaleno successfully defended her title belt. The win came by TKO just :28 seconds in to the first round.


photo by Jesse Kelley

And on January 31st, she’s ready to leave it all in the cage again, fighting for North American Fighting Championship at Eagles Club in Milwaukee.

Born in southern California and raised a Yooper from Michigan, Magdaleno moved to Milwaukee, WI to train at reputable Roufusport MMA Academy. She has a strong wrestling background, having started in 3rd grade and wrestled through two years in college. When not working long hours as a bartender, Magdaleno is training.

“I left my family, friends and life to move to Milwaukee and train at the best gym in the country!” she said. “I am different from other fighters in my class because I have an extensive wrestling background. Being a fighter, to me, is a way of life I fell into. I’ve always been pretty aggressive, growing up with wrestling as such a huge part of our family’s lives. My favorite part is the training.”

While Magdaleno loves training, it comes with challenges. “The toughest part about training for me is the little injuries to overcome. It is also tough to train hard while keeping a full time bartending job through the night.”

With each fight that Magdaleno has, she walks away with a lesson, whether it is a win or a loss. “There has always been something to work on after each fight,” she said. “I usually figure that out by what was most uncomfortable, what surprised me or caught me off guard.


photo by Jesse Kelley

“But I’m always working on rounding out my mixed martial arts game. This time I’ve been wearing my GI a lot more and doing much more striking. I’m always looking to expand my horizons. I’m still learning jujitsu.” Seasoned in submission, she also favors using her left hook.

Her left hook and other strikes have served her well. “My most memorable night in the ring thus far was my first fight in Marquette, Michigan on April 11th, 2011,” said Magdaleno. “In front of 3,000 people, most of which were my fans, I knocked my opponent out cold in 9 seconds. The crowd blew up the arena for me. It was my favorite fight moment yet!”

She finds inspiration to continue to be successful right at home. “In the fight world, I love Ronda Rousey! But for inspiration, I’d say it is all the pro guys on my fight team at Roufusport. They are human just like me, and they give me hope and encouragement. They keep me going every day and they are so genuine and real!” she said.

As Magdaleno forges ahead in the fight world she would like to leave her mark as a true top contender in the women’s 115 weight class. Her brother, Pat Magdaleno, is also an MMA fighter who trains at Roufusport. “I want to be the first brother and sister MMA duo and make a huge wave in the UFC scene,” she said.


She is a fighter, but she is also a female, shared Magdaleno. “That means I’m a female first — I wear heels and dresses and like to be girly. But I am a female so that means I’m a fighter too! I also would like to think of myself as a lover and a fighter! The world needs more love…no more Meisha Tates though!” she joked.

To Magdaleno, true strength is not about being physically strong. “It is about someone who is not afraid to be themselves, and they are proud to be where they are in life. It is someone who has had no breaks in life but still has hope, love and good energy to share with the world,” she said.

Magdaleno appears to indeed hold both. If you’d like to see Rocky in action in Milwaukee, check out tickets to her January 31st fight at the Eagles Club.

Posted in MMA

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