story and photos by Sandy Hackenmueller
(Note: as of press time, Amanda’s Feb. 22nd fight has been postponed).
As women in combat sports continue to make strides in the industry, Amanda Wyatt is prepared to be one of them. Wyatt, from Ishpeming, MI trains at nearby US Muay Thai in Marquette.
An amateur fighter with a 4-3 record, Wyatt is preparing for her next fight on February 22. She will face Minnesota fighter Pam Sorenson, fighting on Driller Promotions’ card at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN.
Wyatt’s last fight was against tough opponent Sarah Jacobson from Sixel’s Gym of Eagle River, WI. The fight was largely lauded by spectators as Fight of the Night. Wyatt lost in the second round via TKO. “Even though I lost, I learned a lot,” she said. “It was a really good fight but I made a few mistakes that cost me.” Wyatt intends to learn from these mistakes and focus on earning back that win at her night fight.
Win or lose, Wyatt feels nothing but benefit from her journey as a fighter. “To be a fighter has truly helped me as a person,” said Amanda. “It can build your confidence, not to mention teach you self-defense. It can humble you as well. I think every fighter has felt that way at some point and time.”
Being humble is a part of Wyatt’s repertoire. “I don’t feel that I’m any better or worse than anyone I’m matched up against,” she said. “Sometimes I win and sometimes I learn.”
“Training-wise I try to be a well-rounded fighter. However, I’ve always done better on the ground,” Wyatt said. “But I’ve lost a fight because I should have used my striking more, and then I have lost a fight for not taking it to the ground when I should have. So, each bout I learn more and more about why it’s so important to stick to the game plan. It’s important to really train hard on becoming well-rounded.”
As Wyatt prepares for her upcoming fight, she has been focusing on additional areas. “I’ve really been working hard on my striking. I’m working with pro fighters and world champion Muay Thai fighters. I am also working on my mental toughness. That can come and go with every bout, as well as with personal life problems, etc,” she said.
Mental strength comes in handy as the trials of training can be challenging. “The toughest part about training is keeping focused at times, and leaving my kids. During fight camp I’m gone more. Between lifting, BJJ and Muay Thai, it is a lot.”
But when fight night comes, the dedication is worth it. “Every fight day I call my kids and other family. I usually stay fairly calm until I see the cage. That’s when I start to feel the rush,” Wyatt said. And this is where her training all comes to fruition.
With seven fights under her belt, Wyatt’s first cage fight is still her most memorable. “I won that fight by first round submission. To me, being able to walk out in front of over 500 people…step in the cage and do exactly what I had been training to do, was the best feeling!
“I had only been training for three months and I didn’t know what to expect,” said Wyatt. “It really changed everything.”
Wyatt finds herself inspired by many female fighters in the industry. “I follow a lot of the other female fighters, both pro and amateur,” she said. “I see fighters like Cat Zingano, Bec Hyatt, Sara McMann — and those women also have children. They are living their dream. At times that seems impossible. But when I see other woman doing it, it helps me to keep plugging on.”
When all is said and done, Wyatt would like to end her career with the mutual respect she gives to all of her fellow fighters. “I train just as hard,” she said. “I have had some pretty tough fights and I’ve never been afraid of anybody.
“I’ve won and I’ve lost. But I’ve always came to fight regardless of the outcome.”