Strong and sexy, just what Invicta ordered.
Ok, maybe they just ordered a “heavy-handed sweetheart who could take the MMA community by storm,” and the sexy was just a bonus.
However you look at it, Amanda Bobby Cooper has earned her way to the big stage, and with the ink not even dry, she is an official contracted Invicta FC fighter.
Cooper’s King of the Cage pro debut launched her straight to Invicta FC.
Cooper has a long history in combat sports. She starting boxing at age 11. At age 22, she has an impressive list of accomplishments that include titles in boxing and MMA. She believes that it is her experience that sets her apart from other female fighters.
“I have competed so many times, and have been through a lot of bad times as well as really amazing times. I know what it feels like to lose and have your heart ripped out. I know what it feels like when I am on top of the world,” said Cooper.
“Many females started in this sport because they were “tough” or they wanted to try something new– but I am different. I grew up learning these different arts and I have been a fighter my whole life. I also believe one of my biggest strengths is the belief I have in myself. I work hard at what I do and I have the best coaches I could ever imagine, as well as the support of all my friends, family members and supporters. That is why I believe I will succeed.”
Cooper was raised in Bath, MI, a small town east of Lansing. A town of roughly 2,000 people, Cooper knows most of the community and is in a position to be a positive role model to the area’s youth. “I know everyone in that town so well,” she said. “I grew up with a lot of great people who are behind me, hoping that I can make my dreams come true.
“I am an instructor at my academy, Scorpion Fighting System, so I get to be the role model and idol that all my students can look up to. I teach the women’s kickboxing, and my boyfriend James and I teach the kids’ classes as well. I am always looking to help out anyone I can. I love teaching the kids, and being able to see their progression through martial arts and life, just like I did as a kid.”
And what the children are witnessing is a small town girl, all grown up, getting ready to fight for one of her dream promotions, Invicta FC. Word had it in the fight community that Cooper’s King of the Cage fight in February against Missouri’s Brittany Dugas would set the stage for that call. And that is exactly what happened.
Both women were having a hard time finding a bout, both of them looking to launch their pro debut. Each fighter had an excellent combat reputation and both wanted a big fight to move forward in their career. King of the Cage matchmaker Mike Camp worked hard on getting the women a bout worthy of their calibers.
“Months leading up into the fight, even before we were sent a contract, I had been planning on fighting Brittany,” said Cooper. “I knew we both had a big name and we were both having trouble getting our debuts, so it worked out beautifully when I heard she approved the match up with King of the Cage.
“I couldn’t have been happier. Brittany was undefeated as an amateur and had a big following. I knew I had to do everything I could to get the win.
“Leading up to the fight I had watched a few videos of her fights and did some research with my coach. I realized she was a grappler and won almost every fight with a submission or TKO from mount. Knowing this, I mainly trained my Jiu Jitsu. My game plan was to out-grapple the grappler, and show everyone I am a force to be reckoned with.” And show everyone, she did.
Invicta FC took notice and Cooper received the call. “I have been following Invicta for a long time,” she said. “And being a huge fan of what they were doing for WMMA, shortly it became my dream to fight for them.
“I started following them on social media and tagging them in all that I could, from pictures and videos of my training and fights. I also sent the matchmaker at the time, Janet Martin, an email with my biography and credentials, hoping I would get noticed.
“Once the fight was lined up with Brittany, I had someone who knows Shannon Knapp, president of Invicta, tell me that Shannon was very interested in the fight and was waiting to hear the results. Fighting a person of Brittany’s caliber was the best thing I could have done to get noticed.”
Cooper was at home when the call from Invicta came in. “When I heard that Invicta wanted to sign me, I seriously started crying and jumping up and down. As soon as I was off of the phone I ran down stairs to tell my roommate, another professional fighter, the great news. He actually didn’t believe me until I showed him the proof,” she said.
“It was truly amazing! I instantly called up my boyfriend, who is also my coach, and I told him the news. That’s when it really hit me. We talked about what this meant to me and how hard I am going to have to work. Being a fan of Invicta, and a fan of just about every woman competing for them, I am truly thankful! I can’t express how much excitement I have been carrying around with me since the phone call!”
Cooper has solid ambitions for how the rest of 2014 plays out. “I hope to become one of the top contenders in the 125lb division by the end of the year,” she said. “I would love to stay undefeated and keep finishing my fights in exciting fashion.
“I would love to get some training in with the best girls out there, including Tecia Torres, Miesha Tate, Felice Herrig, Zoila Frausto and others. There are too many great women to be able to list all of the ones I look up to! I hope to become the 125lb Invicta world champion one day. Afterwards, I’d like to move on to the UFC and become their 125lb champion, when they put the division into the UFC.”
Besides competitive fights, Cooper thinks that being on any MMA reality show would be a great experience. “I also really want to hold a pro title, and see my boyfriend hold a pro title, and be the first mma couple in history to do it,” she said.
At the rate Cooper is going, she just might do it all.