женскихsingle combat



Erin Toughill

Erin Toughill vs. Irina Rodina
Erin Toughill (left) attacks formidable Russian fighter Irina Rodina
during the "no-hold barred" fighting (MMA) tournament in Japan

Русская версия

Erin Erin Erin Erin

Erin Toughill, 25 Costa Mesa, California, USA (5'10"/165lb). Professional boxer, kickboxer, jiu-jitsu artist and "no-hold barred" fighter.

Tell us briefly about yourself.

I have been professionally fighting for almost three and a half years. I have been a professional boxer for 2 years and a jiu-jitsu competitor for 5 years. All together I have been studying MA (starting with kickboxing) for 7 and a half years. I plan to have one or two more MMA fights and then return to boxing.

What are your best achievements and titles? What is your fighting record?

My MMA record is 5-1-1 and my boxing is 2-1-1 with 1 no contest. I have competed in sport Jiu-Jitsu as well. I am the ReMix II Golden Gate champ and am also ranked #5 in the world by the WIBF (women's boxing federation) I am in the top ten in other boxing federations as well. I am in the top five in the world for women’s MMA and most agree that I am # 1 in my weight division. I also hold a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Tell us (as much as possible) about fighting styles you are skilled in. What are NHB, BJJ, and "Punchout Fighting Style"?

BJJ Stands for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. NHB means No Holds Barred. Punchout is one of the gyms I work out at - lol. But (as far as I know) it IS NOT a fighting style.

Are there any differences between "no holds barred", extreme and ultimate styles of fighting and MMA?

No, not really. Those are just the different names that are used to describe it. MMA, NHB, UFC – Stuff like that.

Once I saw a free fighting contest where two women were fighting by slapping; what was that? Special female style slapfighting? What do you think about that?

I have that tape. It's Russia vs. Holland. If you are not allowed to punch to face w/ closed fists it is called PANCRASE. You can only do open hand slapping. I have never had a Pancrase fight. I would not be interested in slapping someone. I like to punch people in the face and I don't mind getting punched back.

Which fighting form is more useful in MMA competitions?

Closed fists.

Can you clarify what is "closed fist" style?

"Closed fist" MEANS a fist used in MMA or NHB. PANCRASE is only OPEN HAND (like slapping)

In "no-holds barred" competitions in Japan much lighter fighters took over dangerous heavyweighters: Toughill defeated Rodina, Yabushita defeated Gundarenko. Does that mean weight is not that important in "no-holds barred" fighting?

No, I think it is important. I don't mind fighting people much bigger - but it can still be a disadvantage. Another thing was that ReMix had a time limit on the ground. That made it better for the "smaller" competitors. Yabushita COULD have lost if there was no time limit. But you never know...

You managed to defeat the robust and skillful fighter - Irina Rodina. What did you feel on the ring in front of such a mighty strong woman? Weren’t you scared at the beginning? What technique is good against giants? Please describe your fights against other heavyweighters if you had them?

Sure I was nervous. I don't lie and say that I don't feel worried when I fight. If someone says that – they are either REALLY STUPID or they are not telling the truth. I had some problems when I fought her (Rodina) - mostly w/ the takedowns. I wasn't prepared that well for those fights. I could have done much better. I have all new trainers and have been working on my weaknesses for quite some time now. I used my punching skills A LOT w/ Rodina. Most of the girls in MMA are not great stand up fighters anywise. If I fought her now I would still win - but I would stop her by knocking her out. She is much better Judo than me and is also good on the ground but I am a better all around fighter. I also fought Gundarenko and lost by neck crank. I was nervous for that too - she was really big - lol. But - she is only really good at Judo. That is it, if I fought her again I feel confident I would win.

Is the stand up position really important in MMA? I’ve never heard that a female fighter managed to win just by knock out an opponent being in a standing position.

Really??? It happens all the time. I am not sure how many women have done it - but it happens a lot in men’s MMA. But standup is VERY important in MMA - in my honest opinion.

Probably you’re right – I am not familiar with men’s MMA. May be a stupid question. Let’s imagine a fight between a well skilled kickboxer (or boxer) and a well skilled Judoist. Other things being equal, who has more chances to win?

OK – first of all my MAIN strength is my standup fighting. BUT - I also know a lot of ground. I would not just go into an MMA fight w/ ONLY kickboxing or boxing... BUT are we just talking about 2 OTHER people?? What people don't seem to understand is that JUDO does not have a lot to do w/ MMA as a whole. If a Judoka grabs you will probably be in a lot of trouble from a throw or takedown - but THEN WHAT?? Most Judoka don't do submissions - they pin people. Right? So if a kickboxer can STAY AWAY from them, all she has to do is punch them and kick them and the standup fighter will MOST LIKELY win. Judo is mostly throwing - punches and kicks win fights as well as submissions... so if you asked if a boxer x a BJJ person would win - probably the JIU JITSU person – IF she got an opponent on the ground.

Who is the hardest opponent for you (in general and in particular)?

My hardest opponent was a girl I fought in a boxing competition. They told me she had one fight. Yeah right. I got there and found out she had an extensive amateur background in boxing and also in professional. I got a draw w/ her but it was a hard fight. My most memorable MMA fight was my FIRST fight against Irma Verhoeff. They said the same thing about her – that she had one or two fights -- lol. Then I get there and find out she has had A LOT! We fought for ONE 15 minute round and I got a draw w/ her. That was when I didn't even know anything and I did that well. But we are rematching on Jan 11th 2003 in California. I hope to win this one.

Is there a martial artist who you particularly want to compete with or it doesn’t matter for you who to compete?

It does not matter. I will fight anyone. It is my job.

Why have you chosen combative sports, quite unusual activities for a woman? What encouraged you to participate in them?

I first started training so that I could get a good work out and learn self-defense. But then I realized that I was very good at what I was doing and my trainer asked me if I was interested in fighting and I said yes! I just wanna show people that women can be in this sport and do just as well as the men if not better. We can do anything the boys can do!

Why there are so many skilful female fighters in Netherlands? Are Dutch women stronger than other ones?

Stronger? No. But they are probably better kickboxers. The best kickboxers come from the Netherlands but the best BOXERS come from the USA. They have a lot of great gyms out there and that is why many people travel there to train.

Do you feel yourself as a special woman; do you stand out among ordinary non-combative women? Is it visible for other people that you are a fighter?

I am special in my own way I guess because of what I do. There are not very many women who like this type of sport. Sometimes people get intimidated because of the way that I am built but they usually don't know I am a fighter because I am still very feminine. I don't look like a man or try to be one. I am a woman who loves to look like one but also one who likes to fight! After people talk to me, they realize I am a really nice girl - just don't get on my bad side.

Do you recommend other women participating in the combative sports, in particular, your daughter (if you would have her)? Do you consider contact sports not to be typical for an average woman all the same?

I want to encourage women to get in this sport. We need more GOOD competition. But at the same time this is not a sport for the average girl. You take a lot of punishment (mostly in training) and it is something you have to dedicate your life to if you want to be good at it. For the past three years I have done nothing but train, eat and sleep. It is my life. If it was easy, everyone would do it. If I had a daughter I would definitely put her in martial arts. It is good for discipline and self-defense. All girls need to know some self-defense.

Why women never participated in combative activities during centuries but all the sudden they just burst into the world of physical combat?

Women are finally realizing that we don't have to have the men lead anymore. We can do WHAT we want WHEN we want. Women need to be able to protect themselves WHEN the men are not around. Women have always had a warrior spirit - but we just didn't know how to let it come out. Women are realizing that we can do anything men can do INCLUDING fighting.

What do you feel when winning over an opponent, doing painful holds, inflicting a trauma? Do you feel joy, triumph, regret, and other emotions?

I love to win. I train very hard and when you win it all pays off. You put yourself through a lot for a fight. It is very draining. When people get hurt - that is a part of it. If I have to hurt them to win - I will. That is why I am a fighter.

What is the difference between men’s fighting and women’s fighting in different combative sport? From emotional, technical and physical perspective? Are the differences going to be diminished the future?

Women are more emotional than men anywise - of course that will come out in the fighting. Women are definitely not as technical or as strong as men either. But that what makes it so great - we do have these differences but we can still be exciting anywise. I hope the differences stay - men and women ARE different. That's what makes it fun.

Russian sambist Andrey Romanov said in his interview: "I don’t understand all this fury, which is clearly sensed in female wrestling. Sometimes this fury seems to be perceived". Do you agree with that?

What? And men don't have any fury when they compete?? Hahaha. They have an ego too - but a different one than ours. Maybe we are just more competitive than the men. But I don't think it is "fury".

Do you really compete with men?

I don't believe in FIGHTING men. Why? There is no point. It is a losing situation either way. I TRAIN w/ men though and they definitely don't go easy on me. They treat me the same as everyone else on the team. Maybe at first they say "Oh this is a girl. What can she do?" But when they roll w/ me or do boxing w/ me they realize VERY QUICKLY that I have the ability to tap them out or knock them out. I am not a woman who hits like a girl - I am a woman who hits like a man. I have great boxing skills and have outboxed a lot of men I have trained w/ Maybe it is because I listen more and dedicate more time to training. I don't know... But I enjoy training w/ the boys. It makes me stronger.

What do you think about mixed combative competitions in other combative sports? Is it possible at all that women can be on an equal footing with men in boxing and wrestling?

As a whole - No way. But there are some women who can be better athletes than men. But men (as a whole) are stronger, faster, and more technical then women. If there is one girl out there who thinks different - she must not be training w/ good fighters. If I go against a man who is my weight and skill level – I will probably lose. It's just nature that's all...

Do you believe that women should do whatever men do?


Is it important for you to look good during the contest or you forget about that when fighting? Are you afraid your face to be damaged? Do you care about this kind of problems at all?

I don’t really worry about what I look like when I train. If a woman cares about what is going to happen to her face - and she is a fighter...she is in the WRONG sport!

Do you consider some combat sports to be brutal?

It's all brutal.

Marloes Coenen in her interview mentioned some American fighter Erin who she characterized as arrogant. What has happened between you girls?

LOL That is me! It is quite the opposite though. Some people are SO arrogant that they don't even realize that they are the arrogant ones in the first place. That is the type of girl Marloes is. Nothing really happened - but I have met her a few times and found her to be very full of herself.

Coenen said, "when the time is there I’ll be sure to put her back in place". Do you really want to fight with her and punish her for her behavior? Is it possible to have some personal motivation being on the ring?

No, No, No! Marloes is supposed to be the #1 fighter – so why would I not want to fight her?? It is nothing personal. It is my job.

Do you get paid for competitions? Would you participate in combative sports if you don’t get paid?

Yes I get paid and NO I would not fight if I didn't get paid.

Are you wrestling with friends just for fun?


Do you consider physical superiority of men over women acceptable and natural? Would you imagine that your husband or boy friend is weaker than you are?

Yes - men are physically superior than women. It IS nature. I don't know why women want to be like men. It is weird. All I know is that we can do whatever the guys can do - maybe we are not as strong - but that IS nature. LOL - my boyfriend is my Jiu-Jitsu instructor. He can kick my but in 10 seconds. He is one of the best (American) Jiu-Jitsu Black Belts in the nation. And at 6'2 and 210 lbs. He is pretty scary!

Do you think that a man must be gallant and attentive toward a woman even the woman is a fighter?

Of course!

Are you aware that some men and women turn on by watching female single combat and by participating in it? What do you think about it? Do you understand why it happens?

Yes I know about it. Some people just get off on getting beat up I guess. I don't do fetish wrestling or anything else like that. Some people just wanna give up all control and have someone dominate them. It's pretty easy to understand – lol.

Do you like watching physical contests? What is more exciting for you, men’s or women’s competitions?

I like watching men cause they are more technical. I will watch women ONLY if they are good at what they do. I don’t watch girls fight just because they are girls. If they have some skills - then I will watch. If not - they should go back to the gym and keep training.

What is your opinion about erotic and show contests, such as professional wrestling, catfighting or foxy boxing?

I don't know. All I know is that it makes it harder for the girls to be taken seriously in this sport. Sometimes people think I do "foxy boxing" too if I tell them I am a fighter. I laugh and say "Come to my gym and see what I can do". I am a real fighter who trains her ass off! I want to be taken seriously and this makes it harder. But - stuff like this will ALWAYS be around and people have to make money so...

Do you consider women’s contests for men’s amusement to be humiliating for women?

You mean like foxy boxing or naked wrestling? I guess so - but the girls are making A LOT of money off these dumb guys so maybe they don't care about being degraded.

Have you ever participated in real brawls with women? Do you consider them as acceptable under some circumstances?

Yes. But I don't like to get in street fights - they are stupid and I feel sorry for the girl that picks a fight w/ me.

We thank Erin for her time and wish her great success in her hard business. Please visit her WEB site.

November 30, 2002

Erin Toughill

Erin Toughill

Erin Toughill

Erin Toughill

Erin Toughill

Erin Toughill

>> Our Interviews

Пишите Нам / Contact Us

Последнее обновление:

Last updated: