Boxer Holly Lawson turns to MMA
Holly Lawson (0-0), a former top five female professional boxer (5-2-0, 1KO) makes her debut as a newly signed Bellator MMA fighter at Bellator 129 on October 17th at the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa against the undefeated Jozette Cotton (4-0). Coming off of success as the lead trainer of actress Rosamund Pike, star of the blockbuster movie GONE GIRL, Ms. Lawson similar to Mr. Beltran is looking to bring a little Hollywood style stardust to the Midwest when she battles professionally for the first time as an MMA figher.
At the forefront of what many would call a needed remodel of MMA’s venerable house of Bellator, MMA titan of industry Scott Coker, one of the founders of the highly successful Strikeforce franchise, is looking to revitalize Bellator by building a spanking new women’s division. Former professional boxer Holly Lawson is more than ready to lead the charge as one of the first of these five female contract players to battle on October 17, 2014 at Bellator 129. Debuting what her backers at Bellator and beyond see as an unrepresentative 0 and 0 MMA record, Lawson is set to battle in Iowa against undefeated and aggressive striker Jozette Cotton.
As a recent convert from professional boxing, Lawson misses her old fight style but is excited and eager to wade deep into new waters in order to find that sweet spot where she is meant to live and thrive in the greater professional fight universe:
LAWSON: This is a big deal for me; it’s a huge deal. I’m really honored that Bellator showed so much faith in me…I just couldn’t get a fight in boxing… so I decided to try training (in MMA)…. I really fell in love with it…. In MMA they look at women as an asset not a liability … to me I think it’s fantastic.”
As Cotton’s strengths have been her striking ability and the use of her hands, a match up with someone of Lawson’s demonstrated boxing chops and natural comfort with the same skill set should make for an exciting and explosive clash. However, if things do go to the mat, Lawson’s new found affinity for wrestling should slant a few things her way if stand up fighting isn’t on the menu come October 17th.
LAWSON: “ My coaches in wrestling are NCAA All American… right now all of our fighters are wrestling based strikers so the wrestling is what I’m really looking forward to.”
While Lawson makes a point of training at many well-known fight clubs in order to study and master different fight techniques and disciplines, her current main training home is in Lakewood, California with the great Antonio McKee at the helm. As the lone female fighter in a training nest that includes the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Cheick Kongo, Lawson feels comfortable and right at home with the boys. James Lawson of The Warriors Club who works specifically with Ms. Lawson on grappling technique tends to believe that in large part what equips Holly to go far within MMA is her unique balance of confidence paired with the ability to accept instruction:
JAMES LAWSON: “The key to her success is working with what she already has…she excelled in boxing so it would be foolish not to exploit those skills and set everything up off of her striking…she’s up there with one of the best of them when it comes to striking but what I really appreciate is the mind set to understand and realize that this is not a boxing match and to learn these new and uncomfortable and unfamiliar things that are the mixed martial arts.”
Given Ms. Cotton’s bullying style, the idea that Ms. Lawson needs to be first seems to be a great take away plan from all that Ms. Lawson has studied recently with her MMA coaches as well as a pleasant trip down memory lane with regards to good ingrained boxing strategy.
HOLLY LAWSON: “She’s (Cotton) from Omaha. She’s tough. She’s gonna bring it... She’s going to bring the fight to me definitely.”
JAMES LAWSON: “I think (Holly) needs to be very firm with (Jozette)…. to out bully the bully and to stand her ground… very affirmative very dominant in every single range… her opponent (Jozette Cotton) needs a lot of work in the stand up so don’t be surprised of it looks like a boxing match… I think Holly matches up very well with Jozette.”
Good advice for a fight set to play out in a region known for being open and flat with nowhere to hide. Excellent conditions for a great battle.
Written by Kylie Krabbe
Photo by Soren Krabbe
October 10th, 2014