Erin Toughill's been through more than people think. She's not just the pretty face who holds records of 10-2-1 (MMA) and 8-2-1-1 (boxing). She started in a place where people tried to keep women out of the sport. But she fought through it, paid her dues, and made herself one of the most recognizable figures in women's MMA.
In an e-mail interview with FiveKnuckles.com, Toughill talks about getting pulled from Strikeforce cards, femininity in female fighters, clarifies the rumors about her ex-husband, thinks about her future, and tells us why she fights. Toughill also gives her thoughts on Gina Carano, Kim Couture, Kerry Vera, Marloes Coenen and Cristiane Santos.
FiveKnuckles.com: You pulled out of your last fight with a cystic ovary. How is that injury now?
Erin Toughill: It's a very common issue for women to have, so I don't know why this would be something so out of the ordinary for a woman to have; especially to a woman who has put her body through the ringer for the last 15 years during training. I have been fighting pro for 11 years and I have only pulled out of a handful of fights (in boxing AND MMA) for serious, legitimate injuries.
My identity is not wrapped up in fighting like it used to be when I was younger. I have no doubt if I had this medical injury years ago, I would have pushed through it and fought. But my health and my family is THE most important thing; if you don't have your health, you have nothing, trust me. It took several weeks to heal, and at the advice of my doctor, I removed myself, and now it is fine. I started training once I was cleared in late November/early December. The pain was getting worse and I had been pushing through it weeks before I even pulled out.
FiveKnuckles.com: Are you ready to go for your next fight? When will it be... I've been hearing some buzz about it.
Erin Toughill: I don't know. I don't know anything. When I pulled out in November 2009, I said I'd be ready to fight in January. And you know what they told me? I might not fight for SIX MONTHS. SIX MONTHS? So that is why I asked to fight for another promotion (still being under contract with Strikeforce) and the let me fight for FCF in late January. And you know, that did not work out either. Some people with Strikeforce were holding up the process for weeks. It was basic stuff that could have been handled, but it was put off for weeks. So by the time it got closer to a fight, then it got harder and harder to find an opponent. Potential opponents were still given four/five weeks to train, and seven people STILL said no. So I trained six weeks (again) for another fight that did not go through.
I was not fighting for money, because if people knew what I was getting paid they would be blown away. I was fighting because this is a passion of mine and I NEED to stay busy as a fighter. Then I still get flack because people are questioning my "level" of opponents that were being asked lol. All these women had experience; all these women has several fights or more; and several of the women we asked were in the TOP TEN in particular weight classes. I find this sport to be more...