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Two amateur MMA fighters to appear on NatGeo’s “Taboo”: Fan reaction
Amateur MMA fighters Tisha Rodrigues (2-1) and Jill Valenzuela (1-0) are scheduled to appear on an upcoming episode of "Taboo" on the National Geographic Channel. Tisha announced on her Facebook page that filming will take place in Massachusetts on September 19th, 2011.
I asked Tisha how this opportunity came to be. "They asked me to do the show because they thought I had a great story - my past and what led me to where I am today. Every fighter on the show has been chosen for their special story. They also felt I was a great role model to young women and all women in the sport and liked my passion."
Tisha, a fitness model, fights at 115 lbs, or all the way up to 125 lbs.
The "Taboo" episode will feature a variety of women with different fighting styles. "I am not sure of all the styles, some may not even be familiar with everyone. I know Muay Thai and boxing in different countries will be explored."
Tisha, who is training for her pro debut added, "myself and Jill will be the only people representing MMA."
Tisha explained why she thinks people consider MMA taboo. "They wanted to do it (the show) on female MMA because many people do not agree with women fighting in the cage."
Jill added, "I think to the less hard core, less educated fans, it would be women doing MMA is taboo."
Unfamiliar with the format of the show, I visited the NatGeo website and found an episode that I could watch.
Taboo Video Blogs: Fat
The NatGeo Taboo video blog opened with the male host speaking to Deirdra, who is obese, recounting their experience of working together on the shoot. The host, whose name isn't given in the video blog, describes Deirdra's contribution as "a fun, simple story - it's not confronting in any way."
When asked about her favorite episodes, Deidra said, "I love the show! Total fan. Anything where there's like something really disgusting involved. Blood, guts, sacrifices, piercings, swords through the throat or spikes through the cheeks, tattoos, body modification…love that stuff. I like the transgender stuff, and the working with the dead one - that was good. Anything disgusting that makes you wanna watch and go, 'Oh, man'. Are you kidding me?' I love the show."
A list of past episodes revealed a description of a prior episode in the Bloodsport series of the show. "Cockfighting is popular in many parts of the world, but legal in only three U.S. states. In Mexico, bullfighting has evolved into a form of art with a deadly finish. And in Bolivia, people beat each other bloody in an annual fighting ritual."
Why are you doing this show?
Given the nature of the show, it will be interesting to see if they play up the women fighting is bizarre angle or if they use Tisha and Jill's stories to confront people's notions that women fighting in the cage is a bad idea.
Jill believes that the show will "…confront people's notions that women fighting in the cage is not so bad. We're stay at home moms, students, business women, and now even children (train). I think it's a great sport for my two daughters. They have fun and learn self defense."
I asked Jill why she decided to appear on Taboo. "Good question. Doing the show is making me nervous, but it's a once in a life time opportunity. Never in my life did I think something like this would happen. At first, I just wanted to fight, but as I get more involved, I see more of a purpose. Other females can hear my story and say 'I can do that'. They can see the camaraderie involved. I now have a life long friend in Tisha, someone incredible that I can share this journey with."
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Cheryl Ragsdale, BJJ blue belt, trains in MMA with UFC Fighter Kenny Florian and Keith Florian at Florian Martial Arts - follow @thatgirlisfunny.
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