WMMA Fighter Focus: Adrienne Seiber
Adrienne “Aggravated Assault” Seiber is a professional fighter who is currently 2-2 in her career. She is coming off of a win against Charmaine Tweet back in June at HKFC: School of Hard Knocks 25.
In addition to being a fighter, Seiber is also a 15-year veteran of the Chicago Police department.
Seiber took some time out of her schedule to answer questions about her MMA career and balancing her life as a fighter, police officer and a mother.
I read that you were a fan of MMA prior to competing. What first got you interested in mixed martial arts?
I was in the police academy and one of my fellow classmates was a lifelong martial artist. He was very skilled and inspirational.
Shortly after the academy, I was involved in a situation at work where a man I was attempting to place in custody threw me across a parking lot. I gave chase and he was apprehended but the experience made me realize I needed more training to protect myself. At that point, I began studying taekwondo and obtained a black belt.
How has being a police officer and having an athletic background transition you to MMA?
There are obvious differences between the two, but in police work you have to be ready for anything while keeping a strong mind in stressful situations. That accompanied by athleticism is a good transition to MMA.
You had an amateur record of 6-1. What were some of the difficult things making the transition from amateur to pro?
The most difficult thing about jumping from amateur to pro was probably the mental game. You question whether you are ready to face the competition.
Do you have what it takes physically, technically, and mentally? It’s a serious step and commitment to take.
Your first pro fight was in 2010 against Heather Corder where you won by TKO in the first round. As a fan who jumped into the sport, what was it like not only competing in your first pro fight, but also getting that quick finish?
My first pro fight was an all-female fight card in support of breast cancer. It was exciting to be a part of that, and also a confirmation that WMMA was moving forward. Cris Cyborg, Jan Finney and Zoila Gurgel were in attendance. I remember being excited and nervous knowing those ladies were there.
Getting a TKO in the first round was a confirmation to me that I belonged in the pros.
Prior to defeating Tweet, you had a couple of losses by decisions. What were some of the things that you worked on in training camp that helped you in your fight with Tweet?
Even though I had lost two decisions, they were fairly close fights against tough opponents. I had a chance to reflect on my strengths and weaknesses as a fighter.
Preparing for Tweet, I knew that her reach and Muay Thai were phenomenal. My strength as a fighter has always been ground and pound. Even in my losses, anyone on the bottom of my ground and pound stayed there. I knew I had to play to my strength and Tweets weakness in order to win. I practiced closing the gap to takedown and holding that position. That was my game plan and it worked.
Adding to that, what are some of the things you feel like you need to work on in your training to get to the next level?
WMMA is growing so fast and the competition is getting better and better. I need to work on being a very well rounded fighter able to go confidently wherever the fight takes me.
That being said, I feel I was less tentative as an amateur and want to get back to being the aggressor.
Staying on the subject of your fight with Tweet, what was it like fighting in her in her home country, especially with it being only your fourth fight?
I had the benefit of fighting for Bellator prior to that fight. It helped prepare me for the nerves I would face in that fight.
In some ways it was easy. I knew I was the underdog and she had much more to prove in front of her home country and fans. I went to Canada with my husband and coach in my corner. They are my two biggest fans, supporters, and best friends. That was motivation enough for me.
All that said, the Canadians were super friendly, hospitable, and professional. I made a few new friends there.
What are some of the ways you balance having a family, being a police officer and training for an upcoming fight?
I have always been a driven, competitive, organized, and busy person. If you want something enough, you make the sacrifices and priorities necessary to make it work. I have worked the midnight shift for 15 years in order to keep my family obligations.
When I take a fight, my family supports and encourages me. Just knowing that they understand and helpful makes it easier. I guess I don’t focus on how tough it is, I focus on getting the job done.
What do your family and friends think about you being a MMA fighter?
My husband had two amateur MMA fights and competes in jiu-jitsu tournaments. He understands and loves martial arts.
My daughters practice karate and spar. They’ve grown up around martial arts as its a normal part of their lives. My friends love it although some of them think I’m a little crazy, but I guess that goes with the territory.
Both of your daughters are doing karate. What are some of the things that you stress to them about training in martial arts?
Martial arts is so much more than sport. It instills self-confidence, the ability to focus, working towards a goal, sportsmanship, leadership, being a role model, and working towards being an all-around champion in life skills.
You’re currently 2-2 in your professional career. How far would you like to go in MMA? Who would you like to face in the future?
MMA is a sport I love and I do it for the love. My desire is to fight new opponents ranked higher than myself. At this point, I’m hoping for a chance to move up in the rankings.
What else would you like readers to know about you?
In my fight against Andria Caplan for Bellator, I entered the third round after a dominant round of ground and pound. Within the first 15 seconds of the third round, Andria connected with a hook punch that shattered my orbital bone. Although I knew something was wrong right away, I never lost consciousness. I felt pain, was seeing double, and was wobbly. I’m not sure how, but none of this was reflected in my motor skills.
I continued to fight through that third round never sustaining more damage even though I ended up on the bottom of that match for a large part of the round.
I pushed through and finished. I ended up having surgery in Atlantic City to repair the damage.
I cannot adequately relate the mental anguish I went through wondering if I would ever fight again or even look normal. It’s a full year later; I’m back in the game and have learned so much about myself and those who support me.
Have a suggestion for Fighter Focus? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA
Holly Holm Hopes To Live Up To The Hype At UFC 184
Highly-touted women's bantamweight contender Holly Holm looks to make a strong first impression against Raquel Pennington at UFC 184. Read More
Ronda Rousey Poised to Shine Once Again at UFC 184
Ronda Rousey's immense skills against Cat Zingano's will should make for an intriguing women's title clash at UFC 184 in Los Angeles. Read More