Wombat Sports is declaring July “Future Stars” month. We are going to profile some of those fighters under the age of 18 that will be the future of combat sports; be it MMA, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
If you have a fighter under 18 you want to be featured comment below.
Blanchfield (center) with Lima (left) & Porto (right)
New Jersey’s Erin Blanchfield is well on the path to becoming an MMA fighter. Training at Tiger Schulman’s MMA, she was able to learn from Bellator fighter Munah Holland. She also found time to train at the MMA Unaiversity with InvictaFC’s Juliana Lima and Vanessa Porto.
Wombat Sports: What got you interested in getting involved in combat sports?
Erin Blanchfield: When I was 7 my mother signed up my younger brother who was 4 at the time to take cub classes at TSMMA in Paramus. I went with them to watch and was offered a private lesson. I was instantly hooked and quit dance a week later.
Wombat: What do you enjoy about it?
Blanchfield: I enjoy the feeling of empowerment that it gives me. Training in jiu-jitsu and kickboxing has made me more confident and focused. To me MMA is the purest of all sports, that’s why I enjoy it so much.
W.S.: How have your friends and classmates reacted to it?
E.B.: Many of my friends at school looked at me confused when tell them what I do. Most of them are pretty supportive, but others think I’m crazy. The friends I train with and meet at competitions are very supportive.
W.S.: How about your family?
E.B.: My parents are extremely supportive, but my extended family would rather see me do something else more girly.
W.S.: Who do you look up to in fighting?
E.B.: Munah Holland because she was my earliest mentor in this sport. I also look up to Dan Henderson because he is unique in this sport holding belts in Pride, Strike-force, and the UFC.
W.S.: How do you feel about the future of females in combat sports?
E.B.: I feel great about the future of females in this sport. With Invicta going strong , women in Bellator, and Ronda Rousey smashing the door down in the UFC what more can we ask for. Maybe more weight divisions in the UFC, that would be great!
W.S.: What comes naturally to you in fighting?
E.B.: Grappling definitely comes more naturally to me in fighting. I prefer bringing the fight to the ground and looking for my finishes there.
W.S.: What have you found difficult?
E.B.: Working my head movement and being elusive during stand up has been difficult, but I’ve been working hard on it and have been improving. Finding other suitable females to train with regularly is difficult as well.
W.S.: What are your aspirations in fighting?
E.B.: My goal in life is to one day compete in the UFC for a championship belt. It will be a very long rode to that day, but that’s my aspiration.
W.S.: Anyone you’d like to thank/add?
E.B.: I would like to thank the many great coaches and Sensei’s that have worked with me over the years including: Jeff Querido, Paul Querido, Munah Holland, Will Hamilton, Ray Velez, Marcio Bittencourt, Alex Gomez, and Rusty Read. I would also like to thank my mother and father for supporting my dream and investing a lot of time and money trying to prepare me to get there, I love you guys.