Amberlynn Orr only fought once in 2014, but she still ended the year as the top pound-for-pound fighter in V3Fights according to rankings released by the Memphis-based promotion.
Orr already has a big fight booked for January of 2015. She'll defend her V3 Bantamweight Title against Alyssa Vasquez on Jan. 24 at Minglewood Hall in Memphis.
Orr is no stranger to the MMA-Insider.com audience. She was nominated for our Amateur Fighter of the Year award in 2013.
Get to know more about her in the latest edition of our Fighter 411 feature.
AMBERLYNN ORR FILE
Fight Team: Team Torment of Fisher’s BANG! Gym under the direction of Fred Fisher
From: Horn Lake, Mississippi
Record: Currently 8-1
Accomplishments: I do have a few things I am proud of. Even though it was back in 2012, I was the first female to fight in the V3Fights cage. I was their first Flyweight Champion and the first female dual title holder when I won my bout against Jamie Milanowski to become the Flyweight/ Bantamweight Champion for the promotion. That fight was also scheduled as the first female Main Event in Tennessee history. Another accomplishment that I am proud of is being the first female fighter ever sponsored by legendary Carlos Machado of RCJ Machado in Dallas, Texas.\
1) You've already got a title defense for V3 set up for January against Alyssa Vasquez. What's it mean to you to be a champion for that promotion?
ALO: This will be my second title defense of the Bantamweight belt. I beat Auttumn Norton this year in the first title defense after winning the belt in a super fight against Jamie Milanowski. I became the Flyweight champion in 2013 after winning over Mikki Rogers but I relinquished that belt after the fight with Milanowski. V3Fights is an awesome promotion and a great proving ground for young athletes. In the beginning, a title really wasn’t that important to me. My thinking was that there were so many promotions out there offering title matches to fighters with not a lot of fights under their belts, that it devalued the whole thing. I mean, it was more about me challenging myself and pushing myself beyond what I thought I might be capable of. After winning my first belt, well, it just felt great! With each belt and with each defense, I guess I become a little more competitive about it. Being the V3Fights Champ has brought me a lot of recognition, a whole lot more fans, and I guess some self-confidence. It seems like I am always underestimated by spectators so winning just proves that I am doing something right. The fact that the promotion is willing to fly people in from across the country to fight me and give me a tough challenge tells me that they value me and what I bring to the table. They are top notch and I am glad to be a part of that! Regardless, I bring the same amount of ferocity to the cage every time so being the Champion is just icing on the cake.
2) Your significant other Thomas Vasquez signed with Bellator this year. How, if at all, has made you hungrier to make a career out of MMA?
ALO: Yes, Thomas Vasquez did sign with Bellator in the early part of the year and I am so proud of the accomplishments that he is making as a pro fighter. As far as his career path making me hungrier… it definitely has. Being there beside him going through all of this, I have been able to witness first- hand the behind the scenes of what goes on at this level of MMA. I want to be a part of something like that and it just makes me want to train harder and be better prepared when my time comes.
3) What would you say if people ask you why you haven't turned pro yet?
ALO: People ask me that question a lot. I am basically a methodical person. I am not really impulsive and I usually have a plan and I like to stick to it. My plan was to get in there, get some experience, you know, 10 or 12 fights or so, and when I felt like it was time, and I was ready…I would make the leap. As you can see, I am working my plan and not letting going pro cloud my decisions too much. I also have been taking the time to establish myself in an alternate career. It never hurts to have choices and a career in MMA is not life- long. I like to have options and the path I am taking gives me that.
4) You're pretty active on social media and you've been teasing some big news for a while now. Care to share? A hint? Anything?
ALO: Oh man…I wish I could tell you! I am not at liberty to discuss it at this point but everyone will know in January if not before. Is soon as I get the go ahead to spill the beans…I will be blasting it. I will give you a few hints…It is not MMA related, no…I am not getting married or having a baby… and yes, it is nationally televised.
UPDATE: Orr since revealed on her Facebook fan page that she's part of the cast for Season 2 of Stone Cold Steve Austin's Broken Skull Challenge, which airs starting January 4 on CMT.
5) How would you describe your fighting style?
ALO: I guess I am more of a free-style fighter. Training at Fisher’s BANG! Gym, an affiliate of RCJ Machado, you know I train pretty strong in jiu-jitsu. I also train in karate and muay thai and a couple of other disciplines. Everyone doubts my stand up game but my fights always end up on the ground and I don’t miss any opportunities.
6) Any fight day rituals or superstitions?
ALO: Hmmm…fight day rituals… Well I always have my hair done the day of fights. It takes quite a while to braid my head full of hair into that Princess Leia style but I use that time to just relax, be pampered, and clear my head. Fight day is kind of a chill day for me…of course, fight night is something else! My Mom and I have our ritual, if you want to call it that. My faith is personal to me and I don’t just broadcast about it but my Mom and I pray together before all of my fights. She has taught me to always go to God and to always give Him the glory and the praise.
7) After this fight, what's the first cheat meal you're going to annihilate?
ALO: It is not cheating if I am not in fight camp, lol. I don’t really take a “cheat meal”…it is more like a cheat fest! I have been known to pig out at the Hard Rock and then head to Avellino’s or Coletta’s or somewhere for Round 2 of eating. I can assure you that I will eat to my heart’s content whatever it is.
8) I mentioned social media; here's your chance to plug how people can keep up with your fighting career.
ALO: Great!!!! Anyone who wants to keep up with me and my MMA career can just like my Facebook fan page. I really appreciate all of the support I get from everyone! It is not always easy to get up and get to the gym and train as hard as I do. It is not always easy to motivate myself to get into the frame of mind for a training camp or a fight but when I feel myself getting into a slump, I can always think about the people who want to see me do well and who are always in my corner. My fans are more of a support system than they know.
9) Lastly, what's your new year's resolution for MMA as we enter 2015?
ALO: I don’t really have a new year’s resolution but I do have plans to buy a house and I have plans to go pro. If I might add…I would like to thank you guys for the opportunity to share a little bit of my story with your readers. I would also like to thank my gym, Fisher’s BANG! Gym and all of the guys I train with, Fred Fisher and Thomas Vasquez for all of their help, Howe Originals for all of the bad ass fight outfits, t-shirts, and promotional material. Thanks to Martial Arts Life Apparel, Amber Sports, Body by Vi, RCJ Machado, X-ion-X Performance Bands for their sponsorship. I would also like to thank my friends, my family, and all of those loyal people out there who are so much a part of Team ALO! 2015 is our year!!!
MMA-Insider is now accepting guest articles on a volunteer basis. Article topics must be pre-approved, and articles must adhere to our current content standards and guidelines. If you're interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.