After making a name for herself in the top independent and female wrestling promotions across the world as Thunder Rosa, Melissa Cervantes has decided to try something new and enter the world of MMA.
Following the route of fellow pro wrestlers turned fighters like “Alpha Female” Jazzy Gabert, Allysin Kay, and “Sexy Star” Dolce Garcia; Cervantes will try her luck in the cage, having recently signed with Combate Americas for their coming November 8 event.
“I was at a crossroads in my career as a professional wrestler,” Cervantes told MMAWeekly.com. “This came as an opportunity for me to challenge myself as a professional athlete.
“I’ve been a professional wrestler for six years, almost seven, and I’ve been playing with the idea of doing something different, and when Combate approached me I felt like this was the perfect time and perfect place.”
While some of the physical aspects of her pro wrestling expertise have crossed over to her MMA training, for Cervantes it’s been the mentality she brings from one sport to the other that’s stood out to her most during the transition.
“Being a professional wrestler you have to have a certain amount of mental toughness,” said Cervantes. “Sometimes you have to perform when you’re injured and know how to protect yourself in certain aspects.
“I think that’s some of the main things; mentally preparing well and the toughness you need to have while you’re practicing the sport.”
This Friday in San Antonio, Texas, Cervantes (0-0) will make her MMA debut when she faces Nadine Mandiau (0-1) in a main card 115-pound bout at Combate Americas: San Antonio.
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“I think the beauty of MMA is sometimes your opponent can be the most vicious, most capable, person in the cage, but sometimes it just takes one thing to take over and win the bout,” Cervantes said.
“I’m really excited. I know my opponent is very hungry. (Mandiau’s) already had one (pro) match and had five amateur matches, so I respect her a lot. It’s a fair game.”
While Cervantes isn’t 100% sure where her path will lead her in 2020, she is looking forward to the opportunities afforded her by the companies she’s currently signed with.
“Right now I’m very thankful that I’m working with the National Wrestling Alliance mostly right now, so my schedule opens up for training, so it’s not the crazy schedule I was having when I was an independent contractor,” said Cervantes.
“Right now I’m only signed with Combate, so I’m not taking any other fights outside of it. We’ll see in the future after with this organization ends if we want to extend them and how many more matches I want to have. I’m very excited soon that I will officially become a pro MMA fighter.”