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The Ballad of Shayna Baszler

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Al Powers/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images Remember that time when Chan Sung Jung finished Leonard Garcia with a twister? People were straight freaking out over the 2011 “Submission of the Year.” But before “The Korean Zombie” even entered the Octagon for his UFC debut against Garcia, Shayna Baszler, “The Queen of Spades,” became the first professional MMA fighter to pull off the highly technical move, also called a wrestling guillotine, in competition.


Twice. Don’t fret if you weren’t aware of this tidbit of mixed martial arts trivia. Baszler’s used to her accomplishments and accolades going unnoticed. For over a decade now, she’s been fighting an uphill battle on behalf of all female MMA competitors, sacrificing her life, her body, and a few quarts of blood to help the women’s game earn acceptance and gain notoriety. A native of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Baszler, 34, is one of the most accomplished women in mixed martial arts history.


And with 15 wins (14 coming by way of submission) already under her Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt, Baszler is set to make her promotional debut as part of the UFC 177 main card, scheduled to take on the undefeated Bethe Correia. Baszler is one of the more animated and vocal fighters in the women’s bantamweight division. Promoting her brand with the shtick and antics often associated with professional wrestling, a sport of which she is an unabashed fan, Baszler taunts her opponents with playing cards, marking them as victims; a signature reminiscent of Heath Ledger’s turn as Joker in The Dark Knight.

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