As part of my series about “The Secrets To My Success” I had the pleasure of interviewing Liz Carmouche. Liz is an American MMA fighter who competed in the first-ever women’s UFC fight. She is a U.S. Marine Corp Veteran, the UFC’s most decorated ex-military athlete, and the first openly gay UFC fighter.
MD: Thank you for coming forward to share with me and our readers a bit about your background. Please tell us about the most interesting story that happened to you during your MMA career.
I spent my childhood in Okinawa, Japan, where my father was in the Marine Corps. When I was growing up, my father and mother had to work on separate bases, so I lived with my mother in Okinawa, Japan, until I joined the Marine Corps at age 20. I served 5 years in the marine corps and did 3 tours of combat to Iraq. I was in the Marine Corps for five years and then transitioned to joining the MMA world, where I have been training for almost nine years. I spent my childhood in Okinawa, Japan, where my father was in the Marine Corps. When I was growing up, my father and mother had to work on separate bases, so I lived with my mother in Okinawa, Japan, until I joined the Marine Corps at age 20. I have served 5 years in the marine corps and did 3 tours of combat in Iraq. I was in the Marine Corps for five years and then transitioned to joining the MMA world. I have been training for almost nine years, and I am a professional MMA fighter currently fighting Bellator and part of the female force at UFC. I was also the first female MMA fighter.
MD: We are living during the time of a global pandemic. Has it affected your life and your career in any way?
LC: The pandemic has changed my life in many ways. My wife is at high risk of contracting COVID. We had to change our social interactions and family outings. I made a home gym because so many gyms closed down temporarily or permanently. I ran a gym and was forced to close it. My son’s school is closed, and my wife now homeschools him. We moved so that he can have access to outdoor activities outside of city life restrictions.
MD: What would you say to your MMA colleagues to help them thrive, stay productive, and not “burn out” during the COVID pandemic?
LC: I would recommend to everyone to find a quarantine buddy. Someone they can train with that has similar goals. Find a new workout routine on YouTube or similar. Sometimes trying a different workout helps you appreciate the martial art you love.
MD: You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most good to the most people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
LC: If I could encourage a movement, it would be to aid veterans in their transitions from military life to civilian life.
MD: From your perspective during our uncertain global times, are there any hopes for Americans who have lost jobs or those looking forward to changing their careers?
LC: I absolutely believe there is hope for Americans that have lost their jobs or are looking to change careers. I lost a job and changed things about my career. This pandemic allows people to step out of their comfort zones and try for things they didn’t have the courage to do prior.
MD: As an MMA Champion, please share with me and our readers the secrets behind your success and why? You are indeed welcome to share a brief story or example for each.
LC: The secrets to my success are truly achievable for many. They include:
- Discipline: I would say that this is the “leader of the pack” of everything that drives my success.
- My family support: This is the basic need for my success, and also
- The pursuit of mental and physical health, hard headedness, and desire to evolve.
MD: Inspiration is a hot commodity these days. To help our readers, can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
LC: I have “quack” tattooed on my arm as a reminder from my time in the marine corps. It means to be a duck and let the stresses of the world roll off your back.
MD: None of us are able to achieve success without some type of help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards, who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
LC: I’ve been super fortunate that there have been people that saw potential in me and encouraged me along the way. In particular, a few officers in the marine corps during my last deployment to Iraq encouraged me to pursue MMA and even helped fund my trips to fights.
MD: What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on these days?
LC: Right now, I’m really working to build relationships within my community and doing events like free self-defense seminars to help women develop techniques to protect themselves. I’m also traveling to train in anticipation of fighting to take the belt.
MD: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, Health, and Entertainment to name a few actually read this column. Is there a person in the world or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
LC: I would love to have a meal with Joe Rogan and the experts he’s had on his podcasts. I think Joe Rogan is a very intelligent human with a unique look at the world around him. He also brings scientists on his podcast that I would love to learn more about.
MD: How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was indeed inspirational!