PIQUA – It’s all about self-confidence for Chelsea Faulder, of Piqua, when she walks onto the professional stage of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competition Saturday. The former Jackson Center woman said it’s all about proving to her daughter that she can achieve anything she wants.
The 26-year-old Faulder is a 2009 Jackson Center High School graduate now living in Piqua. Her daughter, six-year-old Cheyenne, enters first grade this fall, and is behind her mother’s competitive nature all the way.
Showing promise while compiling a 7-1 record as an amateur fighter, the five-foot tall blond, makes her professional MMA debut on Saturday. She’s on the card of the King of the Cage Second Coming event at Yack Arena in Wyandotte, Michigan, a southern suburb of Detroit. The 20-bout card begins at 5 p.m.
Faulder will compete in the Strawweight Division (106-115 pounds) taking on Kyna “The Sensation” Sisson of Michigan.
The event will be shown on a tape-delay basis on MavTV, which is available on two local TV outlets. However, no replay date has been scheduled, according to information on the MavTV website.
Once a time slot is selected, the event will be shown on Spectrum Cable (Channel 1340) and DirecTV (Channel 214).
Faulder said she is driven to set a good example for her daughter. She hopes to send the message that life’s hard times and struggles can be overcome by staying strong and not giving up.
“Why do I do it? Cheyenne pushes me to succeed in doing what I love doing. I need for her to see that by facing life’s problems with self-confidence, she can achieve anything she wants. It’s so important to me that I send her that message,” said Faulder.
Early training started at 18
The journey began for Faulder at the age of 18 when she first participated in fight training in the Indian Lake area. Life circumstances shortly took over with the birth of her daughter, a failed marriage, while working fulltime.
In 2013, Faulder began MMA training with a fight community tag as being a “red neck striker with no finesse,” according to information on the podcast, The Fighter’s Voice with Don McGuire.
Faulder described herself as a striker that just threw punches hoping to land a knockout punch. The moniker no longer applies. Now associated with Fightopia, a training facility in Piqua, Faulder has learned Ju-Jitsu and wrestling techniques to hone her strategy.
More importantly, she now has emotional support behind her career efforts as Fightopia owner Johnny Conner and Faulder are engaged to marry. She claims it’s his faith in her and his drive to help her achieve success that has taken her game to a new level.
Faulder’s daily schedule varies although marginally. The former track and cross-country runner begins the day with two hours of roadwork. Followed by five to seven hours of strength and conditioning drills. Her day ends with one to two hours of fighting skills training.
According to reports, Faulder captured her final five amateur matches in convincing fashion. Her fight against Roya Darvishian was named the 2015 Bluegrass MMA Fight of the Year.
Currently her future is uncertain. Faulder plans to give her pro career two or three years to climb the ladder of success.
She concluded, “If I’m not in the top 10 in the world (rankings) by the time I’m 30 or 31, then I really have to take a hard look to see if I’m just chasing a dream. If that were to occur I would enjoy coaching others to achieve success.”
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News