Intelligent, outspoken and vicious… Team Quest’s Michelle Ould has been in the game a while now and isn’t slowing down, she’s speeding up. With personal and medical issues aside now, she has her sights set on Invicta FC and their entire Flyweight (125lbs) Division.
Having a different path into the sport than some, you got a late start to mixed martial arts at the age of 25. Now 32, can you take a look back and walk us through how you got here and tell the readers a little about yourself?
Ould: That’s a loaded question… I started training after seeing that women actually could fight in MMA & before it was “cool”. When Kedzie, LaRosa, Sexton, Damm etc were the faces I continually found while scouring the Internet for info & Gina was starting to explode on the scene. It was tough to get fights & I jumped in completely clueless & hungry. No AMMY fights or grappling competitions or anything lol.
I look back now & am almost embarrassed by my naivety but its def made me stronger. I made so many mistakes & had so many crazy things happen all the way from bodily fluid mishaps to almost fighting backstage. I was a hot head. Sometimes I still can be but yes, as you mentioned I’m friggin’ 32 now lol so I don’t let people get under my skin so easily. I don’t feel I’ve accomplished what I need to yet in this sport so I won’t be walking away any time soon, although I have thought about it during times of injury or illness. Some people think I’m a vet of the sport but with surgery setbacks & kids & the time I’ve had to take off due to those situations I still feel like I’m still somewhere in the middle & yet to reach the ‘vet’ status. I initially started training to stay out of trouble… I’ve always had a hard time with my words when I get angry & training changed my life. And although I am so grateful to have a fan base & respect from die hard fans I still feel I haven’t done much yet so I’m gonna ride this out a while.
It’s been over a year since you’ve stepped in the cage at Bellator 74 versus Munah Holland… How excited are you to get back in the cage now that you are newly signed to Invicta FC and are there any opponents in the flyweight division you are really looking forward to getting in there and mixing it up with?
Ould: It’s been a rough year for me & my family as I have been recovering from being misdiagnosed & prescribed a very harmful prescription for thyroid issue that I didn’t even have. I’m just grateful to be alive & feeling normal again. And then to have Invicta FC express interest was great motivation. Although I have to be patient because my body is still recovering so I’m not in a huge hurry until I feel I can actually bring my best self into the cage. As far as opponents I just want to test myself against any and all they put opposite of me. Makes no difference as long as it leads to progressing towards title contention.
You hold a TKO victory over The Ultimate Fighter 18’s finalist Jessica Rokoczy. With the explosion of women’s mixed martial arts and the exposure by the UFC, how do you feel about the sports growth and does it give you extra confidence seeing someone you have already beat making it the finals? Is that something you might be interested in competing in future seasons?
Ould: Of course initially I was like “Wow! How crazy seeing a girl I beat quite easily now coming in and dominating?”, but at the same time I didn’t really want to get caught up in that kind of mentality and be over confident about something that happened so long ago & take anything away from Jessica & how far she has come. There’s room for all of us now with so many promotions finally giving women a platform to showcase their talent & personality to the world. It’s surreal. And hell ya I would do TUF!
Fighting out of Dan Henderson’s Team Quest, what’s that experience like and what’s it like training with a veteran like Henderson who has been through wars and who you know has been one of the sports best for a very long time?
Ould: I love our gym’s atmosphere, it’s really family oriented. Dan is just another guy at the end of the day… very down to earth. Doesn’t act or treat anyone different across the board. He’s solid as a rock in that aspect & you can’t help but respect that considering this guy is actually famous. Not just fighter famous… but doesn’t let it change him. It’s inspiring. Keeps us all grounded. It’s a very humble atmosphere. They definitely weed out any douchebaggery early on lol. So unlike some gyms we don’t have a lot of drama or gossip. That helps me a lot. I can stay focused on what’s truly important as a student and a parent of 2 boys that also train there.
As a fighter, what was your most memorable fight and as a fan what is the one fight that either made you love this sport or really stands out as your favorite of all time. If you had your pick, anyone throughout the history of MMA, who would be your dream opponent?
Ould: You’re only as good as your last fight, so I will go with that one. Although I have yet to see it and probably never will watch it. I hate seeing myself on video or TV. My dream opponent? I can’t really say because my biggest opposition has always been myself. I just want to make an unforgettable impression & name for myself in MMA history so I don’t look back & feel bitter after all the sacrifices the boys & I have made just with training , traveling etc. so whatever opponent is going to solidify my name is who I want punching me in the face I guess.
A lot of women face the challenge of raising children and trying to balance that with a career. How do you manage that tough task and is there any advice you would have for other women that are facing that challenge and might want to also attempt to follow their dreams and step into MMA?
Ould: Everyone has their own situation to overcome in order to be a competitor. It’s tough as hell juggling the boys without help of family but we manage and I fly my mom out often. The dream is to be able to purchase a home with some property & extra little house with a shop for my dad so my parents can come live here & help me out before my window of opportunity passes me by. It’s all I think about which is ironic that my goal Is to have my parents live with me hahaha. I don’t let the single parent thing get me down because its what I choose every day. I refuse to get into a relationship just to make things easier. I coulda done that a long time ago & it gets old hearing friends & family trying to tell me that’s what I should do, not to mention the pressure from anyone I date that wants to take things serious when I’m just not interested right now. I want to accomplish my vision on my own without someone trying to take any credit for the journey my sons & I had along the way to hopefully being a world champ. No way man. Not happening. I’ll just live with my mom & dad before that happens. I am also very selfish with any free time I have which needs to go to my sons. In the past I was in horrible relationships that exhausted me & took away precious time from my training & seeing that I was doing my best for them. This sport is also just selfish in and of itself and its hard to find anyone that truly understands that and is strong enough to deal with it or me for that matter. I’ve evolved into a very independent individual and its actually a lot more satisfying than any relationship I’ve been in to date.
Thank you for taking the time Michelle and be sure to check her out on Twitter @MichelleOuldMMA and stay tuned for her next fight in Invicta FC!