There are a few philosophical labyrinths that have caused wise folk to stumble and become lost inside their own heads. One such is the question, “Do we have control over what happens to us or is it all pre-destined by the fates?” Or, in other words, “Do we shape our reality or does reality shape us?”

Let us take a look at the case of Lauren Foley, an amateur fighter who is ready to take the plunge into the professional world of MMA. Foley is a self-professed tomboy, having played all kinds of sports as a child and even wrestling in high school. She was in college at Eastern Michigan University and on the rowing team, but found herself missing the activity of contact sports.

She missed it so much that she researched MMA and said to herself, “I want to do that.” And so she joined the MMA club at her school. She began training MMA while going to school full-time and rowing. There wasn’t much time for anything else because she decided to be a fighter. Did Foley follow her destiny or did she make it happen? And why would she get into the ring with an opponent knowing that the other person had bad intentions?

“I don’t really think of it like that,” Foley admitted in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “Sure, it’s a fight, but it’s more of a competition. We both agree to get in there, we both train, we both practice. We do it to find out who has worked harder, who has more heart, who will win.”

Foley (center) (Twitter.com/FoleyLauren)

Foley (center) (Twitter.com/FoleyLauren)

Most fighters will fight as an amateur five times and then move into the pros. Foley wanted to complete school and rowing, though. So, to protect her eligibility, she had to continue as an amateur. Her record of five wins and two losses has given her more experience, both in and out of the ring.

“I’ve learned what to do and what not to do during fights, but most of the valuable learning occurred outside of the cage,” Foley revealed. “There are some shady promotions out there. When I did the last event, there were a lot of last-minute changes—weigh-in rules were changed last-minute. When I got in the ring, I had no idea how many rounds we were fighting. I’m getting better at knowing when to walk away.”

Foley plans on learning from the past, but definitely doesn’t want to focus on it.

“I majored in communications, but my mom asked me what I was going to do and, honestly, I have no idea. I started with a focus on film and kept that as my minor, but wanted to learn more, so I broadened the major to communications. My love is still in film, and I would love to work behind the scenes on documentaries or anything. I do know I want to go pro in MMA,” Foley explained. “My goal would be to debut in Invicta FC. I think with the [Ultimate Fighter] house pulling a lot of 115-pounders into the UFC, there is a good chance I could follow in Tecia Torres’ footsteps and make my pro debut in that promotion.”

Given that the 115-pounders are headed to TUF and five spots remain available, would Foley like to try out for the reality show?

“Of course, that would be awesome,” she said. “I hear that Liz Carmouche really wants to be a coach, and who wouldn’t want to be coached by Liz? But look at the level of competition already in the house. The champ Carla [Esparza], Felice [Herrig], ‘Thug’ Rose [Namajunas]—they all have been tested and are further along. Would I like to try out for the house? Sure, but I think I have a better chance to debut in Invicta.”

When one wants to improve or change one’s position in life, one will need to learn to objectively critique strengths and weaknesses. Foley has a good grasp on this.

“I want to say my wrestling is my strength since that is my base, but really I think that because of the wrestling, my cardio is my best feature,” Foley said. “So far, against all the other ammy fighters, I have been able to push them. That might be different at the professional level, but I plan on using that to my advantage. Striking has always felt a little foreign to me, but now that I am training at Michigan Top Team with Jason Fischer and Daron Cruickshank, they are really working with me on my kickboxing, and it’s looking good.”

Foley seems to be ready to follow fate wherever it takes her, as long as it has professional fighting in the future.

“We are looking at a pro fight in March,” Foley revealed. “There is nothing set in stone yet. I spent 10 days in San Diego this summer training at the same gym [where] Liz trains. My friend, Katelyn Dykas, and I got to train with Manny Hernandez. They were very welcoming and even invited us to move there and train with them. Since I graduate Saturday and I don’t know what I am going to do with my major, I’ve been looking at apartments out there. Who knows?”

Whether Foley made herself into a fighter or she followed the fates to her destiny, one thing is certain, she is a fighter. No doubt she will earn that pro debut, and when she does, she will be a force of her own.

Lauren would like to thank her family, friends and team for all their support. Since she is no longer an NCAA athlete, she is now allowed sponsors and would very much like to thank One More Round Training Gear and Khntact Fight Wear. Follow Foley on Twitter: @FoleyLauren

Top Photo: Lauren Foley (top) scores a takedown (Phil DiMaria/Allante Photo)

About The Author

Staff Writer

Amber currently resides in Tampa, Fla., a hotbed of MMA. She was introduced to the sport Memorial Day weekend in 2006 and quickly became addicted. Amber loves the fact that the biggest and strongest don’t always win, the respect the competitors show and that women are finally getting their shot. She also writes a blog for Fight It Out gear. When not watching MMA, Amber can be found at the beach playing volleyball, in the gym learning from Tampa’s only female BJJ Black Belt, cheering on her eight-year-old daughter in tae kwon do, or at her day job. She has a girlfriend, daughter, too many dogs and a cat who lives in the attic. Communication highly encouraged at amber at fightitout dot com.