We are all born with equal amounts of awesome. The only difference is some of us share more than others. And that’s ok, You get to decide what the world will see. Today, you can share more than yesterday. Or less. Either way, we’re waiting to applaud and cheer on your awesomeness…Show the world what you got.” –Erin McDougall

If you follow Erin McDougall on Twitter and Facebook, you already know she is not the typical attractive woman who posts pictures that scream “Hey! Look at how hot I am!” “McDooogs,” a.k.a. The Pink Power Ranger, is unlike a lot of fighters who use social media to trash-talk other fighters or air dirty laundry. You will never see McDougall using those outlets to degrade anyone. Instead, she uses her outlets to lift the spirits to her thousands of followers by posting inspiring quotes, thoughts and pictures.

“It’s a conscious effort, I guess,” McDougall told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “But whenever I’m feeling down, I still post positive things. I just keep my drama off of Facebook. I’m part of the human race and have things going on just like everyone else. It’s just an effort to not air my dirty laundry on Facebook.

“I do it because it makes me feel good! So when I post those quotes and stuff…if I put it up, it’s for a reason; I just want to share that with everyone.

“And I try not to post stuff that’s negative. Like today, I watched a two-minute video the UFC had done on Ronda [Rousey] and Miesha [Tate] about how they’ll never be BFFs. I was going to share it, but then I was like ‘No, there’s too much drama and it’s too negative.’ I don’t want to bring that kind of energy to me, so I didn’t post that.”

McDougall is a Canadian native who has relocated to Tulsa, Okla., and frequently makes the drive to Albuquerque, N.M., to train at Jackson’s MMA. If you didn’t already know, Greg Jackson is one of the premier trainers in the sport and has a gym full of great fighters. As McDougall stated, this was her first opportunity to actually train with world-class female fighters. It was also at Jackson’s that she found her perfect mentor.

McDougall (Facebook)

McDougall (Facebook)

“I went down to Jackson’s MMA about a year ago and fell in love with Julie Kedzie!” McDougall said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I need girl training partners.’ It was the first time I got to experience training with someone my size and had my strength. It’s totally different training with girls, and that was a huge eye-opener for me.

“I think my skills improved just training at Jackson’s and because of who I was training with. Julie specifically, but all there girls there—Emily [Kagan], Michelle [Waterson], all of them—they’re all so awesome. But Julie was so amazing to me. I can’t say enough good things about her. I think just training alongside of her and her allowing me to be her training partner gave me confidence. That’s the biggest thing I took away from my first time training at Jackson’s.

“As I continued training at Jackson’s, I was like, ‘Holy shit, I can actually do this!’ You’re training with girls and getting into positions you can’t get into with guys, just because of the strength and size difference. You get into a position to finish a submission and you’re like, ‘Shit, I’ve never been here before! I don’t know how to actually finish this!’

“It was awesome. I can’t say enough good things about Julie. She was the first person that ever made me feel that I could actually do this. I trained with really great people before that, and I’m not taking anything away from them, but training with Julie was the first time it actually clicked that, ‘Hey, I may actually be good at this.’

“Julie will be an amazing coach, whether it be at Jackson’s or somewhere else. I could go up to her after working on something and I could say, ‘Girl, I have no clue what that was…why this and why that,’ and she had all the time in the world for me. I’m nobody, but she is so amazing, patient and helpful in that regard.”

Currently, McDougall holds an amateur record of 3-3. She was slated to make her professional debut this past April, but for reasons out of her control, the fight fell through. Instead of sulking, she took another amateur fight. That fight, however, was 15 pounds over her usual fighting weight. Despite putting up a valiant effort, she succumbed to a guillotine choke in the final round of the bout. She took another amateur bout the following month and once again found herself on the wrong end of a submission in the second round. Despite those setbacks, McDougall still has a very positive outlook when it comes to making her long-awaited professional debut.

“Maybe not making my pro debut and losing those amateur fights was for the better,” she admitted. “I’m really hoping my next fight is pro. I’m definitely ready skill-wise and I’m hungry to just go and do it in a legit way, but I haven’t yet.”

Like every rising MMA fighter, McDougall aspires to one day fight inside the UFC’s Octagon. With the recent influx of women being signed by the UFC, a few solid professional wins could easily put her in a position to make her two-year goal of fighting in the UFC turn from a dream to reality.

“I would love to be in the UFC, win some big fights and really grow my fan base, not just so I have fans, but so I can actually feel like I’m doing it for something good,” McDougall explained. “I really use my Facebook page to show who I am. I really want to touch people, and I know that sounds ironic because everyone is like, ‘Oh, that’s so cliché,’ but it’s very important to me to be able to influence people in a positive way.

“Whatever I’m feeling or am passionate about, I want to be able to get people on board, whether it be the environment, recycling, positive thoughts, or whatever it is. I want to be able to reach people, and I think once I get those big fights, I’ll be able to do that more.

“So, I’d love to be able to fight in the UFC and to have those experiences and make the most of them. I was thinking about it the other day. To get there is going to be one thing, but to control the nerves and take in the experience will be the challenge. Getting there will happen, but really enjoying it, enjoying the roller coaster, and making the most of it will be tough. But that’s what I want. I want to fight in the UFC and to make a positive impact.”

There are alternates routes to get to the UFC, namely The Ultimate Fighter. Although McDougall just didn’t come straight out and say “no,” she didn’t seem very keen on the idea.

“I’d probably never do that. I don’t know if I wouldn’t, but I know if I got on there I’d have—I don’t know if it’s an energy about me—but people always tell me their shit, their drama, their secrets. So I’m like, ‘Man, if I ever got on there, people would be coming to me with everything!’

“I don’t know if I would do it. I don’t know if I could live in a house with those people in that way.”

So, instead of relying on a reality show to get the exposure she needs, she plans on doing it the old-fashioned way by putting in the work and making a name for herself. However, MMA has turned into a huge business. With any big business, there will be people out there willing to sell out someone just to make a quick buck. Also, there are those who become content with their position and do not have the drive to better themselves or the people they work for. McDougall is quite aware of this, and over the past year, she has realized the necessary steps she will need to make in order to avoid those pitfalls as she continues to advance her career.

“I’m still figuring out how the game works,” she admitted. “I know how I’d like it to work. I would like to believe promoters would be honest with me and they truly have my best interest in mind. But I’ve learned the hard way, a few times, that it’s a money thing. It’s a business, and it’s not the way I think it is, so sometimes I have a lot of things being offered and then things go really quiet.

“The thing I have learned the most over the past year is I need to find a legit manager. I have people who help me find fights, but they’re on the local scene. I love them to pieces, and they have the greatest intentions. But when it comes to advancing in what you want to do and meeting your goals and your dreams, you really need to have someone out there that is beyond your local community.

McDougall (Facebook)

McDougall (Facebook)

“That’s a tough pill to swallow because you develop friendships with the people you’re close with and in the local scene. You want to help them and to trust that they can get what you need, but it’s like, ‘Damn it, I’m actually going to have to contact some big-named managers.’ May not big-named, but the ones that have a good roster of fighters. I think I’ll have to contact someone like that to really get my career going, because it’s very difficult to do on my own.

“I’m starting to realize that I’m being too innocent. I believe too much of what people say, and I’m almost gullible. I need to toughen up and get some real, legit help and take it from there.

“When I’m ready and the time is right, I want to be able to know that I have someone on my side that can put my name in for the bigger fights and have the connections to talk to the people to make it happen. I’m not saying I want to be in the UFC right now, but one day I would like to be there. I just want to have those people on my side with my best interest in mind to help me get there. So I think that’s been my biggest learning curve this year—learning who to trust and to start looking beyond my little circle.”

As is the case with many fighters, McDougall enjoys talking about fighting. Although she no longer knows all the ins and outs of the sport and who’s fighting whom on every card, McDougall still keeps tabs on the big fights. This weekend, two of the current best female fighters will square off in the co-main event of UFC 168 when Ronda Rousey defends her title in a rematch against Miesha Tate.

“Who do I want to win or who I have winning?” McDougall said with a bubbly giggle. “I would love for Miesha to win. I want it to be shown that there’s not going to be one dominant girl carrying the weight class. If the title changes hands a few times while the division is building, I think that will be a good thing. I don’t think right now it needs too much predictability while there’s not many fighters in the division.”

“I’m not a huge Ronda fan,” Erin also stated while making her prediction. “She’s super talented, I’ll give her that, but how she promotes herself is not exactly my cup of tea. I don’t like the drama. I don’t like the shit talk and all that, so I’m just ready for Ronda and Miesha to be done with it so things will quiet down and we can get back to the sport in general and not their drama.

“Also, it’s still too early to have one dominant champion in the division. The UFC still has a lot of building to do, people to convince, and the fans need to know more than just a couple of names. So, I believe it would be good if there were more than just one name carrying the division.

“Again, I would love to see Miesha to win it, but I think Ronda is going to be in her head too much from all the drama. You know Ronda is hungry. She’s so driven and she’s so focused, and fighting is her whole world. It’s very clear that winning is literally everything to her. I think Ronda will win the way she usually does, but I would love for Miesha to win.”

McDougall makes a very good point. It’s always good to have a dominant champion, but a division becomes very stale when a champion stays dominant too long. That is exactly what women’s MMA doesn’t need as it’s looking to build more fighters for the fans to get behind. Just look at Anderson Silva’s title reign. At the beginning of his run as champion, it was all about “Who is Silva going to make look like a chump now?” But after a while, those statements transformed into “Who is going to be the one to dethrone Silva?” It’s more than likely way too early for fans to be asking any of those questions about the women’s divisions.

Speaking of Anderson Silva, he will be headlining UFC 168 against the current middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Weidman, who just so happens to be the only person to defeat Silva inside the Octagon, will be entering the Octagon Saturday night as a slight underdog. McDougall believes the odds makers are correct.

“Silva is going to get the title back,” she predicted. “I hate that he is, but it’s going to happen. I still think we’re going to see some color and flair from him, because I don’t think he can just turn it off, but I think he’ll do it more cautiously than he did last time; he’ll be a little smarter about it.

“I’d like to see a five-round fight or a five-round battle. Take it all the way to the judges. But what I want and what’s going to happen are probably two different things.”

McDougall has all the makings of a superstar. She has the looks, the personality and the drive to leave a solid impression on MMA whenever her career comes to an end. Given the right opportunity and the right people to guide her during her journey, there is no doubt she will reach her goal. There will be ups and down along her way, but with her always-positive outlook on life, the downs will just motivate her and give her even more drive to reach the pinnacle of the sport. She may not be very well known or established yet, but when the time is right she will be a huge force in the women’s 125-pound division.

Erin would like to thank her amazing family—“I’m very grateful for their support.”—and her coach, David Heath—“I couldn’t do this without him.” She would also like to thank her training partners for helping and pushing her to her max. She doesn’t have any sponsors—“But like I said, I need to get with the people in the business who are legit and who can help me…but that’s coming!”