Fighter Spotlight: Tara Graff
ILLINOIS (Sun, April 16, 2017)– As the saying goes never judge a book by its cover. For Tara “Tiny Terror” Graff this describes the mother of two to a tee. Coming off of a fourteen second knock out in her last outing Tara took the time to sit down with FightBookMMA to discuss the fight game, being a mom, and working full-time.
Dustin– We go back from virtually fight number one for you. Tell your fans and the FightBookMMA fans why you gravitated to martial arts and then ultimately the cage?
Tara– Although I’ve ALWAYS been a very active person, it wasn’t until after I had my second son that I pursued my martial arts training. I’m a very ambitious person so I just got into the cage with only 3 months of training probably wasn’t the best idea but… hey no better experience than cage experience right?!
Dustin– You touched on your two boys. How hard is it to juggle being a full-time mom, having a full-time job, and training?
Tara– HA!! IT’S TOUGH! Some days are better than others but it’s not ever easy! My days are long which means I don’t sleep much! My morning begins at 5:15AM and typically doesn’t end until well after midnight! I typically train late at night because (as of right now) I HAVE to have a full time job to provide for my boys. When I get off work, the afternoon and early evening is my time with my boys; whether it’s their Taekwondo, baseball, hanging at the house, or going to do something fun with them… that’s their time. So that leaves me late nights, the way I see it… this is my dream therefore, if I want it bad enough I’ll train/work any chance that I can, without taking about from my kids. So if that mean I don’t sleep that’s what I’ll do!! I want to be the best role model, not only for my kids, but for everyone and show that 1) it’s never too late to pursue your dreams &.. 2) no matter what obstacles you have to jump through to get to live your dreams IT’S ALWAYS DOABLE!! You just have to do it and not make excuses as to why you can’t!!!
Dustin– Early on in your career you had a very colorful nickname can you tell us what that was and why you had to change it?
Tara– LOL people called me Oreo… because they are my FAVORITE!!!! That’s part of my weakness! I was trying to avoid any/all legal issues. Once you start get into the public eye trademark/patents can become a sticky situation and can be big problems. I like to stay far away any/all drama, especially involving legal issues!
Dustin– Youve ripped off a couple wins in row and are in line for a title shot in June. What is your biggest take away from those victories?
Tara– Everytime I step into the cage I start to feel more and more comfortable. I switched gyms about 8 months ago and my new head coach and I had been working on certain areas of my game which transpired into the cage. Which REALLY felt GREAT!! However, if I’m being honest, I’d have to say I get my biggest take aways from my loses! It shows me the areas I need to concentrate on/push.
Dustin– You talked about the gym change. Has that helped you evolve as a martial artist?
Tara– ABSOLUTELY!!! Not only do I have a wonderful head coach (Mike Wilson) but I have a FANTASTIC team. These guys aren’t just my coaches/teammates, they are my family, inside and outside of the studio/gym!!!! They all (in their own individual ways) have helped me become who I am now as a mixed martial artists. There aren’t enough words to describe how grateful I am to have every one of them! I have a LONG way to go but have already come so far in just 8 short months!!
Dustin- For you fight camp started this week. We touched on your title fight in June. Tell everyone the details on your fight.
Tara- It will be against Angelica Martinez on June 17th for Spartyka Fight League. The event is held at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.
Dustin- So what can fight fans expect come June 17th from the “Tiny Terror”?
Tara- I’m not sure if everyone knows but I have previously been in the cage with Angelica, she is my only non-decision loss. So I can promise 2 things…. 1) I am coming with ALL I HAVE and 2) it will be a GREAT show!! I am going to leave it all in the cage and will hopefully be crowned the new Spartyka Queen!!!!
Dustin- When and if you become royalty what would be next for the queen?
Tara- Well considering I fight out of ROYAL Martial Arts it’s only fitting to bring the crown to the CASTLE with the ROYAL FAMILY… but besides that you all will have to stay tuned!
Dustin- You are a woman that empowers others. With that said what is your one message to the “Tiny Terror” fans and the FightBookMMA fans?
Tara- Don’t dream your life… live your dreams!!!
Dustin- Tara I know ou have a great group behind you. Tell the fans who they are and where we can find them.
Tara- First I’d like to thank my family especially my boys Kaiden and Ian, for always being my motivation and having my back! Also my Royal family for helping shape me into the mixed martial artists I am today and for push me when I need it! I want to thank my sponsors… First Arnie and the guys over at AIRLOOP.. you have been there since day one even through the losses when the others left you stayed!! And that means LOT!!! To my newest 2 sponsors MMAROADHOG and Martial Arts Life Apparel, I am so happy be working with you guys and am so looking forward to the future!!! To all my friends and Tiny Terror fans that are there for me and have never turn their backs on me THANK YOU for all your support! And a big thank you to you, Dustin, all I can say is you’re the best! Thank you for all your interviews and for being a friend! You have also been there since day one and I greatly appreciate everything you’ve done!
It’s always great to catch up with not only these fighters but friends. You can check out Tara’s KO below.
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