My name is Nicole O’Neil. I am a mother of 4 boys and an operating room nurse first and foremost. I have been training in Muay Thai kickboxing since 2004, and have always had a great passion for it. I won my first Muay Thai fight at the Rocktown Showdown in 2010 in Rockford IL. During that fight, I wondered how it would have felt to throw her down and finish her with some ground and pound. I realized during that fight I had a great desire to learn some ground skills (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) and to try Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). That is when I started working with Tommy Woodruff of Core Combat Sports. I clicked with him instantly; he was an amazing teacher and he supported my desire to learn 110%. His belief in me fueled my own belief in myself. I started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in late July 2010. At the end of August I challenged Ricki Gomes, a seasoned successful fighter, to an MMA bout. Going into the fight, Gomes was heavily favored. Tommy worked with me on my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on a regular basis all the way up to my fight. I really felt prepared and ready to conquer this fight. Tommy helped corner me in my fight. Fighting as the underdog, I won a huge victory. My time training at Core Combat Sports was a huge advantage for me during the fight. It felt amazing, and most of my fight was won on the ground, just as we had planned. If anyone were to ask me if I would do it again, I would say hell yeah. This is an amazing sport, for both men and women, whether they plan on fighting or not. It is an empowering feeling to know you can defend yourself even against someone larger than yourself. Not gonna lie, it’s kinda funny to hear guys tell me they wouldn’t fight me because they wouldn’t want to lose. So if this mother of 4 can train and win, you can too if you believe in yourself the way I did. And the way all my teammates and coaches believed in me. There truly is no better feeling than beating the odds, or winning as the underdog. Thanks again to all those who have supported and trained me, I love you all.

Nicole “K”O’Neil

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