Recently, 11 of the biggest stars on Invicta FC’s roster were signed to the UFC to film the upcoming season of TUF where they will vie for the inaugural UFC strawweight title. Since then, Invicta has been using their resources to replenish their roster by tapping into the deep talent pool of female mixed martial artists all over the world. They made big waves with their most recent signing of Scorpion Fighting System product Amanda Bobby Cooper, an exciting 22-year-old flyweight out of Michigan with fantastic finishing instincts inside of the cage.
Amanda was nice enough to take some time out of her day to talk to us following her signing about the excitement of being on the Invicta FC roster, her career aspirations, love of nerdy video games, and much much more. Read what she had to say below:
Dave Reno: So, it’s no secret you were recently signed to compete on Invicta FC’s stacked flyweight roster. My question is how does one first hear about some crazy life changing news like this? Did you get a direct phone call from Julie Kedzie or Shannon Knapp? Was it via email or did you hear it from a third party? This is the type of thing the fans want to know.
Amanda Bobby Cooper: I heard the news from a 3rd party. I had known that she was very interested in the fight between Brittany Dugas and I so after I won that fight I was really hoping something big would come of it and I was praying it was Invicta. Once the 3rd party member informed me that Shannon and Julie were ready to make the commitment and get me over a contract I got off the phone and instantly lost my mind. After I told my room mates and my boyfriend, it really hit me and I got pretty emotional. I had been thinking about that phone call ever since I saw my first Invicta FC.
DR: After a very long and successful amateur career you made your pro debut against the undefeated and highly touted amateur you just mentioned in Brittany Dugas, which was a grudge match of sorts last month in Minnesota. Your team predicted a submission victory and that offended your opponent from what I remember. Unfortunately, for Dugas, you would finish her via armbar in that very fight. Talk about how satisfying that win was for you.
ABC: I knew I was going to beat Dugas but it was the armbar submission that really made the win so satisfying. It wouldn’t have been that satisfying if she hadn’t talked so much crap and said “I had a snowballs chance in hell in submitting her.” My coach, who is also my boyfriend, was smart to call the finish by submission. It was accurate and it got into Brittany’s head. When I felt her tap I leapt up and literally couldn’t even control myself. I started jumping and screaming. As my boyfriend got into the cage, I jumped into his arms all I could remember thinking was, “we did it.”I knew that I was the one that put in the work and I was the one that performed and won but honestly I couldn’t have done it without James Gray. He is my coach, boyfriend and my best friend. We are together all day every day, either training or being at home together. He has trained me to be ready and he has seen my emotions, doubts, confidence, struggle and pride leading up to the fight. He was in my corner and he coached me into the victory I was just so proud that we did it. I won and he was by my side the whole way through every thing. It was the most satisfying thing in the world.
DR: Like any other women’s division in the sport right now – the flyweight division is deep in terms of world class talent. Is there anyone in particular you have in mind for your Invicta FC debut?
ABC: I am not sure who I am going to fight in my Invicta debut but in all reality I have my eyes set on Barb Honchak. I want what she has and I am in the beginning of my career but I am training hard and I know i have what it takes to be the 125 lb champion so I am just going to keep training and believing in myself and my coaches and I believe I can keep climbing the ranks.
DR: You give your boyfriend, the undefeated James Gray, a lot of props for what he does in helping you prepare and execute your game plan come fight night. How important is it to you to have someone so close to you competing at a high level and tell us what being a Scorpion Fighting System fighter means to you.
ABC: James and I, along with some of our team mates, drove down to Kentucky for James’ main event fight against a undefeated local guy but his opponent failed the pre-fight drug test and the fight was canceled. James was upset but he understands there’s nothing he can do about it now. It was nice to have his team there supporting him even though he didn’t get to preform. My team at SFS (Scorpion Fighting System) is amazing. We are a family. We train together, we care about each other and we believe in each other. I am so thankful to have this team behind me as I am making these steps towards teaching my dreams and goals.
DR: You’ve already been through some wars with fellow Michiganders Lauren Foley, Allanna Jones, Yolanda Gonzalez, and Tracy Emerick to name a few. Do you believe any of the aforementioned fighters, or any fighter for that matter, male or female, will be signed to Invicta FC or the UFC before the end of 2014?
ABC: I believe Lauren Foley will probably get signed to Invicta FC in the near future but I really think that Calie Cutler, who is my training partner at Team SFS, will get signed to Invicta as well. She is making her Pro debut against Brittany Dugan April 26th for KOTC. She was a high school and college wrestler and is now a blue belt in BJJ with a amateur record of 9-1. She and I are hoping to make it to the top of the world together.
DR: When it comes to good eats, Michigan doesn’t get enough mentions. Help me explain to the rest of the world that you can eat good in the Midwest. What are some of the key spots you and your team celebrate right here in the Murder Mitten?
ABC: My team and I usually go out to Buffalo Wild Wings in Howell every time the UFC has a fight night. We are sponsored by them and so we like to go in watch the fights and eats some amazing food all while hanging out with our team mates.
DR: Alright, I’ve done my research and from what I understand you are a bit of a nerd. You’re in good company here at hov-mma. Can you give us a quick rundown of what you’ve found yourself immersed in of late?
ABC: Yes, I am a little bit of a nerd outside of the gym. My boyfriend James and I after training love to relax at night and while our bodies are resting we love playing video games. We mostly play computer games such as World of Warcraft and Everquest or we play Xbox. We are waiting for the release of Everquest Next later this year.
Amanda would like to thank Howell Buffalo Wild Wings and the Ford National UAW and her team for their support. She’d also like to thank her personal sponsors: Brawl n Maul, Howard Fidler with Xionx Performance Bands and Bite Me mouthguards.
Please go follow Amanda Bobby Cooper on Twitter and click like on her official Facebook page for much more.