I CAME TO KELOWNA TO TRAIN BECAUSE OF TOSHIDO. NO ONE WANTS TO FIGHT TOSHIDO GUYS.
KELOWNA - The most popular female mixed martial arts fighter in Canada is making Kelowna her home as she trains for the UFC.
Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras took more than 46 per cent of the votes in a recent mmacanada.net poll that asked readers to vote for their favourite female fighter in the country.
Although Moras, who came from Chilliwack three years ago, would say it is because she “bugged” everyone she knew to vote for her, the reality is that her appearance on the T.V. show The Ultimate Fighter played a huge role.
The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC’s long running reality competition, places fighters together in a house for six weeks while they compete for a six-figure contract. It debuted Sept. 4 on FOX Sports.
What made this season of TUF different is that it was the first time men and women were in the house together. It was also coached by two icons in female MMA and long-time rivals Meisha Tate and Ronda Rousey.
“It was a crazy experience,” Moras says. “There are cameras everywhere. Your whole life is taken away from you and you’ve just got to adjust.”
Although injured before the finale, Moras is confident the exposure she received on the show will go a long way in securing her a chance to fight for the most popular league of its kind on the planet.
“(TUF) was a great experience,” Moras says. “It got my name out there and I’m pretty sure the UFC wants me now.”
Moras first became interested in MMA seven years ago. At the time she didn’t even know what the UFC was but says she fell in love with it instantly.
“After my first day of training I went and told my boss I needed certain days off and if he didn’t like that he could fire me,” she says. “I just love that there’s so much to it and there’s so much to learn. You really never stop learning. It’s what I was meant to do.”
As for why she chose Kelowna to train, Moras, 25, says the reason is simple.
“I came (to Kelowna) to train because of Toshido. No one wants to fight Toshido guys.”
Toshido MMA is run and owned by Kelowna local David Lea and boasts a stable of fighters that already have the respect of fighters worldwide. Kelowna native and fight ingénue Rory MacDonald is a member of the gym and is currently ranked the #4 Welterweight in the world.
“We’re known by most people who follow MMA,” says Lea. “When you’ve got the UFC looking at your fighters, it’s a huge bonus. For a small community like Kelowna it’s pretty amazing.”
Cheesecake, whose nickname was bestowed upon her after coming out to fights to this song by the Muppets, has a professional record of three wins and one loss and expects to begin talks with the UFC as soon as the tear in her meniscus is fully healed.
She says although she enjoyed her time on the show, she prefers to focus on training rather than the spotlight.
“I’m just a regular person,” she says. “I don’t think TUF changed me at all. I’m still the same it’s just what I needed to do to get where I’m going.”
As for where that is, Cheesecake says that someday she would like to fight for the title.
“I want to fight Ronda (Rousey) or whoever has the belt and take it for myself.”
To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at email@example.com, call (250) 718-0428 or tweet @AdamProskiw.