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    12-Sep-2021

First female Jordanian MMA fighter paves way for women in sports

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — Lina Fayyad, the first and only professional Jordanian female mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter is paving the way for generations of female athletes.
 
Fayyad, nicknamed “the Fierce Savage”, won her fight in the UAE Warriors Arabia championship in Abu Dhabi in June. 
 
The 31-year-old started her career in 2012 and is now a two-time Arab world kickboxing champion. 
 
“Before becoming an MMA fighter, I had already been practicing kickboxing and taekwondo,” Fayyad told The Jordan Times.
 
Fayyad added that her journey was full of challenges due to stereotypes and backlash from society.
 
“Being a female fighter is not easy,” she said. “I have to prove myself and work extra hard to show the coaches what I am capable of as a woman”. She said that it has been “such an amazing experience to prove that women can train and do everything a man can do”.
 
Fayyad noted that despite the difficulties of her fighting journey, she has enjoyed every bit of it.
 
“I am very happy I have had the chance to change the mindset and the beliefs of coaches and my fellow athletes,” she said. “I became part of their team as a female fighter, and they have been very supportive”.
 
Despite the support from her coaches, Fayyad said that being a female fighter is still often “frowned upon in society”.
 
“Plenty of people still cannot let go of the typical [gender] stereotypes,” she said.
 
Fayyad has a record of 3-0 professional wins and one amateur win—her only amateur fight.
 
She called her recent win in the UAE a “turning point” in her life, saying: “My previous fights were local, so the UAE Warriors fight has given me great exposure. Preparing for the fight was mentally and physically challenging, but it was a worth it when I proved myself by winning”.
 
As the only woman who practices MMA professionally in Jordan, Fayyad expressed gratitude for her team and sponsors. She noted that she will continue to fight with the hope of one day becoming an international champion. 
 

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