Editorial Gulf Coast

Sara Monzeglio: The Future of WMMA’s Flyweight Division

If anyone has attended a live MMA event, it’s common the women of MMA draw the biggest crowd reactions. One of those young rising stars in the Gulf Coast is Sara “The Armhunter” Monzeglio. Recently Sara captured the Empire Fighting Championship flyweight title at EFC 4 on Saturday November 23, 2019 in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Life-Long Martial Artist

Many of the best MMA competitors share a common trait, they have worked on their craft to some extent for the majority of their life. Sara is no different. ” I’ve done martial arts at a young age doing Tae Kwon Do. I got into BJJ about five years ago [2014] in Jacksonville [FL],” Sara stated. “When I moved to Mississippi a year and a half ago is when I really got into MMA.”

Though the battle inside the cage may be one-on-one, it takes a team of people to get that fighter ready for battle. There have been several of those people throughout Sara’s career who have helped develop her into the champion she is today. “My first two coaches in Jacksonville were Benny Ressler and Nelson Willis who really helped me get started in competitions and doing early morning training with me,” Sara stated. Both coaches are associated with Jacksonville Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy located in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Sara working her ground and pound at Empire FC 4 in November 2019

The Move to Mississippi

Around the middle of 2017 Sara relocated to Biloxi, Mississippi. Around this time is when Sara began to put the elements of combat sports she previously had together to become a mixed martial artist. Her game has been put together under the masterful mind of Alan Belcher MMA Coach Mike Sanford. Sara does some training at Phenamafit where owner, Monica Medina, is a professional mixed martial artist herself and was instrumental in helping Sara train and cut weight for her Empire FC title fight.

Though her coaches and training partners have been instrumental in her successes thus far, Sara mentioned first her family. “My parents and brother have been a big influence for me. They have always been supportive and had my back.” Anyone who has ever seen Sara knows her students are a huge influence in her life as well. “And last but not least my students! They inspire me to be the best version of myself.”

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Sara with her “Kid Army” after her victory at Empire FC 3

The “Armhunter”

It’s not uncommon in the world of combat sports to see a fighter sport a nickname. Every nickname means something to the fighter who possesses the name. Sara’s nickname of the Armhunter is no different. “So Armhunter came from my first couple BJJ competitions. I just armbar’d everyone and some one shouted ‘Armhunter’ and it stuck and just became my brand!” Sara stated. Prior to competing in MMA, Sara has competed in between 20 and 25 BJJ tournaments. She owns a bronze medal from the NoGi worlds in February 2017.

Winning the Gold

After an impressive showing at Empire FC 3 in August 2019, Sara earned a shot at the Empire FC flyweight title against a tough opponent in Nancy Ramirez. The first round started with Sara shooting in for a takedown. Ramirez tried her best to fend it off but Sara’s takedown offense was too good and she drove Ramirez to the mat. Sara transitioned to the full mount and attempted to lock in her patented armbar. The rest of the bout went similar to the first round with Sara dominating on the ground. “It’s the best I’ve felt in the cage. I felt controlled and dominant,” Sara Stated.  “Of course I’m a perfectionist so I’ve already analyzed the tape and know what I have to do to improve and be a better champion.”

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Sara wearing the Empire FC flyweight title after her victory

The Bright Future

Empire FC gold is just the start for Sara. She is in the gym constantly working on her craft to become the absolute best mixed martial artist possible. Sara has the drive and dedication needed to become successful in this sport. “I see myself in five years being a pro fighter and champion in the women’s flyweight division,” Sara stated. Don’t be surprised to see the name Sara Monzeglio in the limelights of MMA’s biggest stages in the near future.

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