With the recent influx of crossover athletes migrating to the growing sport of MMA, some have been greeted with a level of skepticism while others have been accepted with open arms. Hardcore MMA fans celebrated former pro wrestler Brock Lesnar’s UFC debut defeat at the hands of Frank Mir, but have largely accepted boxers who have made the difficult transition to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
On Friday, December 5, the sport of MMA will be introduced to a boxer the likes of which they have never seen before. Chevelle Hallback was not only a boxing champion for four different organizations, but it might surprise you to find out Chevelle is a female.
Not only is she a former boxing champion, but is also a starting running back and linebacker for the Tampa Bay Force, a professional female football league. Her pure athletic ability is without equal in the female division of MMA.
In her MMA debut, 37-year old Hallback will be facing Melissa Vasquez (4 – 4), a veteran of Showtime’s ShoXC series. But even though this will be her MMA debut, Chevelle is no stranger to competing on the big stage. “I’ve boxed in Japan, Canada, California, Las Vegas – all over the world really,” Hallback stated in a recent press release. She’s been featured on FSN, ESPN2, and pay per view.
Hallback has 11 KO victories in her 27 wins as a professional boxer. Her boxing debut came against Connie Plosser on February, 21, 1997. She knocked Plosser out in 0:47 of the first round. Plosser never fought again.
After suffering a fifth round TKO loss in her second fight (against Lucia Rijker – probably the best female fighter at that time), she rebounded for two consecutive first round TKO victories. Beginning in March of 2002, she recorded 15 consecutive victories, five of them via KO or TKO.
At XFC 6: Clash of the Continents on December 5, Hallback will be fighting in front of a crowd estimated to be near 12,000 in the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, FL. It is the first time she will have the support of a home crowd during her career.
The XFC addressed her training in a recent press release, “With her blinding hand speed and natural punching power, her striking prowess is beyond dispute; it’s her wrestling skills and jujitsu technique that require around-the-clock coaching from XFC’s fleet of MMA trainers as they help her transition from boxing to cage fighting.”
Brock Lesnar learned the hard way that one discipline is not enough in the sport of MMA. Has Chevelle Hallback added enough tools? The world will find out on Friday night.