Jozette Cotton, known to most as “The #1 Headbusta”, is currently one of the most underrated fighters in women’s MMA. Standing 5-feet 9-inches tall, this titan from Omaha, Neb., is undefeated in six professional outings and has managed to knockout three of them. Most recently fighting in the welterweight division, Jozette stands as a perfect example that women’s MMA has classy and capable fighters in the heavier divisions too.
Jozette has fought in such promotions as Bellator, and most recently Dynasty Combat Sports, but not much is known about her personal life. Asked what got her into MMA, she said that it all started with a conversation with her friend. “I was talking with one of my friends by the pool side,” Cotton stated. “We were talking about something and the topic of MMA arose. She told me to try my hands on it, I was a boxer and used to fight in the street for almost no money, she told me it would be fun.”
Many MMA fighters have expressed that their close ones did not initially support their decision to pursue mixed martial arts as a career. This was not the case for Jozette. “People around me have always pushed me to chase my dreams,” she said. “They have encouraged me and have acted as a backbone. It has been fun to be a MMA fighter.”
To take combat sports as a career requires a lot of courage, it requires both physical and mental strength. Not many people realize that engaging in a fight requires a very strong mentality and a great command over emotions. For all of this to happen you need to have positive people who influence you and inspirational figures to look up to. For The #1 Headbusta, her inspiration came from two legends of the sport. “I looked up to Anderson Silva and GSP,” Cotton said. “Basically those people who dominated and made a difference to the sport.”
Jozette’s game usually consists of heavy punches and it comes with no surprise that she has left opponents knocked out cold in matches. She also displayed a perfect example of her dominant striking at Bellator 129 with a unanimous decision one-sided beating of Canadian Holly Lawson.
“I was a boxer. One of the main reasons why I changed to MMA was because not many girls were interested in facing me and they would avoid me because I gave them a beating of a life time,” Cotton said.
Concerning her emotional state when she enters a fight, The #1 Headbusta turns it up. “When I enter a fight, I go in there to put a show,” she said. “I go in there to make my friends and family proud and put up a show for everybody.”
Being undefeated can give a fighter a sense of being invincible and many times fighters have been vocal about the fact being undefeated adds a lot of pressure, and losing a perfect record is heartbreaking. However, Cotton has a different view. “I don’t feel any pressure, as I have said when I enter a fight I go in with the motive of giving my best shot, I go in with the motive of putting on a show for my family and friends, so worrying about losing or not having an undefeated record is not something I care about,” she explained.
Jozette has been fighting at welterweight and it is a known fact that heavier women’s MMA divisions are considered thin with almost no competition. Many times UFC President Dana White has said the heavier women’s divisions lack depth and talent, therefore they will not be adding any new women’s weight classes in the near future.
Jozette stands as a perfect example of the fact that there are talented women in the heavier divisions. Asked whether fighting in the 170-pound division made it difficult to find opponents and if there is a shortage of fighters at those higher weight classes, Jozette said, “No, there are many women who fight in the heavier division, but the main problem is the fact that women either cut excessive weight to make themselves weak and move weight classes to get in the UFC, or avoid a fight with me. I have heard fighters saying that people avoid them, I can understand that. Most of them evade me. Reason, because they lack confidence that they can survive against me.”
Jozette continued, “I clearly think that women’s MMA has the depth to create heavier divisions, if not 155 or 165, they can clearly create a 145. Most of the fighters in UFC drop down a lot of weight just to be in there, it is very unfair to them as dropping down weight makes you weak. Apart from that I find it sexist on the part of many to not have women’s heavier divisions represented in many promotions. I think in the near future we can have all women weight classes.”
Jozette has been on the sidelines for almost two years. The 28-year-old last fought 22 months ago, but will make her return on Oct. 14 at DCS: DC 50 at 155-pounds. “I am making my return against Bobbi Jo Dalziel, she is a striker,” Cotton explained. “Honestly, I am not much impressed with her, she’s okay. Despite this I am not underestimating her and I think I will deliver a wonderful performance.”
Asked about her future goals, Cotton stated, “I will first have a few fights at 155 then eventually move down to 145. I plan to move down to fight in major promotions like UFC.” This of course prompted the necessary discussion of a potential future matchup against the dominator known as Cris Cyborg. “I would love to face Cris,” she said. “That is one of the main reasons why I plan on to drop to 145, I am interested in facing her.”
Believe it or not, there are still idiotic stereotypes perpetuated that women cannot fight. Jozette has no time for such sentiments. “Honestly these people [who say such things] are losers,” she said. “They sit on their couch, they can barely get up, much less fight and aren’t competitive. Hence they waste their time by saying stupid things. The best thing is to ignore them and move forward.”
On a final note Jozette was asked to spare a few words for struggling fighters and people who wanted to take MMA as a career. She left it like this, “I have always been encouraged to chase my dreams, and I promote the same. Go for your dream.”
Follow Jozette Cotton on Twitter at @1HEADBUSTA and check out her most recent fight against Kilistina Makihele from DCS 13: