Five Questions with APEX Fights 12’s Shamir Peshewa


Before Shamir Peshewa returns to the cage for the seventh time at APEX Fights 12 on Saturday night, she spoke with

What is it that’s attracted you to MMA?

I got into MMA when I was about 9-years-old. It was UFC 3, so I may have been 10, but I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I’m super into comic books and video games, and these fighters were very similar to superheroes to me. My dad ran a wrestling promotion, so I’ve always been around combat sports, even if they were fake, like wrestling. I knew that girls trained, but I didn’t have a place to train. I played roller derby for seven years before randomly finding Knoxville Martial Arts Academy and started learning jiu-jitsu and kickboxing. Eventually I decided to fight.

How excited are you to fight again on Saturday night?

I’m so excited. I’m getting married in October, and I was wondering if I’d get another opportunity to fight in 2016 or not.

Is your fiance also involved in martial arts?

We actually met in jiu-jitsu class (laughs).

Some people go their whole life, but you’ve obviously decided to go the other route. What do you think it is, at the end of the day?

I love challenges. I’m continually growing and trying to overcome things that I couldn’t previously do. That’s what drives me. I don’t ever want to be stagnant, and MMA doesn’t let you remain stagnant. It’s thrilling to me. Anything can happen.

What are your expectations for Saturday night?

I want to be able to go out there and show the progress that I’ve made. I think it’s kind of silly to make too many predictions going into fights. It’s smart to have a game plan, but I don’t really have any expectations but to go in there and put on a good fight. Win, lose or draw, I’m in there to put on an exciting fight.

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