By contrast, The American Martial Arts Center has a modest weight room and a smaller room covered in grappling mats. The center's sole means of promotion are the dojo's Web site, www.amacaz.com, and Farrow's site, www.grapplegirl.com. Sarria's got a site, too (www.rageinthecage.com), and three Rage in the Cage schools, but none of them comes close to the sheer size and star power of The Lab or The Lion's Den.

In addition to the new MMA schools, one of the reasons everybody seems to view Phoenix as the next MMA hotbed is the adoption of more relaxed rules for cage fighting. Some people see the prospect of more "extreme" fights in Arizona as a boon. Others see potential problems.

"Let's be honest — there are different levels of fighters," Michelle Farrow says. "The guys in this stage, this is a starting point. This is a jumping-off platform. Those rules shorten a fighter's career. I don't want to see anybody get hurt, but then I don't want to see anybody held back, either. I'm so tossed up and emotional over the whole issue."

Michelle Farrow at one of the Desert Quest grappling tournaments.
Jamie Peachey
Michelle Farrow at one of the Desert Quest grappling tournaments.
The Farrows' dojo, The American Martial Arts Center.
The Farrows' dojo, The American Martial Arts Center.
Boxers train at The Lion's Den in Scottsdale.
Jamie Peachey
Boxers train at The Lion's Den in Scottsdale.
The Lion's Den
Jamie Peachey
The Lion's Den
Women's MMA is coming out of the dojos.
Jamie Peachey
Women's MMA is coming out of the dojos.

Details

Rage in the Cage 117, the special 10-year anniversary megashow, is scheduled to take place Saturday, November 8, at the U.S. Airways Center.

See more images from our cover shoot, and video of Michelle Farrow in action in 2001, here.

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For her dedication to local MMA, Farrow will be inducted into the Rage in the Cage Hall of Fame at the event's 10th anniversary show on November 8. The event marks the progression of the grassroots promotion — 15 bouts in a 22,000-seat venue and a main event that pits eight-time UFC veteran Joe Riggs against former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez.

It's a big event for Farrow, who's too busy focusing on her fighters to dwell on her role as one of the unsung pioneers of women's MMA. She says she's just happy to be part of the history and watch the sport grow.

"The women have to be patient and keep plugging along," she says, "knowing that it may not be that great for you, but it's just gonna keep moving on, and you'll be part of the history of the sport. And that's all you can do."

But, she says, she does still have some fight gloves that fit.

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2 comments
stephen Sears
stephen Sears

Hello Michelle /Lougie/Geno/Joney Say Hello

You Are Always Welcome to do siminar in North Thailand You will Be secured by special agencies. If you are serious to go to Thailand welcoms you 006-53-43-62-07 homeCALL YOU ARE WELCOME ANY TIME

Gilbert
Gilbert

I love Michelle like a mother! As one of her students and friends I admire and respect her. This article put my view of her on a whole new level though!

 
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