MMA Fighter, Mom and Teacher Undefeated

Olivia Parker doesn't have the typical story of an MMA fighter. A mom of two and full-time high school teacher, Parker accidentally stepped into an MMA gym on a quest to get healthier. At the time she was 32 and 325 pounds and had just begun a local weight loss program called “Get Fit Seymour,” requiring participants to work out at least once a week. Parker tried to go to a fitness class, but when she got there it was full. She saw a kickboxing class on the schedule and decided to try it out - after all, she needed to get her weekly workout in to continue in the program.

Parker and two other women from the program ventured to their alternative. On their walk down the stairs, they began to smell the mats and the sweaty men from the gym. One of the women bailed then and there. Parker and her friend continued into the gym to find a cage with UFC light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux slamming his opponent to the ground. That sent the second women running. Parker was on her own, about to bail herself, when the gym owner's wife, Taylor Turner, pulled her into the kickboxing class. Parker was terrified, but the class changed her mind. She stuck with it and six months later was down 60 pounds.

After kickboxing, Parker tried Brazilian jiu-jitsu, then moved on to MMA class - her only caveat was staying out of the cage. She insisted she was only taking classes. A few months later, Parker was knocking out her opponent in the first round of her amateur MMA cage debut.

Four years after accidentally stepping into the MMA gym, Parker is down over 150 pounds and holds an undefeated fighting record of 5-0. She currently weighs in at 170 pounds and is hoping to safely lose enough weight to go pro in the 145 or 135 pound weight class in the near future.

Regardless of her fighting success, MMA has brought joy into Parker's life. “Once I kind of embraced that part of me and I took that part of myself back, I am way happier,” Parker said. “I’m a better mother. I’m a better teacher. I’m a better wife. Because I am finally, fully me.”

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