January 15, 2020
A local paralegal will soon set aside the legal briefs she normally works with and don a pair of boxing briefs as she gets into the ring for a mixed martial arts fight.
51-year-old Heidi Miller of Howell will take part in her very first MMA bout next month in Grand Rapids. Miller says she began using boxing as a form of exercise about five years ago, eventually moving up to an MMA format style. In the back of her head, she had a bucket list item of actually getting into the ring with an opponent for a sanctioned bout. Miller told WHMI’s Mike & Jon in the Morning that whatever doubts she may have had soon evaporated. “I’ve been training for a while now and what really got me going to do it was not only the training at the Michigan Institute of Athletics, but also actually going to the fights. The closer I got to the cage, the closer I looked I was like, ‘So this is what I was afraid of? I can do this. I can do this.'”
Her trainer, James Gray, says he also quickly lost whatever doubts he may have had after watching Heidi’s determination. “She showed up every day, worked with a professional fight team. She constantly worked on all the skills she would need to compete and all of the sudden it started to become real to me. I went, ‘Oh my God, this woman might be able to compete.’ I saw her training in jujitsu, I saw her training in kickboxing. She’s wrestling, she’s taking down these teenage and college kids and I’m going, ‘This is not only possible, it’s likely if we stay on this course.,'”
Miller’s debut bout is set for February 8th against 19-year-old Haley Nienhuis. Miller isn’t at all intimidated by taking on such a young opponent. “No one will be as mentally tough as I am. I get hit and I’ll keep coming after you.”
Heidi’s bout will be one of the undercard matches featured in Lights Out Championship 7 at the Grand Rapids DeltaPlex. You’ll find a link with details below. (JK)