Exclusive Interview With Tamikka ‘Boom Boom’ Brents Ahead of Her MMA Return at GFS: Destiny

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MMANewsline’s own Nick Portella had the opportunity to sit down with mixed martial artist Tamikka “Boom Boom” Brents, a 28-year-old that has previously competed for Invicta FC among other organizations in her four-fight professional career. Brents (Pro MMA Record 2-2) lost her last fight back in 2014, but will now look to make a successful return to the cage after a nearly 2 1/2 year absence as she looks to win gold at Gateway Fighting Series: Destiny against Sarah Patterson.

Let’s get right to it!

Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?

Tamikka:  It means, punching, elbowing, kicking and slamming someone else for money and without getting arrested.

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Nick:  At what age did you begin to train martial arts?

Tamikka:  I started training in 2006 when I was 17 to get physically fit for U.S. Navy boot camp then it turned into an addiction.

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Nick:  What belts do you have and in what disciplines?

Tamikka:  I have a NAGA Women’s Expert Division Championship belt and the 2010 NAAFS Amateur Women’s Championship.

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Nick:  With ten amateur fights under your belt, why did you decide to go to the professional level?

Tamikka:  Well I actually have more than 10 army fights but some of the promotions I fought for in the past never reported the outcome of events! Any who, after winning the NAAFS women’s title we decided to go pro soon after.

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Nick:  How long have you been with Warrior Concepts? 5 Knuckle MMA?
Tamikka:  I was at Warrior Concepts for a little over 6 years.  Now I split my time between Bloomington Combat Club under Billy Stamp and Gracie Humaita-Springfield under Mark Commean.  5 Knuckle MMA was one of my former management agencies.

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Nick:  Who is your favorite MMA fighter past or present?
Tamikka:  That is a loaded question! Current favorite male fighter : Conor McGregor, because his shit talking is hilarious! Current favorite female fighter: Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Past favorite male fighter:  Bas Rutten, Past female fighter: Gina Carano.

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Nick:  With your fighting style do you prefer to keep the fight on your feet
or take it to the ground?

Tamikka:  I prefer to keep the fight in whatever position that allows me to punch and elbow them the most.

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Nick:  What would you say your biggest strengths are, and what’s the thing you  need to work on the most?

Tamikka:  I’m abnormally good looking and that distracts my opponents so much they forget it’s a fight and it allows me to do my thang.

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Nick:  What’s your favorite strike/submission to use in a fight?
Tamikka:  Elbows are my favorite strikes and my favorite submission is the RNC because you can feel the consciousness slipping from someone.

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Nick:  People talk about the next generation of fighters all the time. Do you feel that you represent that in some ways?  Do you feel any pressure to represent that next generation?

Tamikka:  I definitely represent the next generation of fighters. I am not a wrestler or BJJ practitioner etc., but I do it all. No — I don’t feel pressure to do that. I don’t feel that a whole generation can be placed on the shoulders of one female mixed martial artist.

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Nick:  With cutting weight and fighter safety always being a priority.  What methods of cutting weight do you use?

Tamikka: I eat 32 cans of beans three days before weigh ins, then Mother Nature does the rest.

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Nick:  How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight?

Tamikka:  I usually cut the  night before weigh ins.  I’ve cut five pounds, I’ve cut two pounds, shit I’ve cut 27 pounds in three days before(which ended in a torn ACL and partially torn meniscus, DO NOT do that shit), but I’m usually 10 pounds away from goal weight 6 days out. Right now, I’m just  chillin’ at 155.

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Nick:  Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?

Tamikka:  I don’t think it has affected my strength, perhaps my cardio a bit.

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Nick:  You have fought under a few different promotions, do you have any plans
to try and get signed in the UFC or Bellator at some point in your career?

Tamikka:  Hell yea I want to get signed to Bellator! The UFC, not so much. Bellator
seems to treat their fighters better than the UFC does, unless you’re a huge draw out the gate. Plus a lot of their shows are in St. Louis aka  my home away from home!

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Nick:  Your nickname is ‘Boom Boom,’ who gave you that name and why?
Tamikka:  Well, when I was 20 years old, I was at a bar here in Springfield, IL. I was hanging out with one of my roommates and a group of girls that didn’t like us because of our other roommate at the time. So we are just shooting the shit, and one of the girls from that group comes up(drunk as a skunk) and starts talking shit. We asked her to leave over and over again. Then finally fed up, me being the cool, calm and collected person that I am, I asked her to get the f**k away from us. She then hits my friend in the head with her beer bottle. I lost my shit, threw a cross-hook, double legged her and slammed her
on the bar room floor. She was out cold. Her friends came running up and we took it outside. It was gonna be a full on royal rumble brawl but a cop pulled up and flashed his lights and we all scattered like roaches. A month later I finally turned 21 and went
back to the bar and one of the bartenders yelled, “Hey Boom Boom! Don’t go Boom Booming anyone tonight, OK!?” After that, it just stuck with me.

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Nick:  You have not fought since 2014 and some people feel that ‘ring rust’ is a factor.  I myself do not and think that a long break is needed at times to give the body time to heal from constant punishment.  Do you feel the time off from fighting will be a factor in your next fight?
Tamikka:  I think that there is such thing as ring rust, but not because a person hasn’t fought in a while, but because they haven’t been in front of all the lights and cameras in a while. I think that is what affects people. I think that my 2-year layoff has been a blessing. I didn’t know if I’d fight again. Teri(my sexy ass girlfriend), who’s son I help coach in BJJ saw me train and said I still had that fire for it. She knew before I did. All the time I’ve had off allowed me to heal properly. I didn’t train at all  for a long while, so I lost muscle mass which in turn has helped me drop quickly. I chillin’ at 155 pounds, ready to finally drop to 135 and thinking it is actually possible now. So some may call it ring rust, maybe it should be called lights and camera rust,  but will it affect me? Nah.

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Nick:  You understand that marketing is important in this sport.  What tips would
you give young up and coming fighters on the balance of presenting yourself based on beauty vs. brawn or skill alone?
Tamikka:  Do something different. Look different, speak differently, move differently. Sponsors jump on shiny new and different things.

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Nick:  I know you have a fight coming up this Friday. Give your fans a prediction
on how you think this fight will play out.

Tamikka:  I will walk in when my music hits like it’s Wrestlemania, hear the people screaming and I will take it all in. I will make my way down to that cage and everyone
in attendance will be entertained from bell to bell and everyone will know, Boom Boom is NOT done, not yet by a long shot!

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Nick:  If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?  Why?
Tamikka:  Rousey for sure.  She will go down and a legend in women’s mixed martial arts and I want to be a legend killer.
Thank you to all my fans! Thank you to my family! Thank you to my friends! Thank you to my amazingly beautiful and intelligent girlfriend Teri Howell for putting up with my fight camp mood swings and all around crabbiness! I love you! Thank you to my teammates at Bloomington Combat Club, there are some beats over there! Liz, Lillie, Vince, Eric and the coach/captain of the crazy ship Billy Stamp! Thank you to all my teammates at Gracie Humaita-Springfield, Mark and Emily Commean for being all around great people and also teaching me every detail every of BJJ! Thank you to my sponsors Sky Appliance, Marc Passoni of Green Hyundai, Omar’s Latin Infused Cuisine, 66 Chiropractic, One Percent Violence, Keppler Environmental Management, Capital City Nutrition, Michelle’s Magic Morsels, Sic Chick, American Graphx, X-ion-X, Jamie Russow-Massage Therapist! Thank you Jason Adams for being an awesome manager but even better friend. Lastly thank you to my nutritionist who also doubles as my sexy ass girlfriend Teri Howell(Miss Brents-Howell if ya nasty)!

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Tamikka ‘Boom Boom’ Brents battles Sarah Patterson on Friday, March 3 at Gateway Fighting Series “Destiny” for the Inaugural Women’s GFS Lightweight Championship.


Nick’s Take:
Tamikka was a blast to interview.  She definitely told me what she was thinking and I myself and the fight world will appreciate it. I want to wish her good luck this weekend in her return to the cage!

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