Debi Purcell joined SportsGeeks check out the archives here: Debi Purcell
|Debi “Whiplash” Purcell is a true pioneer and spokeswoman in the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), paving the way for other female competitors from around the world to show that there is a place for women in this sport. Debi has proven time and time again, that there is a fine balance between having your femininity and being able to maintain a competitive, athletic stature at the same time. Thus, not having to give up either but to have that balance. So what is Debi Purcell in the eyes of the public? She is simply one of the toughest women in the world. Not only has this been said in the MMA industry but also, in the mainstream media’s views. Debi was featured in September/October 2007 issue of “Muscle and Fitness HERS” in an article about “Fitness role models,” titled “Women Strength.” The article opens with “M&F Hers introduces you to four women whose spirit has made them strong in very different ways.”
“Skateboarding has Tony Hawk. Women’s soccer has Mia Hamm. And if female mixed martial arts (MMA) ever goes mainstream, it will have Debi Purcell.”
Debi’s martial arts history begins with traditional karate or Tae Kwon Do. Over twenty years later, Debi is what you might say being at the top of her game. A competitor of this sport could only gain more experience with each fight, each year they spend training as if they were going to fight tomorrow and with every school or teacher they end up training with. After making her mark in Tae Kwon Do and earning a black belt, Boxing and Kickboxing, Debi took her training to a whole other level, a level that was rather rare for women at the time. She found Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and “Marco Ruas.” An “Ultimate Fighting Championships” veteran, Marco took Debi under his tutelage, teaching her the fighting styles of Vale Tudo (Portuguese for “anything goes”). This Brazilian discipline combines the styles of boxing, wrestling, submission grappling, Muay Thai kickboxing, and Jiu-Jitsu. Learning the technical aspects of the discipline was enough to keep Debi challenged and coming back for more. Her dedication earned her a black belt in 3-years.
From here on out, “Whiplash” was born. Debi took her skills and tested it by competing in MMA. After winning her first few matches, Debi’s determination took on a new high—convincing the promoter of an all-male MMA event to let her compete. That event was “King of the Cage.” Purcell was the first woman to EVER compete in an “King of the Cage” promotion and win. Other victories and titles soon followed:
She is a vocal proponent of women’s MMA and founder of “Fightergirls.net,” the largest web site in MMA catering to women in the sport. Debi also owns her own fight clothing line, specifically designed for female competitors, supporting their special needs as female fighters–“Alpha Female Fightwear.” Debi also owns a management firm with some of the top names in the MMA industry today. Her primary goal for starting a management firm was to simply look out for the fighter’s best interests, whom are her peers.
In September of 2007, Debi was brought in as a guest on the “Montell Williams Show.” The show focused on the world’s toughest woman. Debi was highlighted as just that, the toughest female competitor in the history of MMA history. She was also chronicled in “MSNBC’s Warrior Nation,” a documentary on MMA competitors.
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