By Mark Figula, The Mouth of MMA Senior Editor
"Do you agree to honor, chersih, and slap a triangle on this man?"
Well, I'm sure their vows were not quite like that, but for married duo, Lacey and Randall Schuckman, MMA is an integral part of their marriage. Although we see an increasing number of female participants in MMA, it is still fairly rare to see a married couple who both participate in the slug fest. Cyborg and her husband and the Couture's (at one point, anyway) come to mind. Will this pair rise that level of notoriety? Only time will tell. Until then, enjoy the latest in our Up & Coming Fighter Profile
series and see if these two have the talk to go along with the punches...
Mark Figula for The Mouth of MMA: You guys are in the town
where it all began, Denver, CO. Even though the MMA scene has largely moved to Vegas, do you
find there to be anything special about the atmosphere training in the place where UFC happened?
Randall and Lacey: You could say that. There are alot of
quality training centers, largely due to it being the home of UFC. We think it's cool that
Colorado has alot of intelligent fans in that we mean that they are actually highly
knowledgeable about the sport and are not just a bunch of idiots yelling elbow the entire fight!
The best part of training here, ultimately is the altitude. You can't simulate living up here
all the time unless you do. It makes fighting at a lower elevation much easier and everyday
training even more challenging!
The Mouth of MMA: Did MMA bring you together or where you
together and then got into MMA?
Randall and Lacey: We have been together since we were
little kids, we've always been best friends. Randall began training and was always picking on me
so I decided to start training as well. After a few years we started competing in February 2006.
The Mouth of MMA: Most couples like to kid around and play
wrestle with one another... Do you guys find that it ends up a technical jiu jitsu version of a
Randall and Lacey: Well, we roll and train so often that we
are usually too exhausted or too sore to "play fight". In the rare instance we do, we are
usually so competitive with one another that our match is to prove dominance so it is usually
never very "playful".
The Mouth of MMA: You are both very spiritual people. Do
you find that others who share your faith are unable to picture you as MMA fighters or are
surprised that you are? How do you resole a peaceful faith with a combative sport?
"We go in there to test our true faith".
Randall and Lacey: We think other people of faith sometimes
question that, but we can usually get them to see how we feel. The best part of a fight is that
you are testing yourself in every way possible: mentally, physically, and spiritually. We go in
there to test our true faith. Anyone can say they have faith but to truly test it in that tough
of a situation will really show you where you lie. We also feel God has given us warrior spirits
and that is a gift that we should utilize to the fullest.
The Mouth of MMA: If there is any MMA fighter who you would
consider an inspiration, who would that be?
Randall: I really appreciate Shinya Aoki. His overall
training ethic and fighting style are tops in my book. He is so original that I love to watch
Lacey: I really look up to Sarah Kaufman. I think that she
trains incredibly hard and it shows in her fights. I also love the positive image she puts out.
She is a true competitor in my eyes!
The Mouth of MMA: Lacey, What got you started in MMA?
Lacey: Well, I was always a scrapper as a kid and when I met
Randall we were two peas in a pod. He started training and I got tired of always getting picked
on so I decided to start training as well. We then steadily progressed into Muay Thai, BJJ,
boxing, and Wrestling. Competing was the only obvious direction to go with it.
The Mouth of MMA: How do you find other women react to your
involvement in the sport?
Lacey: Well I get four reactions:
- I get the women who are empowered by the fact that I fight and just love it.
- I get the women who have no idea why a girl would want to get beat up and beat other girls
up, so they don't give you the time of day.
- They are threatened so they go into alpha female mode and have to prove why they are top
- They want to come train and fight instantly but never had an idea of how to get into the
The Mouth of MMA: Is it tough for you to find female
training partners to work with?
Lacey: Well I have always trained with guys and I firmly
believe that has been a huge contribution to my success but I am beginning to train with a few
females regularly and I have to say it's alot of fun. It seems that it used to be unheard of to
have other female training partners, but I feel it is becoming more and more common. They bring
an entirely different energy and it's nice to be able to practice with that before a fight.
The Mouth of MMA: I imagine it's much more difficult for
women to get fights. How do you come up the amateur ranks in female MMA and where do you want
to end up eventually?
"Female fighters are becoming a
dime a dozen just like the men."
Lacey: Actually it is becoming increasingly more prevalent.
It seems every card has a female fight if not more then one every card. Female fighters are
becoming a dime a dozen just like the men. As far as working my way up as an amateur it just
took a lot of hard work and determination to start to become the level of fighter I aspire to
be. Once I earned my title and defended it I felt it was just time to go pro. I also had the
incentive of debuting in the Hook N' Shoot 115lbs. tournament in 2009. Now as a pro I am just
trying to get better and better every day and become a more well rounded fighter. Now after my
20th fight I am starting to see the sport on a whole new perspective. The level of opponents is
constantly increasing and the stakes are getting higher. You have to do more then just "want" to
be the best you have to make it happen and that's what I plan on doing!
The Mouth of MMA: Randall, I noticed you are a blue belt in
BJJ. Did you get involved in MMA and learn BBJ as part of it or was BJJ the beginning for you?
Randall: No BJJ wasn't the beginning, I started in
traditional martial arts (Karate) where I received my brown belt and did school wrestling since
6th grade. I then moved on to Muay Thai with trainer/fighter John Cronk and Boxing with
instructor Hale Hilsabeck. I quickly moved on to BJJ studying under Rex Payne who I later
received my blue belt under.
The Mouth of MMA: How different do you think it is to be
married to someone who participates in your sport as opposed to the "traditional" type of
Randall: It's good not different. Its good because I have a
24/7 training partner. It gives me another person who understands how I feel to vent to and that
pushes me to keep going and never quit.
The Mouth of MMA: Would you ever consider trying to make it
onto The Ultimate Fighter?
"I would love to!" [Be on The Ultimate Fighter]
Randall: I would love to! Now that WEC and UFC are merging I
hope that they will develop a 125lbs. men's weight class and give us little guys to shine on a
The Mouth of MMA: Where can we see you fight next?
Randall: I will be fighting January 21st at Red & Jerry's in
Sheridan, Colorado. I will be fighting Rocky Moreno out of Ground Zero here in Colorado. It will
be contested at 125lbs.
Mark "The Ezequiel" Figula is the biggest wuss to ever enter a cage... the most spindly chickenass dude to ever tap out at NAGA... the boy who was told that the pen is mightier than the sword... and thus he writes. Check out his home page of scribblings at www.markfigula.com.