Nichole Long FacebookFor NAAFS matchmaker Nichole Long, being a woman in a male dominated business was tough at first, but she’s persevered and has become one of the most respected matchmakers in the Midwest.

“It used to be a lot harder when I first started about seven years ago than it is now,” said Long of her beginnings. “It was terrible. Everybody wanted to speak to my boss or ask who the man who in charge was.

“It probably took about a year to two years across the board,” for her to be embraced as a legitimate businesswoman in MMA. She notes, “(It was quicker) here locally, but pretty much any time you go out of state it takes longer.”

In her time with the NAAFS, the promotion has grown large enough to be broadcast on television and has become a home for many fighters to start their career on a strong note before moving on to larger promotions.

As Long pointed out to MMAWeekly.com, that’s a big part of the promotion’s goal, to get fighters to where they achieve the most; starting with an extensive amateur program.

“I feel it definitely builds us as a company to be stronger, but it also builds our fighters here locally in Ohio and Pennsylvania to be greater competitors when they go out in the world,” she said. “Our goal is to get them further on to Bellator, Strikeforce and the UFC.

“The whole idea is to propel them to the next level.”

Another big crusade for the NAAFS, and Long in particular, is building women’s MMA.

“I’m huge on having them on any fight cards we can with as many fights as we can,” said Long. “There aren’t quite as many female fighters as there are men, but I can see it happening where there will be just as many.

“With promotions such as us, Bellator, Strikeforce and Invicta, I think it’s definitely grown in the past few years, and it makes the sport well-rounded when everyone has a chance: men, women, all of them.”

It’s clear how passionate Long is about MMA when you consider she recently had a baby and still couldn’t stay away from lining up fights.

“I couldn’t do it,” chuckles Long. “In fact, even in the hospital there were a few people I had to get back to. There are also pictures of me on my wedding day matching fights on one phone and trying to give directions to one of my bridesmaids on the other.”

With one event in the books for the month and two more coming up, Long is going to be a busy woman for quite some time.

“I know it will wind down after September, but it’s extremely busy, especially with one being an all pro card and the others being pro/am; it’s harder than it is when it’s just an all amateur card,” she said.

“We have two events coming up: Aug. 17 in Cleveland and Aug. 25 in Charleston, W.V. If you can’t make them in person, most of our shows stream at GoFightLive on any given date we have an event.”

(Photo courtesy of Nichole Long)

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Cris Cyborg Expects Big UFC Fights in Her Future: Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Miesha Tate

  • 28 days ago
  • 12 views

On May 14 in Curitiba, Brazil, Cris Cyborg makes her UFC debut in a 140-pound catchweight bout, but sees much bigger fights in her future. read news >>

Zagreb Cheat Sheet: Breaking down the fights

  • 26 days ago
  • 2 views

The UFC lands in Zagreb, Croatia this weekend with a card featuring two of the best heavyweights in the world at the top of the bill, as Ben Rothwell looks to take one more step towards a title shot read news >>

With more fights on WSOF deal, Justin Gaethje not yet thinking about UFC move

  • 25 days ago
  • 4 views

After his most recent victory, WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje made it known that he wanted a fight with Jason High. It turned out High wasn’t available for Gaethje, but that’s no big deal t read news >>

VIDEO: Dominick Cruz on Novelty Fights, Conor McGregor, and Legitimacy

  • 24 days ago
  • 20 views

Dominick Cruz weighs in on the legitimacy of "sensational" fights such as Kimbo Slice vs. Dada 5000, Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz, and why fans want to watch. read news >>

Three fights added to TUF 23 Finale in Las Vegas, including James Krause vs. Ross Pearson

  • 24 days ago
  • 5 views

The lineup has started to build for this summer’s TUF 23 Finale in Las Vegas with the addition of three fights in support of the women’s strawweight title headliner. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

10 reasons to watch UFC Fight Night 86, especially if you dig heavyweights

  • 22 days ago
  • 13 views

If you’re a fan of heavyweight fights, Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 86 event is for you. Five of the 13 fights on the card, including the Ben Rothwell vs. Junior Dos Santos headliner, are heavyweight con read news >>

UFC champ Miesha Tate on future fight with 'Cyborg' Justino: 'A win-win situation'

  • 22 days ago
  • 16 views

Before catchweight fights became all the rage, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate didn’t consider a bout with Cristiane Justino more than fantasy matchmaking. That’s changed, though.Filed read news >>

After nearly quitting MMA, Cezar Ferreira now ready to be UFC champion

  • 13 days ago
  • 20 views

TAMPA, Fla. – Eight fights into his UFC career, Cezar Ferreira’s octagon run has been a rollercoaster ride, to be sure. But after a UFC on FOX 19 win, “Mutante” believes he’s ready to deliver on the read news >>

Video: UFC 197 extended preview, with Jones-Saint Preux and Johnson-Cejudo title fights

  • 12 days ago
  • 15 views

Ahead of Saturday’s UFC 197 pay-per-view event, check out an extended view preview of the night’s championship doubleheader.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Reasons to watch UFC 197 this Saturday

  • 13 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC Pay-Per-View events are always packed with big fights and storylines to watch and UFC 197 is no different.But the return of the pound-for-pound king Jon Jones deserves its own special section. read news >>