Fargo MMA Fighter Fights for a Bigger Purpose

"Strength is something that you develop from the stories, from the challenges that you face in your life."

FARGO, N.D. — MPX owner Mariah Prussia has made a name for herself in the fighting world, but she has bigger goals of helping and empowering women outside of the cage.

“My first fight it was tunnel vision,” Prussia said. “I didn’t see or hear any of the noise when I was going up to the cage. In my corner, my coach had said ‘Mariah once you get in that cage and they lock the door you’re not getting out until the fight is over.’

When MMA fighter Mariah Prussia is locked inside the octagon she learned to key in on her opponents.

“I was in a choke for about five minutes,” Prussia stated. “In my head I was thinking ‘I’m not going to let this 19–year old who almost backed out two days before the fight beat me.’ She won the first round, but then going into the second round my never say die mentality kicked in. I ended up doing a double–leg take down, taking her down to the middle of the cage and finished with her tapping out.”

Even though Mariah can pack a punch perhaps her toughest fight was outside the 16-by-20 cage.

“I went through anything, more so the verbal abuse, the manipulation,” Prussia said.

Despite an unhealthy relationship Mariah wasn’t going to be knocked out.

“I hit that point where I was done with this,” Prussia said. “My children are not going to see unhealthy behaviors from their father. They’re not going to see a mother being weak from this scenario. It was time to step up. It was time to rise.”

Now Mariah is helping others get a leg up over their obstacles.

“Whatever their age is, whatever their gender is, it is knowing that we set our own limits,” Prussia stated. “We always do. We are going to have things that are going to try and stop us, but it doesn’t mean that you have to stop. You might put it in neutral for awhile so you can assess the situation, but then put it back in drive and always move forward.”

“I want them to see that strength isn’t necessarily something that you are born with,” Prussia said. “Strength is something that you develop from the stories, from the challenges that you face in your life.”

Even though she has had some push back.

“I’ve had a lot of women, especially in the older population saying, ‘Mariah why are you fighting? You are too pretty to fight.’ or ‘We don’t want to see you get hit.’ or ‘Why are you fighting when your goal is to empower women,'” Prussia said.

Mariah has always stayed true to herself and her mission.

“I look at them and say ‘How am I not empowering women?’ Anybody else who is judging around the cage doesn’t matter,” Prussia said. “Whether it is a cage, or in life. They’re judging you. That is the way I look at it is, it is more empowering rather then the other perspective where it is like, I’m not here to harm. I’m here to grow.”

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