Knoxville MMA fighter turns hobby into professional career

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Liv Parker didn’t set out to be a pro fighter. The then plus-300 pound mother of two entered the ring for another reason, well two other reasons to be specific.

“I was overweight,” Parker said. “I couldn’t play with my kids like I wanted to.”

A pro contract was never the dream, but being pro wasn’t either. When the latter became a reality, the former became a possibility.

“Once that dream was in place it felt like will it ever actually happen and the next thing I know I’m signed to a one-fight contract with Invicta,” Parker said.

Parker, a Seymour resident, signed the contract with Invicta FC 40 on June 5th.

“If I go in there and do a good job and go well, a victory or a really good fight they could bring me back for more fights, which is the goal,” Parker explained. “It’s almost like a tryout if you do a good job they sign you for more fights and the next contract might be two or three fights.

This fight is different for Parker, but it’s also different for everyone that steps in the ring in Kansas City Thursday night. The Covid-19 pandemic through a massive wrench into Parker, and her fellow fighters, typical training regime.

“Kind of tests how bad do you want it,” she explained. “I wanted it bad enough to keep hitting bags at home and keep running and training at the gym with my teammates as much as I possibly could.”

Training has been different with less physical contact, something Parker said has given her body time to fully recuperate from her last fight.

Following her Covid-19 test Parker, and her coach were forced to quarantine in their hotel room forcing the duo to find a creative way to make weight.

“We figured out 75 down and backs throughout our room were a mile and so we’re like okay I’m going to tag back and forth,” she said. “But I’m a klutz and I’m running on the carpet around suitcases so I fell a couple of times. But I mean honestly, it was so out there that it was funny and so the workouts weren’t as hard because you were laughing the whole time.”

Parker isn’t sure if it’s given her a new perspective on the sport she loves, but her time away has reminded her how much she loves it and she’s ready to give it her all.

“I think what it’s going to do is send a bunch of women out into the cage tomorrow night just ready to go,” she said. “Like we’ve been stuck in here let’s go. I think it’s going to make for some really good fights.”

Parker took on Invicta FC vet, and Stockton California native Chelsea Chandler, on Thursday, July 2. She was defeated in the first round via submission.

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