Newly-Signed Laura Sanchez Has PFL Championship Aspirations
Laura Sanchez, a newly-signed fighter, joins the Professional Fighters League after a standout career on the basketball court.
Milwaukee-native mixed martial artist Laura Sanchez may not be the biggest name or the most highly-touted prospect, but she hopes to change that by the time she wraps up her inaugural Professional Fighters League season next year.
The 30-year-old lightweight inked a deal with the PFL back in March of 2020, just a couple of months removed from a successful professional MMA debut – a first round TKO win over Miranda Barber.
“It’s the biggest confidence boost that I can ask for,” Sanchez said about joining one of the fastest-rising MMA promotions in the world after just one professional win under her belt. “It reassures me of all the hard work and dedication. It boosts my confidence more than I could ever expect.”
As for why she decided to sign with the PFL, Sanchez says that it’s the promotion’s unique regular season tournament-style format that got her interested.
“[The PFL is] different from some of the other promotions, and I’m interested in the tournament style and the fighter first mentality,” she shared. “I’m excited to go through the experience with the PFL.”
Already, the lightweight contender has a clear goal in mind, and that’s to become next season’s champion and million-dollar prize winner.
“My goal is to be the 2021 champion and set some records,” Sanchez stated.
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While Sanchez’s professional career has barely gotten off the ground, the journey to get to this point has been long and eventful. A former NCAA Division I basketball player at Western Carolina University, the 6-foot-1 Sanchez discovered MMA as a way to cross-train but decided to go all-in in the sport once her hoops career was over.
In 2015, Sanchez began competing in the amateurs and eventually fired off three consecutive victories. Unlike most amateur fighters however, the matches were few and far between for Sanchez, competing just four times from 2015 to 2017.
“I was having trouble finding fights as an amateur,” Sanchez explained. “I had long, year-long layoffs between amateur fights.”
After grabbing her fourth amateur victory in May of 2018, Sanchez wouldn’t compete again until November of 2019, but that return to action would be the perfect end to her amateur days and an excellent take-off point for her professional career. Sanchez went on to represent the United States and win gold in the Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts World Championships in Singapore.
“It was an unforgettable experience representing my country in an Olympic-type event,” Sanchez said. “It was the biggest stage that I’ve been on yet, and it was a great way to represent myself and the US.”
Sanchez credits her successful run in the GAMMA World Championships for helping her fully transition into becoming a professional mixed martial artist.
Now, Sanchez prepares to take her talents to the big leagues as part of the PFL’s stacked roster of women’s lightweight contenders, including veteran Cindy Dandois and undefeated reigning PFL Women’s Lightweight World Champion Kayla Harrison.
While Sanchez will likely go head to head with some big names, she says that she isn’t taking aim at any specific fighter in her weight division.
“There will be seven other women in this season, and I’m looking at all of them the same way, so I don’t get caught overlooking someone,” she said.
Not yet a household name when it comes to MMA fans, Sanchez will be entering the season as a relative unknown, but she hopes to be able to win over some fans once she showcases what she’s capable of.
“No one really knows me and I’m ok with the idea of me being a mystery, but people can expect to be fans of mine, and know that I’m coming out there to put on a show.”