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Working on more than a degree; employee seeking 1st mixed martial arts match

For Lori Goldman, 2008 should be a good year.

In October, Goldman, office manager in the Austin Peay State University School of Business, will turn 40. Before then, she hopes to have graduated from APSU with a Bachelor of Science in Public Management.

Thats not all. She wants to secure the opportunity to compete in a mixed martial arts match.

I hope to be able to fight in May, she said.
For Lori Goldman, 2008 should be a good year.

In October, Goldman, office manager in the Austin Peay State University School of Business, will turn 40. Before then, she hopes to have graduated from APSU with a Bachelor of Science in Public Management.

That's not all. She wants to secure the opportunity to compete in a mixed martial arts match.

“I hope to be able to fight in May,” she said.

For more than three years, Goldman has practiced muay thai, or thai boxing, the national sport of Thailand. The form of mixed martial arts features punches, kicks and standing grappling. Unlike traditional boxing, muay thai allows competitors to use their knees and elbows to fight.

“I always had wanted to do some type of martial art, and this sounded like the perfect thing,” said Goldman, who has dropped more than 50 pounds since beginning muay thai training at Clarksville Mixed Martial Arts Academy.

Because of the weight loss, Goldman is closer to the women's weight class she needs to be able to fight. Each week, she practices muay thai in the ring with a sparring partner, coupled with five-mile runs every Saturday.

“I have to spar more men because they are closer to my weight,” she said. “But the hard thing to get used to in the beginning is knowing that you are going to get hit.”

In May, Goldman and another woman from the academy plan to travel to Seattle, Wash., to fight at a show produced by the International Muay Thai League.
Goldman said she often receives mixed reaction from people who learn about her fighting ability.

“The most common reaction is, ‘You do what? You hit people?'” Goldman quipped. “But after I tell them more about it, they realize it's so very cool.” -- Melony A. Jones