One year ago the mixed martial arts community was introduced to Melissa Gasdick when she entered the cage for the very first time. Standing across from her on Pearl Harbor Day in 2013 was Courtney Kern. Before we get to what happened that night, let’s see how Melissa got to her first mixed martial arts bout.
“One of my old Army supervisors new a guy that kind of promotes and manages fighters,” Melissa explained to . Her supervisor then proceeded to ask the Pittsburgh native, “would you be interested in sitting down to talk with him.” At the time, this gentlemen was looking for a female fighter to represent them. “I’m that girl that will not say no to any sport, any activity that is offered to me,” Melissa went on to explain. “I have such hard time saying no.”
After a few months of training at various gyms around the Steel City, her first fight came about unexpectedly. “She comes off a little nervous, but who wouldn’t,” said her brother Mickey Gasdick. The nerves seemed to disappear as she entered the cage. It took just over three minutes for Melissa to earn a referee stoppage in her debut fight.
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Fast-forward one year and Melissa was making her way to the cage for the third time. Unfortunately things in this fight did not go the way Melissa had anticipated, nor wanted. In the final round of the fight her opponent, Sarah Click, landed an illegal blow that resulted in a disqualification. Melissa received the win in the fight, but she was not happy the way she earned it.
“Everyone keeps saying either ‘a win is a win’ or ‘you would’ve won by decision because you controlled the fight’,” Melissa posted to Facebook. “Neither of those are good answers for me.” The warrior spirit came out in her as she wanted to win this fight the way she had spent weeks preparing for it; in the first round.
Now that several weeks have passed since her latest win, Melissa is already looking towards the future. “My next fight won’t be a disappointment,” explains Melissa. I briefly talked with the undefeated fighter who informed me of her military obligations that will take up the better part of January. As much as she would like to get back into the cage as soon as possible, it more than likely won’t be until March.
“I was a little disappointed with my performance in my last fight,” stated Melissa. “I want to get more practice and work in before I fight again.” It’s this kind of motivation that sets the wannabe fighters apart from the warriors.
“Maybe it’ll be something that I turn out doing really well in, ” says Melissa talking about her fighting career. “As long as I’m on top I’m not going to give it up..”