Kelly Fasholz, 26, a native of Colorado who great up in and suburbs of Chicago and has been living in Dallas for the last 10 years, was one of the standouts at the Pan 2010. After a great appearance at NAGA, having won with and without the gi, the athlete was promoted. Six weeks later came her debut as a blue belt, and she caught the attention of the other girls in the Pan. Kelly marched her way to becoming middleweight champion without a single point scored against her. She got the submission in her first match in under two minutes, won her second by a score of 14 to 0 and her third by 7 to 0.
Her tribute to MMA legend Rodrigo Minotauro came in the grand finale. Against Strikeforce MMA fighter Renee Robinson, Kelly got the tapout in under one minute, to the pride of her coach, Keiser Girao, who heads Team Minotauro in Dallas. The tribute to Mino came in the submission hold she promised to use: the anaconda choke.
“I know she’s going to try to take me down. If she messes up, I’ll get the anaconda choke as an homage to Minotauro,” she said before the match. “My teacher showed me Minotauro’s fights in Pride, and every time I’d watch him submitting Heath Herring, I’d think to myself: ‘Some day I’m going to do the same thing at an important moment.I just didn’t think that moment would come so soon and with the same move!” she would later remark.
The warrior Kelly is, she wakes up at 4:30 am every day to work at Starbucks. She leaves there at 1 pm to clean offices and then heads straight to training, from 6 to 8 pm. You think that’s it? Nope, her next stop is a club in Dallas, where she works as a bouncer.
“I’ve never seen anything like it here in America. Sometimes she gets to the gym early and I see her sleeping in her car,” says Keiser Girao, who, along with judo teacher Marcelo Dantas, believed in the fighter’s potential.
The next rung up the winning ladder is the Jiu-Jitsu World Championship.
“Our training for the Worlds is under way and it’s going off. Anyone wishing to participate can just stop by!” says Kelly in finishing.