From roller derby to the world of MMA, Shamir Peshewa is quite the personality in women’s athletics. The comic book, video game, and movie fanatic is a true, bright light in a sport always looking for unique personalities.
Shamir Peshewa: The Personality Women’s MMA Needs
With her amateur career behind her and a strong professional debut, Peshewa looks to keep the momentum going and achieve her dream of entering the UFC.
Origins and Pre-MMA Days
Peshewa’s first team sport was not your typical route to the concept of “teamwork.” She began with roller derby, and was a member of the Hard Knox Roller Girls based out of Knoxville, Tennessee.
She began her journey with the team in February 2008. In addition to her roller derby days, Peshewa has also participated in Spartan Race, which is a grueling combination of long distance running and twenty plus obstacles along the way.
With the characteristics and personality of Peshewa, it was only a matter of time until she was drawn into the world of MMA. That introduction would come at Knoxville Martial Arts Academy. Owner and coach, Eric Turner, is also the coach of UFC veteran Ovince Saint Preux.
Peshewa told MMASucka when she knew MMA was her chosen path in life, “I knew after my first ‘gauntlet’ Eric had me do. He had me do a gauntlet for Taylor Turner and Cimber Strange. I knew there was nothing else I was built to do.”
Peshewa also runs the Marvel My Fitness program within Knoxville Martial Arts Academy. The program contains structured classes to benefit any level of fitness. With a name like Marvel there must be a “Marvel Comics” theme to it, right? Well the room has a huge mural of Peshewa’s favorite character, Cable, from X-Men on the wall.
Development and Moving to the Pro Ranks
“My coaches Eric Turner and Joey Zonar are incredible. They push you physically and mentally. Without them I’d be nothing,” Peshewa told MMASucka. “James Adcock and Dre Miley had a lot to do with my beginning foundation and I credit them all the time because they taught me so much of what I consider my game to be.” Pershewa was quick to praise all of her team at KMMA. “Really all your teammates help you in different ways. I think it is more of a team sport than people give credit.”
Peshewa took on her first bout in April 2014 winning by submission over Melinda Hill at Premier Fighting Challenge. Over the next three and a half years, Peshewa would compete in eight more bouts, ending her amateur career with a 4-5 record. Her last amateur bout was for the vacant featherweight title, though she normally competes at bantamweight.
After taking her time in the amateur circuit to truly tune her game, and several jiu jitsu tournaments, Peshewa finally made her pro debut at Valor Fights 47 on the main card. She was able to earn the unanimous decision victory over Natalie King in January 2018. This is just the first step in Peshewa’s journey to her ultimate goal of the UFC. When asked where she sees her career in the next five years Peshewa responded, “There is almost no way I’m not in the UFC. My first goal is Invicta and I know in my heart that is within grasp.”