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Age is only a number: Marion Reneau

Visualize all of the challenging jobs that people work tirelessly while also understanding it will all go overlooked. Some may think of positions where workers don’t receive the proper compensation of what is justified, while others immediately think of motherhood, the ultimate responsibility without pay that is perpetually taken for granted. No one would ever guess that a 41-year-old mother who works as a high school teacher would be the #6 ranked bantamweight in the world. Not only is Marion Reneau an incredible fighter, but she’s also a role model to hundreds of kids at Farmersville High School, and thousands of others across the globe. Although The “Belizian Bruiser” is the oldest female on the UFC roster, she is living proof that hard work prevails, and age is only a number.

A post shared by Belizean Bruiser (@marion_reneau) on Mar 4, 2019 at 9:07am PST

Sometimes the world provokes age to generate hurdles that an individual has to overcome in order to achieve. Luckily for Marion, hurdles were never an issue. As the 1999 Big West Conference track and field athlete of the year at Long Beach State, it is safe to say that Reneau can jump over any obstacle in front of her. Reaching a goal can manifest itself in many forms even when the path we deem to be clear closes. The birth of her son promptly following her collegiate career may have prevented Marion from reaching Olympic achievements, but it did not dim her passion for true competition.

A post shared by Belizean Bruiser (@marion_reneau) on Jan 5, 2019 at 1:37pm PST

Combat sports have always been apart of Reneau’s life, which is no shock that she attempted to earn her way onto the 18th season of The Ultimate Fighter which featured Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate as coaches. Unfortunately, the UFC declined to accept Reneau as a potential contestant on the show due to being 32 years old at the time. To give clarity, notable UFC veterans such as Michael Bisping, Georges St. Pierre and Stefan Struve have all hung up the gloves and retired at the ages of 40, 37, and 31 sequentially but Marion is just beginning to hit her stride.

With a professioal record of 9-4-1(draw), Marion is still young in the game. In those 14 fights, she has only attempted two takedowns which were both successful. Simply put, they don’t call her the Belezian Bruiser for no reason. Five of her nine wins have come via knockout with all of the losses noted on her record being by decision. An under appreciated part of her game as a striker is landing big shots while also avoiding 67% of strikes thrown towards her.

A post shared by Belizean Bruiser (@marion_reneau) on Mar 7, 2019 at 9:04am PST

This makes her upcoming fight against Yana Kunitskaya at UFC on ESPN+4 in Wichita very interesting. The only factor separating the combatants is age. While Reneau is a little older, Yana has more professional fight experience with 15 pro fights. Other than that small difference, both ladies share the same height of 5’6”, a 68” reach, and a primarily orthodox stance. Vegas odds have the fight being razor thin with a line of Yana Kunitskaya (-170) vs. Marion Reneau (+150). Marion’s top game could be the x factor in this bout to give her another victory in the division. However the fight pans out, both women will have the opportunity to display their warrior spirit one day after International Women’s Day.

It is never too late to accomplish a goal. Reneau has stated in past interviews that she wants to fight for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title. Many thought that age would hinder her success of entering the octagon. Not only has she made the walk to the cage, but she has also dominated opponents with heavy strikes and a wicked top game. So the next time a small obstacle comes along your way, make a way to conqueror it. The next moment you open your e-mail utilize a moment out of your day to acknowledge a teacher from your past for the schoolings that you still carry with yourself today. Furthermore, the next time you think of the perfect representation of hard work, think of Marion Reneau, because age is only a number.

A post shared by Belizean Bruiser (@marion_reneau) on Feb 4, 2019 at 10:51am PST

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