Jharley Reyes turned heads at 17 years old when she defeated a boy in an amateur MMA fight, now she is joining Combate Global.
Starting out as an amateur in MMA is not easy. Taking fights while building skills takes time and often as an amateur fights are taken on short notice. Reyes, who was 17 years old at the time found out firsthand the surprises that can await a fighter on the regional scene.
Back in 2018 when she showed up to an event to fight, she was told her original opponent was not there and she would fight a replacement, a boy.
The idea of mixed-sex MMA fights has been a hot-button issue since women’s MMA started becoming mainstream. Back in the day of Ronda Rousey’s undefeated streak, there were constant comparisons to her male counterparts.
Reyes had no trouble defeating the boy she faced at the amateur event. Now that she is on the cusp of making her pro debut she is reflecting back on that unusual bout.
“Before going into that fight, I had seven previous fights without losing. I was on a winning streak. I was meant to be fighting another girl but, unfortunately, during the tournament, that girl couldn’t arrive because she lived very far away,” Reyes told CBS Sports.
“They found me an opponent and the only opponent that was left was a boy who was the same weight. They decided to let me fight and the only condition was that this boy was not going to be subtle. He was going to do his best to fight me. I knew this boy was not good at jiu-jitsu. I didn’t even get touched by this guy. He had nothing on me. My parents were very excited and, at that point, they were super confident that I was meant to be doing this professionally.”
Reyes will be stepping into the Combate Global cage for the very first time tonight, May 20 against Melissa Gomez.
What do you think about the idea of mixed-sex MMA bouts?