A Fighter Against All Odds
Originally from a small village on the outskirts of Leon Guanajuato, Mexico called El Mesquitillo, Laura Salazar had all but a fairytale upbringing. She recalls that her hometown had no running water or electricity and that none of the doors in their home had door handles. Despite her underprivileged childhood, she grew up in a very loving household.
“Like so many other Mexicans before him, my father came to the United State in search of a way to provide for his family,” explains Laura. It took some time, but he saved enough money to send for Laura’s mother and her younger siblings. His savings, however, were not quite enough to bring everyone, so it was Laura that was left to live with her grandmother in El Mesquitillo. She believes that this is where her insecurities stem from as she often wondered why she was the one that was left behind. Eventually, her father would also send for her and in 2008 Laura became a U.S. citizen.
The insecurities from her youth reared their ugly head when she met the father of her daughter. Laura is convinced that those deep rooted insecurities are, in part, what impelled her to stay in a relationship where she was being verbally and physically abused. “My biggest challenge has been overcoming my issues with low self-esteem,” confessed Laura. “Even though he had become a drug addict and was a convicted felon serving a prison sentence, he still had me convinced that I was lucky to have him in my life.”
Laura was convinced that she needed to do something positive for herself and for her daughter. She needed something in her life that would help increase her confidence and thought that perhaps losing a few pounds would help. A friend suggested that she try UFC Gym and she began to frequent the gym regularly. However, at that point, she wasn’t very committed and was still dealing with the abusive relationship. During the early stages of her amateur career, she would occasionally disappear for several days traveling six hours each way to visit her boyfriend who was locked up at Tehachapi State Prison. With each visit, Laura became increasingly conflicted about her situation. As his release drew near, she was forced to make a decision that would make or break her future. Favorably, she chose martial arts, her independence from his abusive clutch and to put her daughter’s needs first. "It was only through changing my life through training MMA that I gained the confidence to leave him for good," Laura recalls.
Consequently, Laura became more serious about her training at the UFC Gym in Rosemead, California and her efforts began to pay off. In 2011, "Lethal" Laura won the World Supergrands Martial Arts Championships in Sport Muay Thai under the guidance of Martial Arts Master Anthony Britton. In 2012, she traveled to Sparta, Greece and won the world championships of Pankration (MMA) for team USA. Then, in 2013 she simultaneously embarked on an amateur MMA career that saw her undefeated at 3-0 as well as continue her Muay Thai career improving her record to 17-3.
This past September, in just her second professional MMA outing, Lethal Laura astonished the crowd in attendance, not to mention her opponent Katie Castro, by achieving the fastest knockout in her pro or amateur career. Without touching gloves and with no feeling out process, Lethal Laura sent a message out to the 115 lbs. Professional Women's MMA division. With ferocity and a vicious killer instinct, Laura fired off a flurry of strikes after a brief clinch. Referee Cecil Peoples was forced to call a stop to the bout at 00:18 of the first round after her opponent was unable to defend herself. Lethal Laura's professional record improves to 2-0-0.
Lethal Laura has been recently signed by the Latino MMA organization, Combate Americas, and will be fighting on their shows in Miami in 2015. Combate Americas is a Spanish-language reality TV series and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) franchise dedicated to identifying and developing emerging, young fight talent from Mexico and other Latino countries around the globe.
Laura Salazar is a strong, young Latina who has not permitted her past to hold her hostage. Instead, it made her stronger and in the end she has proven that she is truly a fierce fighter. As her life transitions and her career develops, Laura vows to continue pursuing her dream of one day fighting in the UFC in her home country of Mexico.