By Brett Gillin
It took all of 20 seconds for United States Marine Sergeant Misha Nassiri to once again prove that Marines are among the toughest people in the world. But Sgt. Nassiri wasn’t on a typical battlefield when she claimed this particular victory. She was in a cage, locked from the outside, engaged in hand to hand battle with her enemy. And she was surrounded by thousands of screaming, bloodthirsty fans.
Sgt. Misha Nassiri is an ammunition technician for the Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division. And she is also now a bonafide MMA fighter. Nassiri’s first bout was in January of this year, and her first fight lead to the aforementioned 20 second technical knockout of her opponent.
According to this story on the Official Marines Blog, Nassiri has been training in the martial arts for almost as long as she could stand. Beginning at age 3, Nassiri learned karate. While her childhood was spent in the Netherlands, she moved to the United States at age 16, and brought her love of martial arts with her.
Nassiri told the Official Marines Blog “Living in the Netherlands made me open to a lot of experiences. It made me more willing to try new things. In a way, my experiences there motivated me to get into MMA. It was new, and gave my martial arts training an exciting new focus.”
While she continued her training, Nassiri also decided to join the United States Marine Corps on September 7, 2010. Before long, she realized that the traits that it takes to be a marine (discipline, dedication, toughness, and hard work) were exactly the same as those she’d been honing for years as a martial artist.
Nassiri became an ammunition technician for the Marines. This meant her job entailed handling, transporting, and storing ammunition and other hazardous materials. It practically goes without saying that having that level of responsibility means that you have to be able to work well under pressure and have an extreme attention to detail. But to excel as a Marine and an MMA fighter is something that few people have ever been able to do.
“Balancing the Marine Corps and my MMA isn’t easy,” Nassiri told the Offical Marines Blog. “I try to use every second of every day to do something productive. If I’m not working, I’m training. It’s tiresome, but at the end of the day, the aches and pains are all worth it when I see improvement and get closer to my goals.”