Acrobatics & Tumbling All-American becomes MMA champ

By Meredith Aldis | Broadcast Reporter

Hailey Cowan, a former Baylor Acrobatics and Tumbling team member and two-time All-American, is now an amateur world champion on a different mat.

“If you knew me in acro, I was very confident and a lot of people thought I was arrogant and a little cocky, but I wasn’t. I was just very confident in what I did,” Cowan said. “I knew that I was very athletic and fast and very strong from all the years of gymnastics and all the years in acro, so I kind of came into MMA with that same mindset.”

When Cowan walked into the mixed martial arts gym, she thought she was going kill everyone based on how they looked. However, after a girl triangle chocked her about seventeen times in five minutes, she learned not judge a book by its cover. She said she was completely humbled after that.

After hard work and training every single day, she is 2-0 as a mixed martial arts fighter.

“[With] gymnastics, I was good at a state level. Acrobatics and tumbling, I was good at a national level. I want to be the best in the entire world,” Cowan said.

Her coach later agreed that he was going to make her a world champion.

And that is exactly what she became. After her fight in November, she became the women’s flyweight champion.

“During the fight you’re calculating everything, you’re zoned in on what she’s doing because you’re having to slip, you’re having to move, you’re having to counter, you’re having to wait for take downs,” Cowan said. “There is so much going on. So no, I didn’t feel invincible. But I did before and I did after because someone’s got to feel that way, so why not me?”

Cowan’s next fight is on Feb. 16 in Dallas.