Cooksey, Straight To The Point: MX, MMA, and Alyse Anderson 12

This gives a whole new perspective to throwing elbows in corners.

Cooksey, Straight To The Point: MX, MMA, and Alyse Anderson

My two favorite sports are Supercross/motocross and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Recently while watching Invicta FC fights, I noticed the tenth-ranked female Atomweight (105 lb.) fighter, Alyse Anderson, wearing shorts with ANSR sponsorship (she has recently switched to Seven gear). I was instantly curious how she is connected to the motocross industry and it turns out she is not only a top fighter but also a legit motocross rider. I’ve always thought MMA fighting and motocross racing have similar mindset and physical demands. To test my theory, I met up with Alyse as she prepared for her upcoming August 9th fight at Invicta FC 36.

Alyse Anderson.

Alyse is a gifted multi-sport athlete and while MMA fighting and motocross have similarities, competing in both is rare. She's an athlete who does whatever she puts her mind to, something her father instilled in her at a young age. Her father placed her into martial arts as a child and she grew to love the sport, but growing up in rural Michigan all her friends rode motocross. She begged her father for a bike and not long after she was racing and doing very well. Alyse still has love for motocross and just got a new YZ125 which she plans on riding after her upcoming fight. I'm curious how top athletes in other disciplines view our sport, and Alyse has an interesting perspective.

Alyse on her YZ125.

When I watch MMA, I compare prefight nerves to the feelings of being behind the gate before a race. I asked Alyse which one makes her more nervous? She explained that while the nerves are similar, walking to a cage where another competitor has specifically trained to hurt her is an entirely different mentality than racing. She feels nervous before a race, but the nerves are more of an internal battle. Her concern is purely with her own performance. Before a fight, her focus is shifted to her competition who has specifically trained as Alyse says, “To hurt me. Their goal is to inflict damage, knock me out,” in order to win the fight. If she doesn’t win a race it sucks but losing a fight can be hazardous to her health, so yeah, same nerves, but different mindset.  

Alyse Anderson at weigh-in.

Training for MMA is surprisingly similar to motocross, both sports require strength and endurance while keeping muscle size to a minimum. It’s all about maximizing your power to weight ratio. Motocross training focuses a little more on endurance, but training for both sports is very similar. After a training camp Alyse can jump right on her bike and cardio isn’t an issue. MMA workouts are very beneficial for motocross and I am surprised more riders don’t crosstrain.

Alyse Anderson sparring.

We had good discussion around the entertainment value of both sports, specifically how MMA’s marketing is more progressive with sharing athlete’s stories. MMA has fully embraced their sport’s personalities, both good and bad. Supercross and motocross have yet to embrace athletes personalities, instead focus is placed on atmosphere and  general excitement of the sport. Alyse feels, “Supercross doesn’t go in depth with the rider’s struggles which affects their sponsor opportunities.” Not only are sponsorship opportunities missed, but opportunities for fans to truly connect with their favorite riders are missed.  Alyse also says, “People want to see rider’s day to day life stuff, not just a hundred pictures of them jumping.” Both sports offer an excess of excitement, but MMA has monetized fighter’s journeys by embracing their  struggles and successes of their athletes. If fighters who train to hurt each other can be transparent, why can’t the top stars in Supercross share their personalities and struggles?

Who's ready to jump into the ring against her...even at 105 pounds? We'll pass.

Alyse is on the verge of becoming a breakout star and could bring a significant amount of attention to the sport of Supercross/motocross. If the rumors are true and the UFC implements a female Atomweight division, Alyse will be close to a UFC championship. Imagine if Ronda Rousey rode motocross, that’s the kind of attention she could bring to the sport. Follow Alyse @alyseandersen21 on Instagram.

Follow me @chriscooksey61 on Instagram and Twitter and @Cookseymedia on Facebook.

Chris Cooksey is life-long motocross enthusiast, racing professionally in arenacross, motocross and supermoto. Chris obtained his degree from Arizona State, majoring in business and communications. After college Chris immersed himself in the business and social media aspects of the industry. Chris enjoys sharing his opinions. Sit back and enjoy the view from his perspective.

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