MMA Fighter "Mighty" Mia Hayes Loses Her Toughest Battle
By @WomenTalkSports on October 25, 2011
(WTS contributing editor MarQ Piocos has been covering Women’s MMA for over three years providing some of the best coverage of women’s MMA, wrestling, and martial arts).
The MMA world was saddened with the news that “Mighty” Mia Hayes died Sunday afternoon after a long fight with breast cancer. She may not have been the most well-known personality on the planet, but Mia Hayes has been an inspiration for women in MMA as well as all those suffering from cancer or battling obstacles.
Hayes was a fan of Mohammed Ali growing up and always wanted to become a boxer. She ultimately switched to Tae Kwon Do in 2003 and started training at Universal Grappling Academy in Victorville, CA several years later.
Hayes was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and given a life expectancy of one-five years. She didn’t let the dire prognosis stop her as she began competing in Mixed Martial Arts fights. She would go 3-0 as in her amateur career. Her last match was at Tuff-n-uff MMA in Vegas a year ago, getting a first round TKO victory over Brittany Griffin.
Outside the cage, Hayes ran a daycare for several years, while raising four of her own children. She had to shut down her business once she started chemotherapy but that didn’t stop her from being an advocate for kids. She would eventually foster, than adopt three more children.
“It’s an inspirational journey to see their mom step in that ring to face the cancer, face the opponent, and face the world, and say ‘We can do this!’” Hayes stated last year.
Hayes received both the WMMA Press and the Tuff-n-uff Inspirational Fighter of the Awards this year; and became the rallying cry for the women’s MMA community to adopt breast cancer as their charity of choice. Several organizations, including the G2 Women’s MMA Summit, Tuff-n-uff, and Blackeye Promotions all dedicated events to Hayes in efforts to bring cancer awareness to the forefront.
If there are two thing Mia Hayes taught all of us, it is no matter how sick you are, you can make an impact in the world, and you can follow your dreams no matter what life throws your way.
Hayes is survived by her husband Youssouf Camara and their seven children. Camara quit his job in order to take care of Mia and their children and a fund has been set-up to help the family with expenses. You can donate by either sending a paypal payment to firstname.lastname@example.org or sending it to MIGHTY MIA HAYES FAMILY @15610 Bowstring ST. Victorville, CA 92394. Please make the check to her husband Youssouf Camara.
Mia will surely be missed.
The “Mighty” Mia Hayes 1976 – 2011
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