The wait is finally over for Shawna ‘Junglee’ Ram.
Ram, 32, said she felt she was ready to make the jump to professional a couple fights ago, but her coach convinced her otherwise. Now, she’s excited it’s finally happening, and anxious to see what the journey brings.
“I just felt it was the right time. I had a pretty good amateur run,” said Ram in an interview.
“There’s a lot more avenues to go down because it was tough to find 105-pound fights as an amateur.”
While she found success in the amateur ranks with a 4-1 record, Ram, fighting out of Maple Ridge, B.C., said she didn’t feel like she was able to use all the tools in her arsenal.
With her coach having a muay thai background, Ram said she wasn’t able to fully put to use everything she’s worked on in the gym, but is excited to finally have the opportunity to do so.
“I kind of felt held back during by amateur career,” said Ram.
“I’m really excited to finally be able to utilize my tools, elbows and knees. It’s going to be fun.”
Although atomweight is a better fit for her, Ram competed in all five of her amateur bouts at 120 pounds or 125 pounds.
She said having fought her entire amateur career against bigger opponents gives her plenty of confidence heading into this fight.
“Going into a smaller weight class, I have the confidence that I’m going to be able to take the fight where I want it to go, and really dictate the pace of the fight.”
LaGrasse Coming off Big Promotion Appearances
She said coming from a show with thousands of people watching to a smaller show will allow her to focus strictly on the fight, with far less distractions.
“Fighting for Rizin, there was about 30,000 people in that stadium,” said LaGrasse in an interview.
“Going through that first and then dealing with something a little smaller definitely prepares me better. I’m not going to be worrying about the crowd, or the lights or anything like that.”
Not only does she feel an added boost having fought in bigger promotions, LaGrasse, fighting out of Lancaster, OH, said she also believes having two professional fights under her belt will give her an edge.
She said Ram will be feeling the pressure of her professional debut, as well as fighting in front of her hometown fans.
“We’ve had the same amount of total fights, but the professional game is definitely different. There’s more pressure there,” said LaGrasse.
“Being in her hometown, I think that also puts added pressure on her to perform in front of her family and friends.”
After a successful, undefeated amateur career, LaGrasse is still in search of her first professional win.
While she would like to make her first professional win a finish, she’s fully prepared to go the distance with a tough opponent in Ram.
“I would love to get a win in the first round,” said LaGrasse.
“But I’m willing to go the distance; I’ve prepared for that and I’m conditioned for that.”
“I want to give a special shoutout to my coach/husband. He puts up with a lot and has literally taught me everything I know, and I want him to know I appreciate him. I also want to say thank you to my friends and family, especially my children.”
“I want to thank my manager, Gary Brown. I want to thank my family, my boyfriend, Troy, and my daughter, Jasmine, for supporting me and sticking with me. I also want to thank my sponsors Never Tap, Fighter Alias, Punch Gunk, Boomkinis, and everybody that’s helped me get to this point.”