Cancer survivor makes MMA debut

Denver, CO (KUSA) Ann Perez has heard the doubters and the skeptics. She knows some people think she should stay away from MMA. She’s well aware of the fact that some people reading this very sentence might scoff at the idea of a 68-year-old participant in the popular sport.

She’s heard it all, and she couldn’t care less.

"People have told my coaches, ‘What are you doing training her?’" she says.

Those coaches tell the naysayers what she would likely tell them.

"If I can hang, if I can do this stuff, then I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to do it," she says.

Eight years ago, the question wasn’t exactly about whether or not she could "hang." It had a lot more to do with what kind of a future, if any, she might have.

On December 24, 2008, she learned she had breast cancer.

"Cancer doesn’t fit anybody. It’s a terrible thing," she says. "It’s like the whole world stops. I think everybody who’s been diagnosed can tell you that."

Eventually, she beat it, but it took until last year for her feel like she was back to her old self. Around that same time, she started thinking about the possibility of taking part in MMA.

She has nearly a decade and a half of martial arts experience and she routinely trains seven days a week, but the fact remained that no one wanted to fight her.

"It was described to me many times. They feel like they don’t have too much to gain if they beat me, and they really don’t want to lose," she said.

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