Laura Marcusse, founding partner of Adorn, an online store that rents high-end diamond jewelry for special occasions, deals with a different kind of ring after hours. In her spare time, the 105-pound, 27-year-old entrepreneur is a cage fighter, or mixed martial artist. In 2006, Marcusse saw a mixed martial arts, or MMA, instructor and his student duking it out at her gym and asked to sign up for a class. He tried to discourage her, which made her more determined to try the sport. Now, she has a manager and full-time trainer, professional fighter Deryck Ripley, and trains six days a week at gyms near her home in Kansas City, Missouri. Marcusse, who plans to start competing with women on the amateur level this spring and go professional within a year, says fighting has made her tougher in the boardroom. "It's helped me get in touch with my aggressive side," she says.
Mouth guard, Tiger Balm muscle rub, shin guards, rubber band for ponytail, antibacterial wipes, and pink MMA gloves with Fight Girl inscribed on the knuckles.
Arm bar from side control using legs. In this move, Marcusse uses her legs to apply pressure to her opponent's elbow while pinning him or her to the mat.
Each week, Marcusse does 10 and a half hours of MMA training and three hours of running or weight training. She rests on Sundays.