LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – Hanging on the wall at the Team 515 Athletic Performance of Texas gym in Longview, is the 2019 TBA Classic national championship belt.
The woman who won it, is Muay Thai fighter, and Longview native, Annette Nichols.
“I met some guys here at 515 and, you know, they were really into their sport and I said, you know, I would like to try that out, maybe a one time thing,” said Nichols. “Then it kind of snowballed from there.”
“As far as the Muay Thai community, this last tournament was huge,” said Team 515 Muay Thai coach, Larry Maxon. “This is the largest tournament they have in the United States, and it carries a lot of weight inside that community.” The Muay Thai World Expo took place June 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Nichols trains two times a day, and along with also preparing to run marathons, she is a single mother, raising two boys.
“My boys get to see me do something that is just about me,” said Nichols. “It’s not just being mom, it’s not just taking care of the house and things like that, and taking care of work. It’s purely fun and recreation, and doing something I really enjoy, for me.”
In the past ten years, Team 515 has put 54 championship on the wall, and Nichols’ is number 55.
It’s an inspiration to everyone who walks through the doors, and especially for the younger female athletes.
“They’ve got, finally, somebody up on the wall, they can look to, besides the guys,” said Maxon.
“I think that’s something I really feel proud about, as a woman, and and I hope that the girls around here really can look up to that, and pursue that for themselves,” said Nichols.
So now the work continues, balancing life at home, with life in the ring, and looking forward to some day, winning title number 56.
Next up for Nichols is an MMA bout on Friday July 12th in Shreveport.