ATASCADERO — The next female mixed martial arts star could very well come out of Atascadero. Trista Loftus, 14, is currently 3-1 in the United States Fight League (USFL) Pankration and is beginning to turn the heads of important figures in the sport. Loftus is coming off a major victory where she defeated a fighter from Prague in only one minute and 28 seconds, via her favorite finishing move, the armbar. Loftus not only won via an armbar, but actually broke her opponent's arm.
“Well she fractured her arm like a year prior, but I got a mounted armbar and she didn't tap,” Loftus said. “She started trying to roll over into it and it broke.” Loftus said of the armbar.
She has won all of her fights in impressive fashion and before she was fighting in the USFL she was dominating Jiu Jitsu competitions, her favorite style. Jiu Jitsu focuses heavily on a fighter's ground game, which is exactly how she has won her fights.
“I won my first fight by rear-naked choked, and then I won my second fight by unanimous decision, which means all three judges voted the fight in my favor,” Loftus said of her first two fights who started her career 2-0 before dropping her third fight in a split decision.
“I am a grappler, I love grappling,” she said. “I have been doing Jiu Jitsu and that's always been my favorite. Like, I love Jiu Jitsu, in those tournaments I'm like 13 or 14-0.”
On Saturday, Loftus will have to put her ground game to the test as she will step into the ring to face by far her toughest opponent, the 135-pound wrestling champion.
“It's in Sacramento and it's against the 135 champion for wrestling, so i'll be looking for those takedowns,” Loftus said.
Having a strong ground game is the best advantage a young fighter can have in Loftus’s division because it is illegal to throw punches to head.
A win on Saturday could change everything for Loftus. She is already being looked at for title fight and has an additional fight already scheduled in August.
While Loftus’s accomplishments might lead you to believe she has overpowering, intimidating presence, her jovial spirit, smile and bright red hair illuminate every room she enters. She will be bringing that enthusiasm to the Greyhound sidelines this fall as a cheerleader and then will spend the winter season in the wrestling room beating up on many of the very same boys she was cheering on just a few weeks prior.
If you would like to see an interview with Trista Loftus where she talks about her most recent armbar victory and her plans for the future, check out the Atascadero News Facebook page or Youtube channel.