ARVADA, Colo. -- For a majority of Americans, retirement kicks in at age 66. Some folks are even eligible to start collecting social security at age 62. But in Arvada, a 68-year-old woman is turning her golden years black and blue.
Ann Perez started training as an MMA fighter 15 years ago at the mere age of 53.
“I was a child when I started,” Perez joked.
“It’s not every day you see a 68-year-old woman wanting to do an MMA game,” said Luke Caudillo, one of Perez’s instructor.
Mixed Martial Art has historically been known as a man’s sport, so having a 68-year-old woman join and push to participate in actual fights is out of the norm.
"Obviously, you have the regular trolls on there saying, ‘Grandma shouldn’t be in the cage,’” said Nick Honstein, one of Perez’s other instructors.
Each time Perez tried to score a fight, she was turned down.
“It’s been told to me [opponents] don’t think they have much to gain if they beat me and they don’t want to lose,” Perez said.
Perez can’t even count how many times she has been turned down for a fight. It seemed hopeless, until Caudillo was able to lock down her first real match. A match that made her the world’s oldest MMA fighter to compete.
“We did it. We made history,” Honstein said.