Miranda “Danger” Granger Sheds Undefeated Amateur Career for Pro Debut Against Jackson Wink’s Nikki Lowe
Miranda “Danger” Granger of Charlie’s Combat Club (C3) will be making her professional debut against Nikki Lowe (0-2) of the renowned Jackson Wink MMA Academy – home of UFC champions Holly Holm and Georges St-Pierre – in a strawweight bout billed as the co-main event of Combat Games 58 (COGA 58) taking place tomorrow at the Tulalip Casino in Tulalip, Washington.
Granger was forced to abandon her blemish-free amateur career (5-0 MMA, 5-0 kickboxing) and move to the professional ranks because her camp had been struggling for some time to find a woman who was willing to fight her.
“We were flying girls in for the last few fights. The last girl I fought was from Oklahoma,” Granger said. “[My coach] Charlie wouldn’t move me up if he didn’t think I was ready. He would have been willing to continue to bring girls in but I think that both of us agreed that this was just the next step and that there was going to be a bigger competition pool at this level, which is what I wanted.”
“Danger” Granger began training in martial arts at the age of four and remained a competitive athlete throughout high school and into college. It was during her college years that Granger’s interest in MMA was reignited.
“I always kind of knew that this would be my path but it wasn’t until I was a little bit older that I actually went to some fights and saw a couple of girls fight and I was like ‘I could do that, I could compete in that,’” Granger said. “But if you go back to any of my little elementary school papers, every single [one of the] ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ [was] a professional athlete. So, I think it’s always been my mindset to be where I am today.”
For a sport that tends to turn many a head, a large number of Granger’s friends and family members were not remotely surprised when she expressed interest in amateur MMA. This led to Grqnger packing the house for her fights.
“At my first fight, there were actually a lot of people there,” Granger said. In high school and college sports, I was kind of known as the aggressive player on the field or on the court. So, when I told people that this is what I was going to do, I don’t think anyone was surprised. Immediately, people were drawn to it. And after my first couple of fights, I picked up TKOs in both, people jumped on board right away. It’s been pretty fun!”
Granger and her fans are familiar with COGA, as she has fought for the promotion in the past. Her hometown of Everett, WA is situated only nine miles away from the Tulalip Casino. Tomorrow’s fight will essentially be a home game for Granger and her fan base, the “Danger Nation.”
“I don’t think it adds any more pressure,” Granger said. “Obviously coming from a pretty good amateur record, a lot of people have asked me ‘what do you think about starting back over’ and for me I’m not starting back over. It’s just another fight. There has been a pretty big chunk of people who have come to every single fight and I’m so thankful for them.”
In the past, Granger has fought at flyweight, and even once at a catch weight of 130 pounds. The UFC will sanction a women’s flyweight division for the first time in the upcoming The Ultimate Fighter 26 series, which could cause a dilemma for female MMA fighters with a similar stature to Granger.
“I actually like 115 pounds best. It’s where I feel most healthy and most disciplined,” Granger said. “I couldn’t see myself moving up unless the right opportunity presented itself. If something big came up, I would be willing to move around a little bit but I would like to stay at 115 pounds.”
But fighting at strawweight also affords Granger some desirable circumstances.
“I definitely have a height advantage,” Granger said. “I’m 5’7″ and I know there are some girls who are my height but I think overall, I’m just a little bit bigger and I have a little bit more muscle mass. I think that will be a big advantage especially since I like to strike.”
Although her kickboxing background tends to favor striking, Granger believes that she has developed a balanced approach in the cage.
“I think I’m pretty dynamic,” Granger said. “When it comes to striking, that’s where my height gives me a reach advantage. I kickboxed for a really long time so I think that is a very strong point in my game.”
One thing that you will notice about Granger – especially as she flexes after clinching victory – is a black tattoo on the inside of her right bicep. It serves as a rite of passage to Granger and her team.
“At our gym, once you either reach a certain amount of fights or Charlie, my coach, approves it and tells you that you are able to get it,” Granger said. “The reason I have it on the inside of my arm is for when I win my team gets lifted with me because they’ve been there and pushed me through this camp and helped me get to where I am. The idea is that if I win, we all win.”
Beneath the shield of a tough fighter persona, Granger is quite sentimental and down to Earth. She even operates an Instagram page for her blue French Bulldog, Kala “Curb-Stomp” The Frenchie (@kala_curbstomp). Why should you follow?
“It’s because she’s the cutest dog ever! She’s my little sidekick,” Granger said while giggling. “She comes to the gym with me every single day. She’s literally sitting by me right now. My parents bought her for my husband and I for our wedding present. I know it sounds so corny but I’m such a dog mom. Even on the worst days of training when I’m just pissed off at the world and I don’t want to do anything, I see her little face and it makes me so happy. It’s funny because we always talk about how all the tough fighters in our gym just melt when she’s around. She’s just like a little piece of me.”