ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Mixed martial arts wasn’t always a part of her plans in life. Twenty-six-year-old Lydia Warren found the sport about six years ago. “I was like in my third year of college. I was never an athlete at all,” said Warren. I like trained horses and stuff and I was like, whatever, in North Carolina. One day I was like, you know what? I kind of want to do this. Everyone was like why? I was like I don’t know.”

Warren left her home in Concord, North Carolina, and relocated to Albuquerque where she became a part of the Jackson and Wink Academy amateur program. Warren is done with the amateur part of her career and had her first professional fight on June 3 on an Icon promoted card.

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Warren scored a unanimous decision victory over Sydney Smith. You could say a star was born that night. “They told me later it was like number two rated, highest rated on UFC Fight Pass history, like, ever on the show. I was like bet,” said Warren. “I thrived there. I was built for this.”

Warren has benefited from having strong fight teammates, like former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm and UFC veteran Michelle Waterson. “At first, that was really hard because they beat me up and stuff, but now I’m at the point where we help each other grow and like mentally, physically, everything,” said Warren. “We’re there for each other. So, it’s honestly great. Like, it’s a privilege, like, a lot of people don’t have until you make it. But, like, I had it starting out.”

Warren hopes to be a UFC champion in the 115-pound division one day. She knows she has to stay active and stay undefeated to reach that goal. “I’m trying to fight again August, September, a couple more maybe early next year,” said Warren. “I talked to my management about it and stuff and I think they’re trying to help me bust them out so that way I can just get on Contender next summer and bada bing bada boom, you know.”