Inside Look at the MMA Wives Part 1

With all the work MMA fighters put through their day, it could take a toll on their body not only physically but mentally. The majority of MMA fans know that being a fighter is very tough and a challenge to step into the cage on any given night. But with the fighters, there is another side to them that many don't get to hear about and that are their families.

I contacted four fighters' wives (Lani Carwin, Renee Edgar, Melissa Pellegrino, Nici Trigg) and wanted to know how they feel about their husband's job and how they organize their time. This really gives you an insight look on what their female counterpart feels like seeing their husband in an extraordinary job.

Part 1 is below while Part 2 will be featured tomorrow.

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Lani Carwin (Wife of Shane Carwin)

What do you think of your husband's choice of job occupation?

I think it's amazing!  I'm so proud of him and how hard he works; he still holds down an engineering job while being a top 10 heavyweight in the world--not many people can say that.  My husband was projected to go in the 4th round of the NFL draft and blew his back out.  That major disappointment turned into this major opportunity, he has been given a second chance to compete at a professional level.  And it couldn't have been a more perfect fit with his football history and his great wrestling background.  Now I get to watch him do something he absolutely loves, so what could be better than that!

During the fight day how do you prepare yourself for a fight and where do you watch the fight (in person, on TV, at home etc.)?

I feel lucky because he prefers to have me with him all the time.  I would always do whatever was best for him, but he likes me to be with him fight week.  So fight day I'm focused on helping him relax and get ready.  Once they take him to the area, I typically meet my friends and family for a few drinks to calm my nerves then head into the venue.  When he was on the prelim card it was easy because I would walk in, he would fight and it was over.  When he is later in the evening I have a little time to kill and it's hard for me to just sit and watch fight after fight.  I typically go out and walk a bit to calm my nerves, and then I come back in right before he fights. 

When your husband does get hurt in training or during a fight, do you ever get the feeling you don't want him fighting anymore? 

No. I'm from a small town in the Midwest so wrestling was in our blood, I understand that injury is part of the game.  I trust that my husband knows when to stop, when enough is enough.  He wants to be old together, enjoying our family, and he knows he needs to be healthy in order to do that.  I suppose it's one more way I'm lucky - Shane has a great head on his shoulders and has his priorities straight.

With your husband being so busy training and doing appearances, how do you work out family time with him? 


During a camp it gets very, very difficult and we both have to remember what the sacrifice is for.  Thanks goodness for downtime after camp because our whole family needs it!  Between both jobs we have to focus on him getting rest when he is home.  Camp is about 10 weeks long, so we simply sacrifice during that time.  The nice thing is that Shane always has camp in Colorado, so I remind myself it could be much worse.  There are fighters that leave for their entire camp.  We at least see him every day.   

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Renee Edgar (Wife of Frankie Edgar)

What do you think of your husband's choice of job occupation?

I have known Frankie since we were 5 years old, and based on his personality I am not surprised at all with his choice of occupation.  He has always been extremely competitive in everything that he    did.  He wrestled since he was 13 and was always very dedicated to the sport. He was also in a good number of street fights growing up, since he was about 4 years old, (haha). 

I think it is very difficult to watch for a wife, being that we plan on spending the rest of our lives with these guys and they are the father of our children. However, I am so happy that he was able to find a profession that he loves, because not many people are. I do enjoy watching the sport because I think being around it all the time you start to understand all the technicalities and the cool BJJ moves that the guys do, but I am a    mess when I have to watch Frankie fight. I think MMA and fighting is an extremely natural sport that has been around since the beginning of time when people had to fight for food and survival.

Fighting is constantly being perfected as far as styles and is really interesting to watch when you know the type of training that goes into it.

During the fight day how do you prepare yourself for a fight and where do you watch the fight (in person, on TV, at home etc.)?

The morning of a fight day Frankie and I wake up and go to breakfast with our family and his Team. Frankie usually goes to warm up a little bit. Then we all hang around the hotel room. Frankie and I take a nap, after we wake up his team comes back to the room. They go down to the fights and I start getting ready. I pray, and then meet Frankie's mom and sister at the elevators to go down to the fights. I watch the fights in the Arena, sitting next to Frankie's mom, sister, and dad. 

When your husband does get hurt in training or during a fight, do you ever get the feeling you don't want him fighting anymore?

Every time he gets hurt I don't want him fighting anymore! (HAHA)  If it has to do with getting punched in the head and brain injuries, I absolutely don't want him to fight and I tell him that if anything comes up on the brain scans, he is done. Fortunately he has been ok with that.  If it is something else that will heal and not impact his ability to perform in other fights, then he has my blessing to continue fighting.  Unfortunately it is very stressful to watch the person you love and sleep next to every night to be in any sort of a confrontation, let alone a full blown, full contact fight where the other guy is also   well trained to try to take your husband's head off. That said, the thought of him not fighting constantly enters my head.

With your husband being so busy training and doing appearances, how do you work out family time with him?

Frankie is always busy training and doing appearances. But it is considered his job and like any other job it is time consuming. He usually works out in the morning and again in the evening. He always tries to be home by about 6pm, so we are able to all eat dinner together and spend QT.  The weekends are a little more flexible and he tries to make Sunday his day off of training.  Saturday mornings our 2year old Francesco goes to either Gymnastics or Swimming so Frankie does his best to be there.

Sundays are when we like to go to breakfast with the boys and then either to the beach or park if its nice  out. We have a 2 year old and an 9 month old, so we are kept pretty busy. Frankie does have to go away to corner his teammates or to do appearances, maybe like a few days every other month. So its   not too bad, however I also have a full time job so its hard alone with the 2 babies. Thank God we have some great family support and our parents always help out with the kids.   

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    Ted Gruber

    Love writing about MMA, hockey and anything else that comes to mind. Huge Chicago sports fan and living the dream one day at a time.

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