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Former women’s MMA fighter Sharice Davids elected to Congress

Kansas Congressional Candidate Sharice Davids Casts Her Vote In Midterm Election Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

A former MMA fighter is going to Capitol Hill.

Sharice Davids, who tried out for The Ultimate Fighter just four years ago, was elected to Congress on Tuesday night in the 3rd District of Kansas, multiple outlets are reporting.

Davids, 38, will join Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma as former mixed martial arts fighters serving in the United States House of Representatives. Davids, a Democrat, will also be one of the first Native American women elected to Congress and the first-ever openly gay Native American woman elected to Congress. She was a long underdog early in the race in a state that votes mostly Republican.

Photo composite by Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Davids is a Cornell graduate, lawyer and former White House fellow. She made her amateur MMA debut in 2006 and fought professionally twice in 2013 and 2014, winning one and losing the other. She tried out for TUF 20, the season which crowned the first UFC women’s strawweight champion, but did not make the cut. At tryouts, she did submit current UFC fighter Nina Ansaroff and earned a cash bonus from UFC president Dana White.

While Davids was in college at Cornell, she traveled to Cortland, N.Y., to train at Team BombSquad, where she crossed paths with a young Jon Jones. She trained at JacksonWink MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., while prepping for TUF tryouts. Davids got acquainted with JacksonWink while she was working on Native issues as a lawyer in the area.

In an interview with MMA Fighting last March, Davids said her training and experience in MMA has helped her in the political world.

“For me, it impacts every facet of my life,” Davids said. “From my ability in staying calm — and it’s not to say I don’t get upset or any of that stuff. But I do think that like when you spend a while bunch of time literally getting punched, if you get angry every time you get punched, you’re not gonna last that long, because you’re gonna get burnt out.

“Just knowing that you do this thing on a regular basis that most people, one, never experience, and two, that you can recognize that you can disentangle your emotions from your physical state, from your ability to perform. For me just being able to recognize that, having that mindset is really, really helpful.”

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