(This story originally appeared on our sister property,  democratandchronicle.com .) One day, about six years ago, Elizabeth van der Horst was in Miami watching an MMA bout on television with her brother, James. She doesn’t remember much about the match except for the standard stuff: two guys in an octagonal net “cage,” slugging each other in the face, kicking each other upside the head and flipping each other onto the mat for the traditional “ground and pound” where, if the weaker fighter won’t “submit,” the dominant fighter breaks his arm or punches his lights out. Some people didn’t take her seriously when she set out to try MMA. They do now

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She’s a model, reiki healer – and MMA fighter – MMA Junkie

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