It started with going to public school, it ended with a professional Muay Thai career.
As a freshman in high school, Lion Fight’s Selina Flores was at a private school in Vista, California. When she began throwing out the idea of transferring to public school her parents refused, refused and refused some more until finally a deal was struck.
“My parents kind of squeezed it in there,” Flores laughed. “They were like, ‘Well, you’re going to have to do martial arts then.’” I had a previous deal with my dad. I did gymnastics as a kid and I ended up doing it for like five or six years and he told me when I first started that I would have to do a martial art when I was done with it. I was hoping that he would’ve forgotten about that.”
Flores could think of very few things in the world she wanted to do less than martial arts. The first day went exactly as she would have predicted. Quite a few nights of tear-filled car rides home followed.
“If I can remember correctly, I think it was just the grittiness of it,” Flores confessed. “Everybody was sweating on each other and punching me in the face and I was not into it. I was barefoot on the mat and it was just not something I was used to. It was something new and so it was just way out of my comfort zone and I didn’t enjoy it.”
The daughter of a boxing father, Flores openly admits that while she was a good distance out of her comfort zone in her new sport, her parents’ insistence on the sport may have been a factor in her initial dislike for martial arts.
Much to her own chagrin, Flores found herself enjoying herself before long. Not much longer after that, she was not only having fun, she was becoming quite the badass, as well.
“We would get a lot of Marines that come in, and my coach at the time would just stick them to me,” Flores said. “He would have these giant Marines spar with me and they would be laughing at me and then I would end up catching them.”
Flores explained that she wasn’t necessarily going to defeat any Marines by brute force, but it was very common that she would win the sparring rounds with finesse, skill and technique.
Contrary to what anybody would have predicted in the beginning, the “Teep Queen” went professional as a Thai Fighter. Once traumatized by martial arts, Flores now competes in one of the most intense combat sports under the sun.
Timing wasn’t great, as starting her career before a worldwide pandemic would put a halt on the globe as a whole, but Flores made the most of her early career. At 2-0, she feels confident that she’ll be able to pick up right where she left off, and at only 23 years old, there’s still plenty of time for her to make one hell of a dent in the Muay Thai.
Although it isn’t boxing, you can’t help but imagine her dad has a smile on his face and one hell of an “I told ya so” every time Flores laces up the gloves.
Catch Selina Flores’ return to the ring LIVE at Lion Fight 70, Friday, October 8, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!