June 9, 2023

Undefeated Nurse Turns Pro MMA Fighter

Undefeated Nurse Turns Pro MMA Fighter

Image: Adriana Dragoi

Most nurses spend their days off catching up on TV, laundry, or house chores, while others might hang out with friends and check out local restaurants but not Adriana Dragoi. The 23-year-old registered nurse at National Park Medical Center spends her time off as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter for Off the Chain MMA in Hot Springs. 

Dragoi recently turned pro after going undefeated as an amateur and holding two titles. "Turning pro feels intimidating at first," Dragoi said. "I am really excited to turn pro and I am really excited to make some noise. I am really excited to get some highlights, get some attention and show people what I am about."

Despite seeing little similarities between MMA and nursing, she must remain focused and disciplined for both. Dragoi has been a nurse for only four years and is currently enrolled in a graduate program to become an APRN/nurse practitioner.  

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Right now Dragoi is enjoying the best of both worlds. "It was always instilled in me growing up to go after what is stable and reliable. I was kind of motivated and pushed to be a nurse. I have always wanted to do something medical, too, and I have always wanted to try fighting," Dragoi said.

Juggling Working as a Nurse and a Pro MMA Fighter

Dragoi hopes to be in the cage competing professionally by September. Right now, she is training, even on work days, and fighting under the Real Deal Championship card.

"I am trained in all," Dragoi said. "I trained jujitsu, wrestling, judo, kickboxing, and taekwondo. We implement that all here at Off the Chain. My primary style of fighting is striking, it is kickboxing. Not even taekwondo or Muay Thai, but just straight-up kickboxing." 

Image: Adriana Dragoi

Dragoi has been applauded for her strong work ethic. Dawond Pickney, her coach, said, "I can train you to know-how to fight, but I cannot teach you heart. I can teach you how to fight with all the techniques. I gave her her techniques, but there is something within her; that tiger."

"She is an animal," Pickney continues. "She has got that work ethic. That is hard to find. A lot of people say they want to be the champ, but no one wants to put that work in. The ones that do, all of them have a work ethic."

Dragoi has a full plate between grad school, work and training but Dragoi feels she is equipped to handle everything. Currently, she works on striking three times a week and grappling twice a week.

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