Veta Arteaga was athletic throughout her childhood and loved watching her pro-fighter brother, Freddy, train. She was at Combat Fitness so much that in 2008, he suggested she take a class. She thought Jiu-jitsu would be a fun way for her to lose weight and learn self-defense.
Arteaga took the gold at her first Jiu-jitsu tournament and caught the bug. She was ready and eager to start amateur fighting.
Her first fight was in 2012, against Annie Singer and she won by knockout. She was ferocious in the cage. She immediately took down Singer and began to pummel her while wiggling out of a variety of holds.
Her goals for 2014 were to fight in the cage and earn her blue belt in Jiu-jitsu. She accomplished them both by staying focused and living in the moment.
Before her fourth amateur fight, at a Real MMA event, she decided, if she won, it was time to start her professional fighting career.
Arteaga may have lost by a narrow split-decision but at the time, she was distracted. New York requires female MMA fighters to have a complete exam before a fight. During that exam, Arteaga learned she had a fibroid that was causing heavy bleeding. This caused her to be chronically anemic.
She also had a torn ligament in her shoulder. She did not learn that until after the fight, but her shoulder was sore. She thought it was from overtraining.
However, these distractions, as Arteaga called them, did not keep her from the cage. She was not upset that she lost by a narrow split-decision, instead, she wonders what she will be able to accomplish once her health is 100 percent.
Arteaga goes to the gym every day. Even after doctors removed the fibroid, she would watch people train. She said her day is not complete without a visit to the gym.
Arteaga opted out of the surgery for her shoulder and instead, she is in physical therapy. Once she is completely healed she will be back in the Bellator cage.
Before her fourth amateur fight, Arteaga decided that if she won the bout, she would become a professional fighter.
She went to Las Vegas for Real MMA V. She was scheduled to fight Hannah Fitzpatrick. She said the people from Real MMA first gave her a bottle of Real Water, which she loves, and treated her like she was a pro fighter. They made her feel special and she just knew she was moving up in the MMA world.
Arteaga beat Fitzpatrick by unanimous decision, on Nov. 17, 2015. Her professional debut was Feb. 12, 2016, against Ashley Dean.
The first time Bellator came to Idaho, Arteaga took a bout against Jackie Vandenburgh at the bottom of the fight card, on Sept.9, 2016. Ballator was so impressed with Arteaga’s drive and fighting skills, they televised her third pro-fight. She fought Anastasia Yankova. She lost the fight by split decision but won a four-fight contract with Ballator.
Being the only female professional fighter in Idaho, she has the support of MMA fans in the state, in addition to her family and friends. She said she can feel their love and support when people recognize her in public.
Social Media Information Facebook: Veta Arteaga Twitter: @MS_VETA
By Jeanette Smith