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UFC Star Laura Sanko In Workout Gear Is "Just Getting Started"

“18 year overnight success.”

UFC commentator Laura Sanko is taking a look back at the hard work and discipline that brought her where she is today. Sanko, 41, shared a highlight reel of her career, including a snap of herself posing in two-piece workout gear, holding a purple belt. "18 year overnight success. I've had my fair share of people hoping to see me stumble or fail…sorry to disappoint but I'm just getting started and I thank God for my blessings each and every day ✌🏼," she captioned the post. "Hardest worker I know. Just ready to see you slow down so we can go on more trips ❤ proud of you," a friend commented. Sanko is not just a commentator, she's an athlete and fighter—here's how she stays strong and focused.


She's a Fighter

Sanko was a fighter before she was a commentator, and says MMA was the perfect workout for her.  "The problem with lifting weights or jogging is that you just spend more time inside your head, or at least I did," she told PEOPLE. "It's intimidating walking up to an MMA gym, and I can't tell you the number of times I've been watching fights with some girlfriends, and they're always like, 'I could never do that,' but they absolutely can."


Horseback Riding

Sanko loves horseback riding, and was thrilled to race in Kentucky. "I have wanted to do that my ENTIRE LIFE since I was 4 years old and saw the Black Stallion movie," she captioned an Instagram post. "I watched it over and over and dreamed of what it would feel like to go full out on a track. Actually got teary watching this footage remembering back to when I was a little kid pretending on my toy horse wanting so desperately to know how powerful that would feel and just watching that scene over and over."


Ignoring the Critics

Sanko didn't listen to the naysayers who said fighting wasn't appropriate for a woman. "There's a lot of parts of growing up as a woman where you're told not to be physical for many different reasons, like it's inappropriate, or it's too tomboyish, or girls just don't play like that," she told PEOPLE. "…It's not professional for a woman to be rolling around with other guys, especially if you take a jiu-jitsu class. It might sound like a weird concept, but I'm telling you that just embracing the sport really opened my eyes to so many things about myself, about my own body, about my ability to feel comfortable in those types of situations."


Sparring and Wrestling

Sanko loves nothing better than fighting and sparring. "Felt good to move around a bit. Standard disclaimer: I'm aware he's letting me work on the ground and 'not really trying':.. I'm also well aware of my striking deficiencies on the pads. It's been forever since I've hit pads and I hate feeling rusty and slow…but I guess that's what I get now that UFC travel dominates my schedule ✌🏼," she captioned an Instagram post.


Breaking the Mold

Sanko is proud of her MMA background and career. "There are a lot of people that don't necessarily fit the mold of what we believe to be a fighter, that are interested in training MMA," she told PEOPLE. "I think that's really the key, is the way that this particular type of training challenges not just your body, but your mind, your beliefs about yourself, is unlike any other sport, and I hope more people are inspired to do it."

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