Note: This is a story I wrote for MMA Latest News
Fans who were happy to see Alexis “Sneaky Zebra” Dufresne return to the featherweight division, sign with Bellator MMA and get another another shot at the big stage may have to wait as she is about to embark on a journey more challenging than any MMA fight and a role that no training camp can prepare her for: motherhood.
On April 9, Dufresne (5-2 MMA, 0-0 Bellator) announced on her Facebook Page that she learned she is pregnant with her first child and had to withdraw from her May 15 fight against Arlene Blencove. In her post, she said she wanted to focus on her pregnancy and apologized to her family, friends and fans for not being able to fight. Not surprisingly, her announcement was met with a shower of “congratulations” and “well wishes.”
And why shouldn’t be happy for Dufrense? While it would have been great to see her have a successful run that could have included a shot at Bellator’s 145-pound title – assuming the promotion crowns a women’s featherweight champion – the Sneaky Zebra is about to take on the most important role of her life. Sure she may have to put her mixed martial arts career on hold for a lengthy amount of time, but it should every parent’s goal to do what they can to provide a safe, happy and healthy environment for their child.
That said, the door for will always be open for the Team Quest prospect to return to the sport – or at least cracked enough to where she can kick it down. There are many MMA fighters out there who have the dual role of competitor and parent. Sometimes fans will see fighters sitting with their families during events or hugging their children pre- or post-fight interviews and moments. Occasionally we’ll see someone like Jon Jones’ daughter pop up and say their mom/dad will win.
I think we’ll see the return of the Sneaky Zebra if she truly wants to return to the sport after her child is born. To the interesting question is what if her son or daughter wants to grow up and follow their mother’s footsteps? Maybe we’ll see the birth of a future world champion?
On the behalf of MMA Latest News, I would like to wish Dufrense a happy and healthy pregnancy.