Tiffany Masters is relatively new to professional MMA fighting, but she’s already making a name for herself as “The Rainbow Renegade.” She’s on a winning streak, having dominated her last six matches (two of which were pro).
At just 5’2″ and 115 pounds, the petit 22-year-old is in the strawweight division alongside other out fighters like Nina Ansaroff, Jessica Andrade, Tecia Torres, Renata Livia Souz, and Jessica “Jag” Aguilar. But Masters—who hails from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin—wears her queer identity with pride, literally—donning a rainbow flag every match for her walk to the cage.
“I love being able to represent the LGBT community,” she told Bloody Elbow. “I just think it’s important for a lot of younger people to see that someone’s out there and they’re being out and they’re okay with it, and they’re okay with themselves.”
“I had a pretty easy go of it, with my family, and coming out, but I know a lot of other people have it hard,” she adds. “And they do look to other people just to try and get that courage to not just come out, but to find that acceptance in themselves, too. And I just don’t want to hide who I am either. I like being able to represent.”
Matthews was supposed to take on Mallory Martin this month in her debut in the Invicta Fighting Championships, but Martin suffered an arm injury that kept keep her from competing.
Hopefully Masters will get another shot to claim victory soon, for herself and her community.