If you’ve ever met Amanda Alequin, you might say she’s absolutely one of the sweetest people in jiujitsu. Better known to the community as “Tubby,” Alequin has such a warm & friendly demeanor that it’s almost easy to overlook the fact that she has a submission-oriented style and always goes for the kill that belies her personality. It’s not an accident either. She’s been working towards this since she was a kid.
At 13 years old, Tubby was 186 lbs. at only 4’11” tall, hence her nickname. “The name just stuck with me,” she says. Two years later she started BJJ under Marcio “Pe De Pano” Cruz and it’s been upward and onward since then. “I had a background in boxing. The gym we trained at also offered bjj classes with Eduardo de Lima black belt Jerre Norton. My brother came home one day and told me he learned an arm lock and he betted me $5 I couldn’t escape. He put me in a kimura from closed guard and I had no choice but to tap. The next day I showed up to class and never looked back.”
Fast forward nine years and Tubby Alequin is now a black belt, while also being married to a black belt and professional MMA fighter, Eric Alequin.
“My biggest influence is my husband, he broke his leg and fractured his ankle around 4 years ago and everyone including all the therapist and doctors he saw told him to change his career choice because he would never be able to fight let alone walk/run the same. 4 years later and he’s an undefeated amateur and professional MMA fighter. He proved to not only himself but to all the naysayers around him that anything is possible.”
With inspiration from her husband, Tubby was only able to add to an already strong and independent personality, eager for success.
“I was basically growing up and chose to leave my home the day I turned 18. I moved to a new city, I knew not a single soul except my husband (boyfriend at the time). At the age of 18 Eric and I opened up our own jiu Jitsu academy in West Palm Beach.
A self-described hippy with a little farm complete with 3 dogs, 6 chickens and her own garden, Tubby fuels her competitive streak and that part of her personality by competing as much as she can.
Thus far she’s been successful.
“One of my best accomplishments thus far was making it to the finals in Abu Dhabi in 2017. The crowd and the energy was insane. I also got to fight alongside my instructor Pe De Pano. I had such a huge support system back at home so even though I was thousands of miles from home I still felt all the love.”
Tubby will be fighting far from home once again when she takes on Jena Bishop in the co-main event of Fight 2 Win 95, set for San Diego next Saturday. It’s her third F2W appearance, and she’s looking to take the women’s bantamweight nogi black belt title back to the east coast.
For her, the F2W format matches her style perfectly.
“My jiu Jitsu style is aggressive, I like to go for the finish. In a point system it can sometimes be my down fall but in a no point sub only it’s my advantage. I expect my opponent to bring her very best on December 1st. I would expect nothing less otherwise why put your name and jiu Jitsu on the line. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in this crazy journey, and a big shout out to my sponsors Kakuto and BJJ Tees they are simply the best! See you in San Diego!”