If I were a comic book villain, I would probably be shaking my fist and saying ‘Lia Mata’afa, who are you?’ I don’t know why I’d be shaking my fist, or questioning who Lia Mata’afa is considering I have my evil supercomputer in my evil secret lair that could probably look her up with evil ease (a computer doesn’t even need to be super or evil to look her up), maybe she just foiled my evil plan. Or maybe (more than likely) this evil opening paragraph is getting out of control? Why am I a supervillain? Either way, Lia Mata’afa is a mystery to most, and she could be the chick that surprises everyone with her inherent rawesomeness on TUF 18.
We’ve seen the rumors about the cast list, and apparently Lia Mata’afa has made the TUF 18 house, fascinating tattoo and all. One only needs to look at her skimpy laundry list of accomplishments to see that she could very well be the dark horse of this tournament.
And where does the phrase “dark horse” even originate from? Gather around this internet article and I will tell you, because I was just about to look it up anyway. Lets see here, the first time the phrase was used was in the early 1800’s by Benjamin Disraeli in his novel, “The Young Duke” about the underdog horse that no one knew winning a race. Yeah, that works. It looks like Lia Mata’afa, a badass wrestler out of Hawaii who trains under the watchful eye of a certain Christopher Leben in Hawaii fits the description of a dark horse just fine.
- 1997 Hawaii Female Wrestling State Champion (unofficial) 140lbs
- 1998 Hawaii Female Wrestling State Champion (official) 140lbs
- 2010 North American Grappling Association (NAGA) Hawaii Champ Women’s Division No-Gi Middleweight
- 2010 Hawaii TC Grappling/JuJitsu Champ Women’s Division No-Gi Middleweight
- 2011 NAGA Hawaii Women’s Division No-Gi Silver Medalist in the Expert Division
- 2012 FILA Oceania Wrestling Championships Silver Medalist in Women’s Freestyle Wrestling 72kgs
- 2012 FILA Oceania Championships Gold Medalist in both Grappling and Amateur MMA 69kgs
- 2012 Africa/Oceania Olympic Qualifier for Freestyle Wrestling 5th place (top 2 earned Olympic spots
- 2012 Final Olympic Wrestling Qualifier in Helsinki, Finland 14th place
- 2012 FILA Senior World Championships for Grappling, Pankration and Amateur MMA: Gold Medalist in Amateur MMA 71kgs
- 2012 FILA Senior World Championships: 5th place in No-Gi Grappling 71kgs
- Currently ranked 2nd in the world in the 2012 FILA World Rankings for Women’s Amateur MMA (all weight classes)
- Amateur MMA Record 4-1
Here’s her amateur debut. We think a Chris Leben cameo on TUF 18 makes too much sense not to include her.