Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

It takes a unique woman to want to compete in mixed martial arts. So much of a female's self-esteem is based on looks, to risk having your face disfigured takes some guts. Especially if you're a Playboy Playmate like LaTasha Marzolla. The 29-year-old tried her hand at kickboxing, working with Master Toddy in Las Vegas and her friend Gina Carano, but now she's moving toward a professional MMA career. It begins tonight in Sin City at The Orleans Arena on an amateur card called Tuff-N-Uff.

Much like male fighters who only have stand-up experience, Marzolla is trying to get up to speed by working on all aspects of MMA. She's trained by Shawn Tompkins, who trains 28 professionals fighters including Randy Couture and Forrest Griffin among others. Tompkins said he's fired up to work with her saying she's the first female fighter he really wanted to work with.

Marzolla is faced with the interesting challenge of being taken seriously as a fighter yet still being able to use her looks and Playboy background as a marketing tool:

"If you have it, show it. I'm very proud of who I am. Right now, I am a different person. I'm just tryng to set a good example for women,"  Marzolla told ESPNRadio1100. She has a 10-year-old son and an infant daughter. "(Having a daughter) changed my outlook. I was young, needed the money for years but right I'm focusing on being a fighter."

Marzolla was part of Playboy's Special Editions. She also signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2004 but never made it to the bigs.

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