“Ferocious” Fatima Mallett is an amateur MMA fighter (2-0) based out of San Antonio, Texas. To train she drives all over the place—from San Antonio to Luling, a 120-mile round trip four days a week, and from San Antonio to New Braunfels, a comparatively short 70-mile round trip three days a week. Occasionally, she goes all the way to the north side of Austin (160 miles round trip) for Friday night sparring at the V-Hive, a group of pro, amateur, and hobbyist female MMA fighters. Both of her past fights took place in Austin. Most of her future fights will, as well.
By this point we’re all familiar with the sacrifices fighters have to make—trying to work while training or giving up work altogether and struggling financially, losing time with family and friends, dealing with injuries. It’s an old story. As a married mother of two, Fatima knows all about trying to fit everything in—so she tries to make up time by driving really fast.
Which means that for Fatima, one of the unexpected sacrifices of being a fighter is lots and lots of fines for speeding tickets and other things.
It probably doesn't help that her car is a cop magnet: a silver Mustang with a scoop on the front and dark tinted windows. “My car screams give me a ticket,” Fatima says.
Fightland: Fatima! Why do get so many tickets?
Fatima Mallett:I have to drive so far every day! I drive fast. And by the time they’ve pulled me over, I can’t find my license or insurance, or sometimes a tail-light is out.
One time I tossed an apple core out of the window and I got cited for it. I offered to pick it up. I said it was biodegradable but that I would pick it up. He thought I was being a smart butt, but I wasn’t trying to be. I said that it would disappear or that a bird would pick it up.
How much do you think you’ve paid in tickets in the time you’ve been driving to training?
I don’t know! It’s very costly, and sometimes I don’t keep up with all of the tickets, and they’ll turn into warrants, and then it will turn into double or triple fine for failure to appear as well. Our car insurance is like 400 bucks a month. My husband is a very patient man.
A trooper in Fatima's rear-view
What’s the fastest you were ever going when you got a ticket?
The worst I got pulled over for was 110. Just a few weeks ago, I pulled onto my own street and then got pulled over. The cop said I accelerated 10 miles an hour over the speed limit when I got on my street. I said, “Yes, I can see my house. I’ve been driving for an hour after training for four hours.”
And now I’m getting pulled over for my tint—it’s apparently too dark. I got pulled over the other day and I was like, “No way, I was not speeding.” He said, “I didn’t pull you over for your speeding.”
Do the cops know you now?
A couple of them know me by name now. They’ll still give me citations, or some will give me warnings.
I’m learning to love the cruise control, though.
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