Invicta FC 23: A Conversation with Pam Sorenson

Invicta FC 23 Pam Sorenson
Credit: Esther Lin/Invicta FC

Pam Sorenson looks to continue her recent successes this weekend at Invicta FC 23 and we spoke to her prior to her contest.

Pam Sorenson makes her second Invicta FC appearance this Saturday, May 20, at Invicta FC 23. “Pam Bam” will be moving up a weight class to face 10-4 Brazilian Ediane Gomes in the second fight of the evening. Ahead of her fight, Sorenson took some time to answer questions about her personal life, future, moving up weight classes and more.

Paarth Pande: What got you into MMA and what is your combat sports background?

Pam Sorenson: Back in 2012, I ended up tragically losing my best friend. Afterwards, I spent a solid month or so sitting on the couch eating and feeling sorry for myself while ballooning up to over 200-pounds. One day I finally said enough is enough and set out to find a fun, new way to work out and get back in shape. I ended up deciding to try out kickboxing and had a blast, so shortly after I took up BJJ and started competing in grappling tournaments. I loved competing in BJJ and in kickboxing, so MMA just seemed like the next logical step!

PP: Did people around you support the decision of making MMA your career? What are the biggest challenges that you have faced?

PS: My friends were all super supportive, as was my brother – he has been my biggest fan and supporter since day one. He’s made it to all of my pro fights, even one that was two days after his son was born! My parents were unsure when I first started fighting, but I think they’ve seen firsthand how MMA has changed my life for the better and they are very supportive now. One of the biggest challenges I’ve found is trying to maintain a healthy balance between my personal life and training. I don’t work a regular 9-5 job, so I really feel like my job is to be at the gym working on sharpening my skills even when I have no fight scheduled. But some days I have realized I have to force myself to be social also, just to keep some sort of sanity!

PP: What is the story behind your nickname?

PS: I’ve always been told we don’t get to choose our own nicknames, someone at the gym started calling me Pam Bam one day and it just kind of stuck!

PP: You were unable to make weight in your last fight for Invicta FC. Is this the reason you are moving up a weight class? Do you feel more comfortable at 145 and feel it is a safer weight class for you?

PS: Yes and no. Invicta contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in fighting at 145 and I had told them yes, as long as it is the right opponent. I don’t believe in cherry picking opponents and I will never back down from a challenge, but I do know that I am too undersized to make the featherweight division my new home. Ediane Gomes has fought most of her career at 135 and has a very similar build to myself, so I accepted the fight at 145 knowing I shouldn’t be at a huge weight disadvantage. But after this fight, I’ll likely be sticking to 135 for a while.

PP: You will be taking on Ediane Gomes who has faced the likes of Ronda Rousey, Tonya Evinger, and others in the past. What are your thoughts on her and what would be next with a victory?

PS: Gomes has been around for quite a while. Her only losses have been to the current and a former UFC champ, the current Invicta champ, and Raquel Pa’aluhi, who will likely be fighting for the Invicta title soon. I know she’s very tough, durable and will fight bell to bell, but for as long as she’s been around I haven’t seen much evolution in her game.

Being that this fight is in the featherweight division, I do not see winning this fight putting me in contention for the title. I plan on dropping back down to 135 after this fight and I know I need at least one more good win in that weight class (and obviously make weight) to be considered for a title shot.

PS: One of the most discussed topics in MMA today is fighter pay. What are your thoughts on the pay of an average MMA fighter and a potential fighters union?

PS: I know the average pro MMA fighter does not make very much for the fight itself. However, they are usually given the opportunity to find sponsors of their own and make commission off tickets they sell. So in reality, they almost always are making more than what is reported – some fighters make more off sponsorships than they do the fight itself. I know plenty of fighters who just don’t want to sell tickets, do social media, or look for sponsors and to me, that’s part of the job. The promotion is a business and we are essentially a product and we have to help sell ourselves. Usually when they make more money – we make more money.

However, I am not against a fighters union for larger promotions such as the UFC. I do feel since they have taken away the fighters ability to find outside sponsors, they took away a big chunk of income for them – especially for those fighters who sit on the shelf for long periods of time. Given the chance to join a fighters union, I may or may not join – I’d have to do my homework and make sure it’s in everyone’s best interest. I’d really hate to see smaller local promotions be put out of business because that’s where almost every fighter gets their start.

PP: What is your advice for aspiring MMA fighters?

PS: If you want to do this as a career, be prepared to work hard. Work hard in the gym (even when you don’t want to), keep your diet and weight under control, promote yourself, do your roadwork. Don’t expect it to be easy; it’s a struggle trying to work out 5-6 hours a day, keep up on laundry, meal prep, make time for family, work, etc. It’s a lifestyle that’s not very glamorous, but when you get it right, it’s still very rewarding.

Check out Pam Sorenson’s second Invicta FC bout this Saturday at 8 p.m. EST during Invicta FC 23 on UFC Fight Pass.