Home: MMA Women: Erin Toughill: Inside Info


erin toughill

Erin Toughill is...tough as steel. The Mixed Martial Artist and former boxer has earned the nickname “Steel” in both arenas, MMA and boxing.

With an MMA record of 10 wins and only two losses and an 8 win, 2 loss professinal boxing record, Toughill is tough indeed.


Born on June 13, 1977, Erin Young Toughill began kickboxing at the age of 18. Shortly thereafter, she began training in Brazilia Jiu-Jitsu.

Professional Debut

erin toughill
By 1999, Erin made her professional MMA debut against Irma Verhoeff at the World Vale Tudo Championship 9 that was held in Aruba. It was a fight to the draw event that lasted 15 minutes and ended in a draw.

After the fight, Erin commented that it was her hardest bout ever. She was quoted as telling Benny Henderson of Doghouse Boxing:

“She was a brute. We fought for one 15 minitue round and...I was happy that I did so well with someone of that caliber. It was a great learning experience and I knew I had a future in this sport. I also knew that if I wanted to keep doing this, I would actually have to train.

Professional Boxing Debut

Erin's pro boxer debut was on July 20, 2000 in Irvine, California at the Marriot Hotel. Up against Elizabeth Rumpf, after a four-rounder, Erin lost by unanimous decision. She attributed the loss to lack of proper training.

Erin continued to fight in both MMA and boxing. On August 26, 2000, she took on Coreena Grizoff in Fresno, California in a boxing match. After four rounds, Erin Toughill won via unanimous decision.

It was on October 7 of 2000 that she faced off with Veronica Sanchez who was making her boxing debut.

erin toughill
Toughill put into play her reach advantage and put out some effective left jabs early on.

Although Sanchez eventually worked her way past the jabs, she could never seize the fight. Erin won the four-round majority decision.

Erin Toughill was undefeated for her first 9 boxing matches with 8 wins and one no contest. But it is her bout with Laila Ali, daughter of Mahamad Ali, that remains the most famous.

The Ali Fight

The fight took place on June 11, 2005 and although Erin lost by TKO in round one, the fight is considered to be one of the most violent female to female fights in history.

Erin's final boxing match was against Laura Ramsy. She lost in round one by TKO and retired shortly after wth record of 8-2-1 1 no contest.

As far as Erin's MMA career, she was 1-1-1 by the end of her third time in the ring. She won five fights before finally loosing to Megumi Yabushita in the finals of Smackgirl 2004 World ReMix Tournament.

The next fight was against Jen Case in 2006 and won via TKO.


In 2007, Erin retired from both MMA and boxing but then appeared as “Steel” in the second season of the American Gladiators remake.

By November 2008 she had come out of retirement and faced off with Jan Finney at Palace Fighting Championships 11. Erin won three minutes into the third round by unanimous decision.

Toughill had to drop 20 pounds to make weight but even still she went on to defeat both Karen Williams and Emily Thompson for PFC.

Erin then went on to fight in Strikeforce. She was set to debut in November 2009 against Marloes Coenen. Erin Toughill had defeated Coenen already but the two never made it to the ring because Erin withdrew for a medical condition.

Another bout was canceled as well between Erin and Shana Olsen on August 21, 2010 in Houston, Texas. The fight did not happen due to Erin not making weight.

erin toughill
Strikefoce problems

Though on March 18, 2010 Toughill announced she would be leaving Strikeforce, she later said the problems with Strikeforce were smoothed over and chalked them up to misunderstandings. She stated she would be staying on with Strikeforce.

It was then announced by Strike-force's CEO, Scott Coker, that Erin Toughill would not be fighting for them in her next fight, but that she did remain part of their promotion.

Once again, Erin was due to fight but did not. Set up against Bao Yu Dan of China in Singapore, Toughill withdrew over a broken clavicle.

Erin is married to a grappling coach. He coaches such greats as Randy Couture. His name is Neil Melanson and he is also a lead instructor at Xtreme Couture.

When will Erin fight again?

Though that question is yet to be answered and equally unsure if the bout will actually go to the ring, given Erin's cancellation record, the one thing is for sure: get her in the ring and she is going to be...tough as steel!

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