Julie Kedzie is a pioneer. One of the earliest stars of women’s mixed martial arts. Winning tournaments, championships and displaying her talent on platforms such as Showtime back when the UFC refused to have women competing in their promotion. Her resume speaks for itself.
Even after retirement from competition Kedzie continues to contribute to the sport working for leading women’s MMA promotion Invicta FC. It is no exaggeration to say Kedzie is one of the few athletes that helped put women’s MMA on the map leading the way to the mainstream success it enjoys today.
Now Kedzie is taking another pioneering step in combat sports. She is one of the first women to pledge her brain to CTE research.
Leading CTE researching studies desperately need female participants. Whether it is volunteering for medical imaging and cognitive testing with the Professional Athletes Brain Health Study, or donating your brain post mortem to the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, or other leading facilities (like Hall of Fame boxer Eder Jofre recently did) researchers have disproportionately few female participants.
Kedzie learned about this imbalance and did not hesitate to make this significant pledge for CTE research advancement. Kedzie was kind enough to give me some insight into her thought process behind this important donation and she sensibly noted “I just thought it was the right thing to do and wanted to know how to do it, and then did it!”
On behalf of myself personally, and on behalf of Fighting Foundation, a public thank you to Jule “Fireball” Kedzie. You are a one of a kind badass! Thank you for continue to blaze trials in this sport.