UWC 7 Preview: Iman Achhal vs. Sumie Sakai

When I call Achhal one of the toughest people I've ever met in this video, I'm not kidding. After she fled Morocco to escaped an arranged marriage, she had to endure this in America:

She left her family, her religion and her country to pursue a life that better suited her "independence," Anas said.

"My family is my coaches and my trainers," said Iman, who spent most of the 10 years after she left her father's home working as a day laborer, braving frigid early mornings in front of local convenience stores waiting to hop onto the back of a contractor's truck.

She said she spent one winter homeless, finding shelter in a tent at Bull Run Regional Park in Manassas.

"So you're not allowed to live in a park, so I had to basically just pretend like I was camping," Achhal said. "The only bad thing in that picture is that it was snowing and really cold, so a lot of people were looking at me like, 'There is no way you like being in a tent,' but I had to make it look like it was awesome."

In her professional debut, she got her face and nose broken, but gutted through a three-round fight and eventually won a decision. She's got a long climb before she's ever a top-ranked female MMA fighter, but her perseverance in the face of tremendous adversity is something every combat sports fan should admire.

She takes on Sumie Sakai October 3rd at UWC 7: Redemption.

Disclosure: I am the color commentator for the UWC.

UWC 7: Redemption coverage

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