Pediatric ICU nurse trains to become professional MMA fighter

(WSVN) - In the early morning hours, Cristina Brador is a pediatric nurse at Miami’s Holtz Children’s Hospital.

She has a passion for taking care of young patients.

In the afternoon, Brador’s desire is to inflict some pain inside the octagon as an MMA fighter.

“Every time I hit someone, in particular accurate, it is power that I’ve never had before,” she said.

The 28-year-old has empowered herself to have two separate careers — in and out of the cage.

Brador spent several months in New York City as a visiting COVID nurse, but her demanding schedule treating patients didn’t stop her from training.

She recently won her first MMA fight by TKO in West Palm Beach.

“[It was] an out-of-body experience almost,” said Brador. “Three rounds, got a knock out in the third round. The most tired I’ve ever been in my life. I thought I was in the best shape I’ve ever been in and by the third round I was exhausted, but I’m inspired to get in better shape and hopefully get a knock out in the first or second round my next fight.”

Brador spends three to four hours a day at the MMA Masters gym, six days a week in an effort to refine her striking skills to prepare for her second fight.

Her goal is to soon turn professional in the UFC.

“It’s amazing to have people like Cris that take care of people during the day and she can fight at night,” said MMA coach Daniel Valverde. “Mentally, she’s very strong. We say she has a lot of heart. She never quits, she never gives up.”

“When someone’s ‘attacking you’ in the cage, you have to be able to react in a manner that’s not just blinded by aggression and power. It’s more intricate, it’s more about your skillset, which is the same idea when I’m in an emergency in the pediatric ICU,” said Brador. “We have to be able to know what we’re going to do right now, and although there might be chaos going on around us, I need to be able to focus and have a clear mind.”

Brador, aka “King Braids” when she’s fighting, plans to announce her second fight in a matter of weeks.

Her goal is to stay active to join the professional ranks but also keep juggling both careers.

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