She may look diminutive at just over 5-feet tall and a buck-twenty-five, but 24-year-old Felice Herrig can definitely hold her own, whether it’s kickboxing or muay Thai (a form of martial arts). The pride of Buffalo Grove has been honing her fight skills since she was 18, currently sparring with men in Schaumburg. It’s paid off with appearances on Oxygen network’s Fight Girls and she even caught the eye of Chuck Norris and his World Combat League. We visited with the former aesthetician before her Saturday 15 battle at the Congress Theater.
Time Out Chicago: When did you start fighting?
Felice Herrig: My dad was in martial arts and [so was] my brother-in-law…so I grew up watching them train. And I had hanging heavy bags in my garage and speed bags. I used to watch them both just go at it in training.
TOC: And that looked fun?
Felice Herrig: Yeah. I’ve always been a very aggressive girl, very athletic. I was always the fastest runner in school. I was always the strongest. I was always beating all the boys in everything. [Laughs]
TOC: Were you a playground bully growing up?
Felice Herrig: No, no, not at all. Actually, a lot of guys, well, guys wouldn’t pick on me, but if they did, I would be the girl that would stand up for herself. And in some little kiddy fights, when I was a kid, I did beat up on boys. So, yeah, I did, but only as a kid.
TOC: Did that make it difficult come prom or homecoming?
Felice Herrig: No, no. I’m a very girly girl.
TOC: At this point, are you able to focus strictly on fighting, or do you have to hold down a day job?
Felice Herrig: I was an aesthetician for five years. Actually, when I decided to turn pro a year ago, I did give up my job just to focus strictly on fighting, and I managed to make do. But at the same time it’s very hard. I struggle because I never know when my next paycheck’s going to be. But the opportunities keep presenting themselves, and I believe that happens when you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing in life. If you have faith, and when you believe, things just kind of work out the way they’re supposed to. But man, every month I’m like, “Oh my gosh, when’s the next paycheck?” So by no means am I rich. I actually moved back home when I decided to turn pro.
TOC: Is this your first chance to fight in front of the hometown crowd?
Felice Herrig: It will be my first pro fight here. I haven’t fought here in two and a half years. It’s my first fight here since Fight Girls, since World Combat League. Now that I have a fan base, it’s really nice that I get to fight here because I actually post all over MySpace constantly…I have almost 7,000 [MySpace] friends now.
TOC: We have to ask, what’s your relationship status?
Felice Herrig: You can say I’m single…but I don’t know how my boyfriend will feel about that. [Laughs] It’s really hard. I’m an entertainer, so you know, guys think you’re single and available.
Herrig puts up a fight in the ring at the Congress Center, Sat 15 at 7:30pm.