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Texas MMA Fighter Dedicates Victory To Late Niece

An MMA fighter dedicated her recent title-winning performance at a regional event to her niece that died earlier this year.

23-year-old Emily Crawford was driving west along the I-20 in March when she realized the car was running low on fuel, according to Texas news outlet Your Basin.

The report from the state’s Department of Public Safety detailed that Crawford pulled over to the shoulder of the road, but 61-year-old Willie Conner ended up crashing into the back of the car and killed the 23-year-old.

Crawford was kill in a car accident in March.

In addition to being a beloved member of the community in Big Spring, Texas, Crawford was also a huge fan and supporter of her aunt Desiree Yanez, who is a professional MMA fighter.

Yanez was deeply affected by the loss of her niece, and after her death, the 32-year-old recalled how Crawford was often present at her fights providing encouragement.

“Anyone who knew Emily was a very lucky person,” Yanez told Your Basin. “I could hear her voice in the stands: ‘That’s my tía, that’s my tía!’ I know that every fight from now on is for her.”

Yanez Gives Emotional Interview After Quick Victory

“Dirty Dez” had her first fight since Crawford’s death on October 22 in the main event of Peak Fighting 24 in Texarkana, Texas.

Facing Natalya Speece, Yanez was looking to snap a three-fight losing streak and capture the promotion’s flyweight title in addition to honoring the memory of her late niece.

On the night of the bout, the 32-year-old’s fight kit was adorned with the words “RIP Emmie”, which Yanez pointed to moments before earning the fastest victory of her career. “Dirty Dez” only needed 18 seconds to finish Speece with strikes and become the Peak Fighting women’s flyweight champion.

Yanez was able to stop Speece with strikes shortly after their fight began. (Peak Fighting)

Following the win, Yanez held an urn containing some of Emily’s ashes while she gave an emotional post-fight interview.

“This is for my niece who just passed away this year. This is for Emmie. Babygirl. All you baby. Thank you for your guidance. I love you. “

The 32-year-old improved to 6-4 overall with her win over Speece. Yanez previously picked up victories in LFA and Combate but went 0-2 for Bellator with a pair of decision losses in 2021.

You can also view Yanez’s impressive 2019 victory over Paulina Vargas in the video below.

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