Pam “Bam” Sorenson is a professional MMA fighter and a kickboxing coach at The Cellar Gym. She is currently the #1 ranked female MMA fighter in Minnesota and the #10 ranked female featherweight in the WORLD!
Before she started martial arts, she’d been an athlete her whole life, playing soccer and volleyball as a youth and excelling in cross-country running and skiing in high school. In college, however, she had fewer opportunities to participate in sports, and she stopped competing entirely.
Realizing that she was feeling unfulfilled and out of shape, Pam decided to try kickboxing as a fun and positive way to take control of her fitness. After reaching out to a few local gyms and failing to find the right fit, she called The Cellar Gym and scheduled an intro lesson with the head coach, Chris, the very next day. She immediately loved the energy of the gym, and she knew right away that the Cellar was the right place for her.
Feeling determined, Pam committed to one full year at the Cellar and quickly reached her fitness goals. When the gym brought in a new Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt instructor, Pam started training in BJJ and adding more skills to her arsenal. The new instructor loved to compete, and Pam felt inspired to start registering for local BJJ tournaments.
Pam realized how much she missed the competitive spirit she’d had during her high school athlete days. In 2013, she decided to take the next leap and told Coach Chris that she wanted to take an MMA fight. Over the next two years, Pam had a successful amateur career, also competing in Muay Thai and kickboxing.
Pam made her professional MMA debut in late 2015. Since then, she has made her way to the top of Invicta FC, North America’s largest women’s-only MMA promotion. Pam says that in addition to competing against some of the best female fighters in the world, she wants to inspire girls and show them that they don’t have to fit the normal gender stereotypes. “You don’t have to be super girly,” Pam says. “It’s okay to be tough. It’s okay to be able to fight. And you don’t have to be a size zero to do it.”
Although it’s common for successful professional fighters to move to a bigger gym, Pam says she has no intention of ever leaving the Cellar. She’s gained a tight-knit community of supportive friends and dedicated athletes, and she says they help her stay on track. “We all help build each other up,” she says. “I’ve made a lot of really great friends and they’ve helped me stay with my journey to not only be healthy, but be a good competitor.”