Former MMA fighter Sharice Davids is projected to win Kansas's 3rd District for Democrats and unseat four-term Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder, reportsThe Hill.
Davids, who is member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, will be one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. The attorney and former White House Fellow is also the first openly LGBT person to represent the state of Kansas, reportsThe Kansas City Star.
She joins more than 100 other women projected to win seats in the House of Representatives. According to the Washington Post, women have never held more than 84 of the 435 seats in the House.
"We have the opportunity to reset expectations about what people think when they think of Kansas,” Davids said during her victory speech, according to the Star. "We know there are so many of us who welcome everyone, who see everyone and who know that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed."
Davids, who graduated from Cornell with a law degree, highlighted her MMA background in a campaign ad.
"This is a tough place to be a woman. I’ve been put down, pushed aside, knocked out,” Davids said in a voiceover in the video. "It’s clear [President Donald] Trump and the Republicans in Washington don’t give a damn about anyone like me or anyone who doesn’t think like them."
Davids began fighting amateur MMA in 2006 and went pro in 2013. She compiled a record a 1–1 record. She also tried out for The Ultimate Fighter 20 but didn't win.
In March, Davids told MMA Fighting that her time spent cage fighting will transition well to life in Congress.
"For me, it impacts every facet of my life,” Davids said. "From my ability in staying calm — and it’s not to say I don’t get upset or any of that stuff. But I do think that like when you spend a while bunch of time literally getting punched, if you get angry every time you get punched, you’re not gonna last that long, because you’re gonna get burnt out.
"Just knowing that you do this thing on a regular basis that most people, one, never experience, and two, that you can recognize that you can disentangle your emotions from your physical state, from your ability to perform. For me just being able to recognize that, having that mindset is really, really helpful."