Name: Chrissy Yandolli
Fight Name: “The Doll”
Hometown: Smithtown, NY
Trains out of: Long Island MMA (Farmingdale, NY)
Amateur Championships: WPKA World title, ISKA North American title, PFK title and USKBA North American, Tri-State, New York State and Long Island titles
If you’ve been to a fight card in the greater Long Island/NYC area, chances are you have seen Long Island’s Chrissy “The Doll” Yandolli step in the ring or cage. Along with her skillful performances during her fights, the memorable reception from her fan base that always comes out to the support her is something fighters dream of.
“I attended a local kickboxing show on a fluke one night and instantly fell in love with it. The energy of the event. The crowd. The fighters. It opened up a whole new world of martial arts that I never knew existed. I realized they didn’t have any girls on the card and I wanted to be on the next card. The next day I walked into a random gym and told them I wanted to fight. They thought I was completely crazy, but I trained every day and was on the next card.”
Racking up an extensive amateur career in both kickboxing (27-1-1) and MMA (3-1), Yandolli, 35, reflects on the most memorable of her career. “My first kickboxing world title fight is the one that I have to say sticks out the most,” reflects Yandolli. “At that time it was the biggest fight of my life. I remember walking to the ring and actually feeling the energy of the crowd. [I was] thinking how much this meant not only to me but to everyone that had helped me get to that point. It was a completely humbling experience that I will never forget.
“I finally made the decision to turn pro in kickboxing last January and was able to get a fight right away and then my second pro fight was in February. In March I had the opportunity to travel back to Thailand to train for a few weeks.”
Yandolli refers to her second opportunity to travel and train with the Tiger Muay Thai team in Phuket, Thailand.
Throughout her 15-year career, she encountered an obstacle that many athletes face. Injuries.
After tearing her ACL in 2013, resulting in surgery, training and competing was put on hold for some time, Yandolli found herself bit by the injury bug yet again last year shortly after turning pro in January.
“After I came home in April I decided to take a little time off. In that time off I was playing recreational soccer and re-injured my right knee. I had torn my ACL in 2013 and partially tore it again. Currently I have been in physical therapy and I am hopeful I’ll be able to return to the ring this summer.”
Another obstacle that particularly female combat sport athletes face the most is the struggle of finding opponents. With the sport still evolving as a whole, and especially for female divisions, Yandolli finds herself taking match-ups whenever and wherever she can.
“Being that it is a male based sport a lot of females get deterred by trying it quite easily. But now that women’s fighting is in the spotlight I hope that changes.” Having only competed professional in kickboxing, she does not rule out re-visiting the cage as well. “I currently do not have any plans on returning to MMA, but I’m also not ruling it out. Sometimes fights are hard to come by so I’ll never completely rule anything out.”
Getting healthy and rehabbing is the top priority for Yandolli. Once she gets the green light expect to see “The Doll” back in the ring to continue her reign in the local fight scene. “I’m focused on getting myself healthy again and back in the ring quickly. After that I’m planning on taking as many fights as I can.”
To keep up with her road back to the ring, check out Chrissy “The Doll” Yandolli on her Facebook page and Instagram @ChrissyYandolli.