MMA fighter from NC gets unexpected benefit from bathroom incident on live TV

Justine Kish
Justine Kish

The puns have been merciless since an MMA fighter from Cramerton had the unfortunate experience of defecating during a match Sunday in Oklahoma City, Okla., but Justine Kish is not backing away from discussing the matter.

It may even help her career, based on some sponsorship offers, she said in a recent interview.

Kish is an Ultimate Fighting Championship female fighter and the incident happened when she was facing Felice Herrig in a UFC event that was nationally televised by Fox Sports 1.

Justine Kish had a crappy day this past Sunday,” said a story in MMAweekly. “Astute viewers noticed a smattering of some sort of substance on the Octagon floor during the fight between Kish and Herrig and it didn’t take long to figure out what exactly happened.”

Kish, a former South Point High School athlete, has kept a sense of humor about it, joking about “maybe eating too much fiber” and admitting: “I got the (expletive) choked out of me.”

She has reason to be upbeat. The incident won her “a ton of exposure” and some potential sponsors, she says, including ongoing negotiations with a company called Dude Wipes. It makes designer toilet tissue.

“I was humiliated,” she said during a recent interview on The Domenick Nati Show. “And was like ‘how do I reach out to my fans?’ The bell went off and I noticed something and was like ‘what is that smell?’ thinking it was a referee. Did he just pass gas or something? And think I looked on the floor and then I see myself and I'm like ‘oh no. Oh my God, that’s me’.”

Kish said there was never any doubt that she had to “own it,” considering it happened on TV in front of millions.

“Everything is high definition,” she told Nati. “There are a billion cameras. I come home, my mom was like: ‘Why would you tell everyone you did that?’ I told her: ‘Mom, there’s no denying it’.”

The Charlotte Observer profiled Kish in 2014. She was born Svetlana Nasibulina and was living in an orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia, when she was adopted at age 5 by a couple in the United States.

Her new father was a doctor in charge of an emergency room in western Pennsylvania. He died in a car accident a year after she arrived. She and her adoptive mother, Laurel Kish, moved to Cramerton to be nearer Laurel’s adult children.

Kish excelled at athletics at Gaston Day School, Cramerton Middle School and South Point High School in Belmont. She started with karate at 12 and went on to earn a black belt. She then went on to kickboxing and other martial arts, eventually finding a careers as both a teacher and professional fighter.

MMAweekly.com reported on Monday that Kish says she got a call from UFC president Dana White, who offered words of encouragement.

“He (White) said ‘you fought like hell out there and I love how you owned up to it’,” Kish told the website.