When MMA fighter Liz Carmouche signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in December, she became the first openly gay fighter to join the organization. In February, she'll add another accomplishment to her sports roster when she competes in the UFC's first-ever female fight, going head-to-head with Ronda Rousey.
On HuffPost Live Thursday, Carmouche acknowledged that she's had a lot to be proud of lately.
"Everybody from the fans I had before to the new supporters have been nothing but positive," Carmouche told HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski.
Carmouche has only been competing in mixed martial arts for three years. Prior to that, the 28-year-old served in the Marine Corps, completing three tours of duty in the Middle East.
Carmouche, who served during the era of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," said it was a difficult period of her life.
"Unfortunately, I wasn't in a command that embraced homosexuality at all, and in fact, most of them were homophobes," Carmouche said. "It was very difficult to come into my own and come into my own sexuality in the military under that policy."
Now that her focus is fighting in the UFC, Carmouche told HuffPost Live that she is grateful to have found such an "incredibly accepting community."
"Here I am thinking I was going to receive a lot of animosity in mixed martial arts, and I've found quite the opposite," she said.
Carmouche will face off against Ronda Rousey in the first-ever female UFC fight on Feb. 23, 2013, in Anaheim, Calif.
Watch the Full Interview on HuffPost Live.