Erin Young Toughill (born June 13, 1977) is a retired mixed martial artist and former boxer and American Gladiator.
She began kickboxing at the age of 18 and started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu soon after.
Under the watch of her LA Boxing trainer Sean McCully, Toughill debuted in mixed martial arts on September 27, 1999 and fought to a draw with Irma Verhoeff at World Vale Tudo Championship 9 in Aruba.
Less than a year later, she made her professional boxing debut on July 20, 2000.
Along with her MMA career, Toughill holds a professional boxing record of 7 wins, 3 losses, 1 draw and 1 no contest.
She counts IBF Super Middleweight contender Librado Andrade, a long-time sparring partner, among her close friends.
Toughill remained undefeated with nine consecutive victories before losing her battle against Laila Ali. Her final boxing match was against Laura Ramsey, whom she defeated previously. Toughill lost the fight by TKO in the first round and retired soon after with a record of 7-3-1, 1 NC.
After going 1-1-1 in her first three bouts, Toughill won five straight fights before losing in the finals of the 2004 Smackgirl World ReMix Tournament to Megumi Yabushita. She competed once more and scored a TKO victory over Jen Case in 2006.
In 2007, Toughill retired from both boxing and MMA. Toughill came out of retirement from MMA and fought Jan Finney on November 20, 2008 at Palace Fighting Championships 11. Despite cutting over 20 pounds (9.1 kg) to make the contracted weight limit, Toughill was victorious and later went on to defeat Karen Williams and Emily Thompson in subsequent events for PFC after a fight with Adrienna Jenkins was cancelled due to injury.
Toughill was set to make her Strikeforce debut on November 7, 2009 at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers in a rematch with Marloes Coenen, whom Toughill defeated in 2004. However, she later withdrew from the fight due to an undisclosed medical condition.
On March 18, 2010, Toughill announced that she was planning to leave Strikeforce. She had been scheduled to compete on the undercard of Strikeforce: Nashville on April 17. However, in a second posting on April 9, 2010, Toughill attributed the disagreements with Strikeforce to misunderstandings and stated that she would be staying with the promotion.
Toughill was scheduled to face Shana Olsen at Strikeforce: Houston on August 21, 2010, but the fight was cancelled due to concerns over Toughill's ability to make weight. According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, Toughill's next fight will not take place in Strikeforce, but she remains a part of the promotion's roster.
Toughill was offered to face Cristiane Santos for a bout in 2010, but the fight never came into fruition.
Toughill was scheduled to compete outside of Strikeforce against China's Bao Yu Dan at Martial Combat 9 on September 15, 2010 in Singapore. However, on September 13, Toughill withdrew from the fight after citing a broken clavicle.
Toughill returned to active competition after nearly two years at Freestyle Cage Fighting 46 on April 9, 2011. The fight was against Ashley Sanchez at a 160 lb (73 kg) catchweight (per Toughill's request). Toughill lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Toughill agreed to face Anna Barone at BlackEye Promotions 5 on October 1, 2011 in Fletcher, North Carolina, but withdrew from the fight after suffering a rib injury in training.
Toughill became a cast member of NBC's primetime series, the American Gladiators, where she became known as Steel.
Erin married Neil Melanson, a grappling coach and lead Jiu-Jitsu instructor at Xtreme Couture, in a private ceremony on November 20, 2009. Melanson also serves as the primary grappling coach for UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, and has cornered Couture during several recent MMA fights. The couple is currently going through a divorce.
Toughill's younger sister, Megan, was killed in a car accident on September 19, 2004, which was about three weeks before her title fight with Yvonne Reis.
Toughill was featured on MSNBC's Warrior Nation as she prepared for a fight.Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under James Boran
2001 ReMix Golden Gate Japan Champion
W-Fusion 2001 Japan Champion