OCEANSIDE - As the military decides which combat jobs should be open to women, one Camp Pendleton Marine is making her mark with combat of a different sort.
Sgt. Misha Nassiri is an ammunitions technician. When she isn't serving her country, she's serving up plenty of punishment.
"I love being able to impose my will on another person," said Nassiri.
10News caught up with Nassiri at The Compound, a mixed martial arts gym in Oceanside, where she was training hard a month after her first MMA fight.
That night, using a flurry of punches and kicks, she broke her opponent in just 20 seconds.
Drawing upon a lifelong love of karate and mental toughness honed in the Marines, she is believed to be the only female active-duty Marine currently in the professional ranks of the MMA.
Between training and the Marines, she does not sleep much. Instead, she lives off her love of fighting and this.
"The greatest feeling is when people come up to you and say you inspire them," said Nassiri.
Right now, the military is weighing how to integrate women into combat roles.
10News reporter Michael Chen asked, "There are people that will point to you and say, there's an example of why women should do any job in the military. Are you ready for that?"
"I'm definitely ready for that," answered Nassiri. "I want to exemplify the fact that female Marines can do anything. I want them to get a chance to do it."
Nassiri says she was contemplating a combat role but has decided to leave the Marines when her enlistment is up this fall to become a professional fighter.
Her next fight is scheduled for late March.