Tara LaRosa grew up in Woodstown. Her parents own and operate La Rosa Greenhouses, which they operate there.
In MMA, Tara was the DaMMAge Fight League Women’s Super Flyweight Champion, Locked in the Cage Women’s Flyweight Champion, BodogFight Women’s Bantamweight Champion and the UCW Women’s Bantamweight Champion. In professional MMA, she holds victories over notable opponents such as Shayna Baszler, Amanda Buckner, Carina Damm, Alexis Davis, Takayo Hashi, Julie Kedzie, Kelly Kobold and Sally Krumdiak. In MMA, Tara has competed for such promotions as BodogFight, ExtremeChallenge, Hook N Shoot, Invicta, Mixed Fighting Championships, Shark Fights, Shooto, Smack Girl and the UFC.
In addition to the United States, she has competed in mixed martial arts in British Columbia, Costa Rica and Tokyo. She has competed in 24 professional contests in mixed martial arts. LaRosa had her professional MMA debut scheduled for May 2001 in Georgia at the Submission Fighting Open 7. However, the State of Georgia would not permit females to compete in MMA so the contest was changed to a grappling match.
LaRosa’s first MMA fight was a 2002 bantamweight bout versus Shelby Walker in HOOKnSHOOT. She won via tap due to punches.
In 2005, she competed in two fights in Japan where she won both contests by decision.
In 2006, LaRosa’s input to the New Jersey State Athletic Commission led to equal round numbers and lengths for women, and the liberalization of acceptable chest and groin protection.
In BodogFight, LaRosa fought Amanda Buckner in August 2006, a highly touted contest in Costa Rica. She submitted Buckner by rear-naked choke with 29 seconds left in the fight. On her second competition held in Costa Rica, in February 2007, LaRosa won via technical knockout against Shayna Baszler. In between those bouts, in December 2006, LaRosa fought Julia Berezikova, a member of Fedor Emelianenko’s Russian Red Devil team and won via armbar submission. In July 2007, LaRosa met Kobold at BodogFight held in Trenton for their 135-pound women’s championship. LaRosa won the fight via armbar submission in the fourth round of a highly exciting contest.
With specific regard to contests held in New Jersey, Tara defeated Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision in Atlantic City at MFC, Boardwalk Blitz on March 2006. She faced Hitomi Akano at MFC, USA vs. Russia 3 on June 2006 in Atlantic City, and won the fight by unanimous decision. LaRosa opposed Alexis Davis at Extreme Challenge, The War at the Shore in Atlantic City and won by 3rd round TKO on January 2009. In March 2009, she won via kimura submission at Extreme Challenge, Mayhem at the Marina in Atlantic City against Sally Krumdiak. LaRosa met Takayo Hashi at DaMMAge Fight League 1 in Atlantic City on November 2010 and she won by unanimous Decision in five rounds.
In 2013, she was selected for the UFC’s, The Ultimate Fighter television program, the first time female fighters were included.
In 2009, LaRosa was asked by the Association of Boxing Commissions to formally submit her opinions with regard to rules and requirements specifically regarding women’s mixed martial arts.
She has placed second in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships in 2005 and again in 2007 when it was held in Trenton. In NAGA grappling, LaRosa has won belts on sixteen occasions, including one in a men’s advanced division. At Grapplers Quest, she won the Copa Alantica Women’s Advanced crown. At FILA, she has multiple medals from her appearances in the World Wrestling Games.
Tara is a brown belt in judo and received her purple belt in jiu jitsu from Royce Gracie and is a Level 2 certified Modern Army Combatives Instructor.