I recently attended the Hook’n’Shoot 14th Year Anniversary Super Show. The card was packed with twelve fights; seven men and five women bouts. One of the women’s bouts pitted April Penrod against Patricia VanderMeer. Patricia won this fight in the 1st round by “technical submission”. This means the referee felt that since the fighter hadn’t tapped and seemed like they may not tap he called the fight in concern for April’s safety. It seemed rational and controversial. Patricia prior to fight agreed to answer a few questions if she won so I decided to take her up on the offer. Patricia first congratulations on the win and thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.
Fightergirls: Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? And what do you do when you’re not an MMA fighter?
Patricia: I’m from Hamilton, On Canada. When I’m not training I’m either at work, camping or sleeping. Or some combination of both, but don’t tell my boss I said that Work for me is a 9-5 job as a web developer for a small company based out of Burlington (1/2 way between home and training).
Fightergirls: What mixed martial arts do you train in? Which do you like training in the most?
Patricia: I train in Bjj, Boxing, Muay Thai, and Traditional Jui Jitsu, I also have a black belt in Judo which I teach on a regular basis but don’t really train in much anymore (it doesn’t fit in the schedule). I train pretty evenly in all of them.
Fightergirls: What made you decide to go from training in MMA to participating in MMA fights?
Patricia: When I started training it was with the intention to eventually bring it to the cage/ring. I have trouble doing something just for the sake of it. I have a very competitive nature.
Fightergirls: Do you participate in any other martial arts contests other than MMA?
Patricia: Not anymore. I used to be very active in the Judo Competition world, Winning several provincial championships, and nationals back in 2003. I overtrained and over-competed and got burnt out in that, which led me to MMA.
Fightergirls: Before the fight you told me if the fight went your way that you would strike and look for the takedown and finish on the ground. The plan seemed to be effective and you got the win. What happened with the arm bar?
Patricia: That was the plan, I didn’t stick to it entirely, I really wanted to work my kicks a bit, but it worked out ok. She hit me with a couple really good knees, and a couple low blow knees, so I decided that was enough of that and took her down. On the ground, I locked up one arm bar and she muscled her way out, I was being too nice giving her a chance to tap. That is the judo mindset in me still. In judo we get our subs on, and give the person a chance to tap, we don’t snap an arm right away. After she got out of the first one we moved around a bit and I locked on another one. This one was tighter and I was slowly putting the pressure on more and more every couple seconds to give her the opportunity to tap. I heard/felt some popping/snapping noises in her elbow just before the ref stopped it. She should have tapped well before then. But I’ve learned my lesson; I don’t think I will be giving anyone the opportunity to tap anymore. Not if they are going to cause such a fuss when the ref stops it.
Fightergirls: It’s a given the referee stopped the fight for April’s protection. It’s an amateur event and nobody wants to see anyone seriously injured. How do you feel about the referee’s choice?
Patricia: I think it was the right thing to do. She wasn’t defending herself intelligently, and to be honest the fight could have been stopped much earlier then that. At one point i was hitting her with very hard hooks straight to the nose/face on the ground. I think i hit her 5-7 times with no defense. I will give it to her she is very tough, and not a quitter, she’s got heart.
Fightergirls: After the fight you were offered a rematch in Vegas. You said you would take it if it were at 145. What prompted the decision to move from 155 to 145?
Patricia: As most people who know me know, I walk around at 155. It doesn’t make sense for me to fight at 155 where girls like April are cutting from 175-180. There are also a lot more girls to fight at 145. And if I go pro, there is NOTHING at 155. And let’s be honest. That’s where the face of women’s mma is. So that is where I’m going to need to be.
Fightergirls: Have you considered turning pro? Is there a milestone in mind?
Patricia: It’s in the plan. I can’t say when or where or anything, we haven’t gotten that far into it yet, I think a couple more ammy fights might be a good idea, but if I had an offer I would consider it at least. That’s getting a bit ahead of myself though. We shall see what happens.
Fightergirls: Is there anything you would like to say to close?
Patricia: I’d like to thank all my coaches and trainers at Buckley jiu jitsu. And all my friends and family for their support! I’d also like to thank my work for being supportive and allowing me to work around my fight schedule! Also I’d like to thank Jeff Osborne and the Hook’n’Shoot crew for putting on a great show and giving me the opportunity to fight. And last but not least I’d like to thank all the guys at Big Bully for all their support and allowing me to use their facility while I was down there. Thanks!
Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Winters