On the upcoming “Brace For War” all-female card, Fiona Muxlow will face Leanne Reid. Fiona takes some much appreciated time to talk with us about her training, women’s MMA in Australia, and her multi-disciplined background.
-You are a strong competitor in the BJJ world, how do you find transitioning between Gi training and No-Gi training depending on whatever competition or fight you have coming up next?
FIONA I’ve probably done no-gi now almost as long as I’ve done Gi now. I stopped training gi consistently back in 2007 when I went to the ADCC worlds and then had my MMA debut. I didn’t really put one back on till 2011 when I decided to try and qualify for both the ADCC and Abu Dhabi Pro in the same year and then got involved with Australian Girls in Gi. www.australiangirlsingi.com. I qualified for and competed in the ADCC World Championships a second time in 2011, but unfortunately got concussed by a knee to the eye in my Abu Dhabi Pro match (I didn’t expect that from a BJJ match).
I’m having to relearn to use my grips, only the other night I was doing gi work and my coach was like you “sub wrestled with him for the first round, he has a gi on remember your grips”. But it’s coming back and starting to feel more natural.
Also the start of 2012 my former training partner, Sophia, from when I lived in Melbourne and did exclusively BJJ, came to my club with here husband Robert Drysdale. They did a week of seminars all of which where no gi, but Sophia and I also rolled in the Gi. She and Jess Fraser from Australian Girls in Gi are the two people I credit for getting me interested in BJJ again. I did a two week stint over in Las Vegas training at Drysdale Jiu Jitsu in the lead up to the IBBJF Worlds and I’m so glad and grateful for their time as it defiantly helped improve my performance which resulted in me medaling internationally as a purple belt which is something I wanted to achieve. I’m still working with the gi at the moment as I’m now work towards my brown belt, but yes depending what comps or event I have coming up it will depend on where my focus will be. My coach and I modify my training based the rule that I am fighting to next. The Australian BJJ Championships are just over a month before the Brace Show and I have qualified to compete, so I’m still working in the gi, but I will let my coach decide closer to the event if I will compete in them or just focus on the Brace show. Earlier this year, before Brace came up I also qualified for the FILA world grappling championships in October in Russia, but will probably not go as it’s only two week before the Brace fight and I cannot afford the airfare to at the moment.
-You’ve competed in multiple disciplines of martial arts (Submission Grappling, Sambo, BJJ, Karate, etc), do you have a preferred?? Surely the multiple disciplines have provided you with an overall balance in MMA. Are you enjoying MMA??
FIONA -Yes MMA is great, hugging AND hitting what more could you want. Preference really depends on what mood I’m in on a given day or month. BJJ is more methodical which suits my style, but you get away with more in (in terms of escapes etc) with sub grappling. Sambo allows leg locks but not chokes and has a wide variety of takedown, I haven’t done karate for ages but the style I did merged well into my MMA striking. I’m defiantly enjoying MMA so it shares top spot with Sub Grappling, but BJJ is not far behind. Ask me again tomorrow and the order may have changed.
-Talk about Women’s MMA in Australia and New Zealand. Brace for War: All-Women’s Fight Card: How will this card have an affect on women’s MMA in Australia? And the other girls on the card.
FIONA -Hopefully the card will come off well. As far as I know for lots of the girls this card is their first MMA fight, but they bring a heap of experience form other combat sports. Others have fought amateur and this is there pro debut. Kya and Brace have supported WMMA from their earliest days, I fought on their second show BFW2 and they have had other female fights on mixed cards, scheualling clashes and other comps or injuries prevented me getting back on their card till now. When they where simply a clothing company (before they started promoting fights) they sponsored me and also outfitted the entire Australian team that fought on the Princesses of Pain show on 2008.
Alex Chambers is main event, which I think is awesome as she is quite experienced and has also fought internationally. There are a heap of fights, up to 16 now I think, so hopefully it will create a pool of fighters across several weigh divisions that Brace, and other promoters can pull from and put more WMMA fights on their cards
-What happened to “Princesses of Pain”? I know you’ve fought on this organization and was also great for women fighters in the South Pacific, but there doesn’t seem to be any current action going on with them.
FIONA-I’m not 100% sure on details you will have to ask them. I fought for them in 2007 and 2008 and I’m very thankful for them giving be the opportunities they did. Recently they had started focusing mostly on grass roots and entry level shows, giving girls a chance to fight modified/ armature rules. Their last show was in May 2012 and then in June they posted this on there facebook page.
“Just because I am not running fight events right now does not mean I am walking away from supporting you. I’m working on getting your fights up and I would help match fights and sponsor some when I can. The door is well and truly open I just need to do something else for a bit.”
-Talk about your training and your upcoming fight in Brace vs. Leanne Reid. Is much known about her?
FIONA -I’ve actually rolled BJJ with her back at the start of the year when I visited her club, this was way before the Brace event was planned, I know she is taller than me, what’s new, at 166cm ( 5’5) I’m always the short one. She is quite an experienced Kickboxer and is very tenacious so it should be fun. I’m just hoping we can but on a good show. With 9 weeks till fight night the training is starting to ramp up now. Striking, grappling, cage drills and conditioning are all on the cards. Needless to say there are times I’m a little tired but that comes with working hard and its good to feel that soreness when you know you have worked to earn it. At least the dieting hasn’t started yet. That’s in two weeks. We are fighting at 65kg (145lb) so I have a few kg to loose to get back on fight weight but right now I am fueling my training and its feeling good.
I’d like to thank my Coaches and training partners at Kickstart MMA, all the crew at CrossFit North Queensland, My sponsors Fenom Kimonos http://www.fenomkimonos.com/and Rocktape Australia http://rocktape.com.au/ ( if people put “Fiona” in the coupon code they will get a discount on rocktape)
And of course Leanne who will be stepping into the cage with me. What ever the outcome I know we are both going to bring it and I hope we put on a great show for the crowd.
-Thank you so much, Fiona!