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Category:Interviews female fighters
Interviews female fighters Fighter girls interviews of women and girls in martial arts or other extreme sports women love. Read about female training and fitness for these women and girls and their struggles to fight like a girl in the male dominated sport.
Interviews female fighters
Fighter girls have interviews and comments for these women that first started MMA in 2001 to present. Fighter girls is the worlds first women’s MMA website and store back when women could not get on the male dominated sport of MMA come read about their struggles to get women to get on the UFC card. In our world every girl and women is a Fighter girl.
Jennifer Howe is an undefeated female MMA fighter and here is a great interview with pro fighter Jennifer Howe. Every wonder what it’s like to be the only female member of one of the most successful MMA teams around, a team that includes two current UFC Champions, Jens Pulver and Matt Hughes, and one past UFC champion, Pat Militech?
Well, here’s your chance to find out. Here’s our interview with Jennifer Howe, the only female member of Team Extreme. This interview was done on 2/23/02. Here’s your chance to find out what one of the top female fighters out there has to say, so don’t miss this rare glimpse at this undefeated fighter. If you’re not familiar with Jennifer, you can check out her profile by clicking here.
About Jennifer Howe
FighterGirls A lot of people name you as one of the if not the top female fighter in the sport today, how do you feel about that? Jennifer Howe What other people think isn’t so much a concern to me. I’m sure for every positive comment; there are many negative ones out there. I just love competing, not what others think about it.
FG How long have you been with Walt Bayless? JH I’ve been at Walt Bayless for five years.
FG How did it affect you and the people you train with when Walt left? JH It’s Walt’s friendship that I miss the most. He taught me much more then just jiu-jitsu.
FG Do you still get to see and talk to him? JH I haven’t seen much of him since he left, but we still talk.
FG Who is your trainer now? JH Griffen Reynaud
FG Do you guys train with a gi? JH No, that’s not a sport I’m interested in.
FG Who are some of the people that you train with? JH Justin Ellison, Steven Comm, James Saccomano
FG Who is your manager? JH Monte Cox
FG How long have you wanted to fight Judy Neff? JH I’ve just been hoping to get a fight, no one person in particular.
FG Is there any girl you do not want to fight? JH I don’t really know whose out there.
FG How do you feel about the all women’s Hook N Shoot card? JH I feel this is a great opportunity for female fighters who are really serious about it.
FG If given the chance, would you like to go to Japan and fight? JH Sure, If I could fit it in my schedule, I’d love to.
FG How long have you been boxing? JH I’ve been boxing for two years.
FG How long in mma? JH About two years.
FG Who was your hardest fight? JH I respect all of my opponents.
FG How did it make you feel after training to fight 3 separate opponents in MN and then not fighting, did this discourage you? JH Frustrated as always. I can understand someone pulling out because their injured, that makes sense, but it really bothers me when my opponent pulls out a couple of weeks before just because.
FG Have you found yourself in similar situations in the past? JH You’ll find that in female competition, for every four you agree to do, one will happen.
FG How are you preparing for this fight? JH The same as I always do.
FG You have been fighting a lot longer then most of the women out there, do you have any advice for the newer girls that are just getting started? JH The only thing I would say is learn as much as you can from each opponent and have fun.
FG What’s your normal training schedule? JH I train about four to five days a week, three hours each day. Each day a grapple, do combat conditioning, and box.
FG What is your favorite organization to fight in? JH I love fighting in the Extreme Challenge. My opponents always show up. I haven’t had as much luck with the others. Also, the promoter (Monte Cox) isn’t flaky like some of the others I’ve met.
FG What do you think about females that hand pick their opponents? JH I’ve never met one and I don’t pay to much attention to what’s said. You can’t believe everything you hear.
FG Are you a computer/internet user? JH Once I graduated college I had no use for it anymore. My life is too busy to waste time surfing the net.
FG We never see you post on the Internet, is that because you do not go on to the net, or just because you want to avoid the drama? JH I have a career and I’m a single mom with two boys. Every extra minute I have goes to training. When would I have time to post on the Internet? Besides, what does my training and competing have to do with how much I can talk. Listening to what everyone has to say only clouds your mind. It can make overconfident or help you to lose confidence in yourself.
FG What was the reason behind the big lay off from fighting you had a while back? JH I was given a promotion at work, which demanded much more time from me. Once I got settled I realized I missed competing and got back into it.
FG Do you look at the upcoming Hook and Shoot card as anything other than another fight? JH No. I’m just looking forward to competing.
Interview Stephanie Shark Gonzalez MMA Stephanie Gonzalez is a 24 year old dedicated fighter from Southern California. She trains at SoCal Fight Factory in Palmdale, CA coached by Chris Sparks, Fritz Rodriguez and Sumpan Boonsook. Stephanie “The Shark” Gonzalez has the work ethic and passion for fighting that makes all of us at Fighter Girls excited to have her representing the sport of women’s MMA. She hopes to one day soon be fighting pro at Invcita and we can’t wait to root her on when she is!
Interview Stephanie Shark Gonzalez MMA
FighterGirls: What type of fighting do you train in? Stephanie: I train in boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (blue belt) and Muay Thai.
FG: How long have you been fighting? S: I have been training for about 5 years in MMA and started competing a year and a half ago.
About Stephanie Gonzalez
FG: What got you interested in MMA and fighting? S: I initially began in a women’s cardio kick boxing class. I have been an athlete my whole life but I was looking to try something new. I googled kickboxing in my local area and found a gym near by. I went to check it out and tried the class that same night. I kept going and eventually it led me to doing three back to back classes every night. Management took notice of me and offered me to try Muay Thai. Muay Thai led to BJJ and boxing and the rest is history. My gym is my second home and owe my successes to them. (SoCal Fight Factory)
FG: What is your favorite fighting style? S: It’s hard to say but I would say Muay Thai and BJJ. Muay Thai came easy for me and I could understand it because I played soccer my entire life, kicking was natural to me. I like BJJ because it was a whole new world. The only type of submission fighting I knew was that of WWE (she laughs). BJJ teaches you to use muscles not normally used and is effective for even small girls like me.
FG: What is a typical day of training for you like? S: Everyday is a different day for me. I work 12 hr shifts with a rotating schedule. Typically, I get off my long shift and run to my gym to either BJJ or Muay thai for a few hours then back home to eat, bed and get ready for the next long shift. On my off day I train 2-3 sessions. Normally early morning conditioning, afternoon MMA/boxing and BJJ and Muay Thai at night.
Stephanie Gonzales Fight Training
FG: With a jam packed training routine, you must keep your diet pretty tight too. What is your cheat/guilty pleasure you allow yourself? S: Ohh man, anyone who really knows me, knows that my life is not complete without buffalo chicken wings. It’s the first thing I eat after a fight and the food I miss the most when cutting.
FG: How do you feel as a woman in a male dominated sport? S: In all honesty, I feel this is where my confidence comes from. I have always been the type of girl that wants to do what the boys are doing. I’ve never been a pink and fluffy type of girl. I am very competitive. I have brothers and have played on all the boys teams growing up. WMMA is on the rise and I am not only proud, but blessed to be a small contribution to the sport.
FG: What do you feel is the greatest hardship for women in MMA? S: Simply, there is not enough of us. I have one other girl in our gym that competes and has done very well. But we’re both working girls and trying to synch schedules is almost impossible. It’s not like the guys where you have many different partners. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my male partners but I wish I had more girls to train with.
FG: Your nickname as a fighter is The Shark. How did you get that? S: It was given to me after my second fight I won via TKO. The name The Shark has kinda taken over (she laughs). I refer to it on Facebook and Instagram , I like to share my work out songs with my followers and call it “Shark tank music” . We also say “Shark bait ooh aha” at my fights or rolling on the mats. (Follow Stephanie on Instagram #sharkbabeoohlala)
FG: What has been your favorite fight? S: All my fights have a story behind them or have taught me something. From my winning streak, to the first female AMMY champion in my state to my first loss. My Tuff-N-Uff title 115 title situation . I can’t say that I have a favorite fight but I will say I love the journey MMA has put me on.
FG: What does the future hold for you in the world of MMA? S: As of now I am 5-2 in the amateurs. I feel that is a big accomplishment. I am looking to turning pro and with hard work I will continue as a successful fighter.
FG: What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? S: I’ve read all the Harry Potter books about 5 times each!
RISING STARS Jessica Bednark Fighter Name: Jessica Bednark Record: 5-1 Pro MMA, 0-1 World Combat League, 0-1 Pro Boxing Weight Class: 135, Jessica Bednark had my 1st two MMA fights at 145, fought spring 2008 in the WCL at 128 Fights Out of: St. Cloud, MN . There is a boxing gym in town that my boyfriend Jay and I use as a facility to train in. My boyfriend Jay has solid wrestling skills (placed in State twice in high school in Minnesota) and has been kickboxing for about 5 years. He is 5’4, 140 lbs, so he is the same weight as me.
RISING STARS Jessica Bednark Fighter
I thought I had a harder work ethic than anyone I trained with until I met Jay. He pushes me hard every day, wearing me out and expecting me to not slow my pace or get sloppy. He is the best training partner I’ve ever had because he has such high expectations and is very impatient if I don’t meet them very quickly. Unlike a lot of guys, he seems oblivious to me being a girl and will hit me hard when we spar and be very rough when we wrestle and practice jiu-jitsu. There is nowhere to learn MMA in St. Cloud. When we have money (we’re catching up from being on disability) we drive a little over an hour to the cities (area) to train at Northway Gym (former UFC champ Dave Menne’s gym).
About Jessica Bednark
How did you get into fighting: I started karate at 13 years old. Despite it being American sport karate (point fighting) when we were not competing, we sparred with heavy contact at my karate school. I did well when I competed in point sparring, but I always thought that I would do better in full contact fighting (where there isn’t a break every time a kick or punch is landed) because I can take and deliver hard strikes. I didn’t even know what MMA was until I was 18.
When I was 19, I took my 1st MMA fight and won by rear naked choke in the 3rd round. A week later, I got ejected from a car, breaking my back (in addition to 4 bulging discs in my back) and tearing my rotator cuff in my left shoulder. I was on bed rest for a few months. I could not go back to work or training for almost a year. During my recovery, I decided that when I got better I was going to train for MMA and fight. In the spring of 2007,
I started going back to the gym. My back was too messed up at first to kick, but I boxed for a few months and slowly rehabilitated myself into being able to do everything again. About 2 months after I had been back in the gym, my 1 training partner – my boyfriend Jay – tore his ACL wrestling. What he was told was going to be a 3 week recovery turned into a 6 month recovery after he had surgery. Money was tight trying to catch up on bills from being on disability for so long, and now my boyfriend was making less than half of his usual paychecks.
We were strapped for money, and I didn’t think I was ready to fight (cause my ground game was non-existent), but I took a fight anyway. The girl I fought was 3-0 amateur and 3-0 pro. I knocked her out cold in the 3rd round. It didn’t pay much, but it made the car payment that month and lifted our spirits. I kept fighting and kept winning, despite feeling that I wasn’t getting the training I needed. So here I am now, busting my ass every day, trying to absorb what I can with anyone who will teach me, sparring with whoever walks in the gym every day, just trying to be faster and stronger and in better cardio shape than the next girl I fight.
Jessica Bednark Female Fighter
You mentioned fighting for Chuck Norris’ World Combat League, what was that experience like: I fought on the Miami Force team. Al Wichers, one of the refs for the WCL, refereed my second MMA fight in Wisconsin. I knocked the chick I fought out cold in the 3rd round and after the fight he told me I should fight for the WCL. This was September 2007 and the season for WCL started in about a month. I had just cut weight for the 1st time (only 7lbs) to make145. When he told me that I had to weigh in at 128 to fight, I didn’t think I could make it – I hadn’t been below 140 in years. My next fight (5 months later) was at 135. I cut from 150 again and weighed in at 133 and felt great during the fight.
Jessica Bednark Fight Training
I figured, what’s another 5 pounds, I can do that, so I called up Al and told him I wanted to fight for WCL the next season. He told me there was a girl that was injured on one team and they needed someone to fill her spot for the playoffs. A month later, I started for the Miami team in the playoffs. We fought the New York team. I fought Jennifer Santiago, who is ranked higher than any other chick in the WCL. Her back round is karate and boxing. She fights like a point fighter, a very good one. She likes to keep the distance and then come in and tag her opponents with a few quick strikes. She hates fighting in close. Every time I closed the distance, she fell on her butt (3 times in our 3 minute fight) and they’d just call it a slip and separate us. It kind of irritated me. We had an alright fight, it was close. We each landed a few good shots, but we blocked most of each other’s strikes. She got the win and I think she deserved it. I felt like I moved really slowly during that fight. The weight cut was rougher than I expected.
Jessica Bednark Fighting Weight
I cut from 142 to 126 (weighed in 2lbs under) in 4 days. I had trouble regaining my strength and keeping food down after that fight. This experience caused me to start dieting and eating better, and since that fight, I haven’t cut (meaning starving and dehydrating/sweating) more than 5 pounds for any fight. I would like to do WCL again, but I need to take some time and get used to maintaining a much lower weight. I like taking kickboxing and boxing matches because I think it makes my MMA fighting better, but I never care to have a big career as a kickboxer or boxer. It was great to be able to fight in the World Combat League, but MMA is my focus. I take a lot of pride in my MMA fighting, because I feel like it is more physically and mentally demanding than other kinds of fighting. Oh, back to the WCL- our team lost, so we were done for the season.
Jessica Bednark Fights
Toughest opponent to date: Nana Berto, because she’s the only person I’ve lost too. She is a very strong girl and she is aggressive on the feet and has very technical jiu-jitsu. I got choked in the 1st round. I don’t feel like I fought very well that fight – I wasn’t mentally focused – but regardless, she whooped my ass. Who would you most like to fight: I really don’t care. I’m not looking to go after any big names yet, I don’t feel like I’m at that level yet. Right now I am really focused on getting consistent training from Dave Menne’s gym and getting more experience. It was looking like
I was going to fight Tonya Evinger a month ago, but that fell through. I expect we’ll probably fight sometime in 2009. Kaitlin Young is right in Minnesota and I think we would put on a really entertaining fight if we fought. The problem is, I’ve yet to meet a promoter in Minnesota that pays decent – for MMA that is. Katlin Young and I were lined up to fight what would have been my second fight, but she withdrew to do the show that landed her a fight on Elite XC. I don’t expect to get a fight with her any time soon. She goes to a gym that has a lot of recognition and I don’t, so unless it’s a big show I doubt we’ll be fighting each other. My boyfriend wants me to get a fight with Sara Schnieder.
Jessica Bednark Up Coming Fights
Next fight: I think I have a boxing match in January, but it hasn’t been finalized yet. The next MMA fight I will have I believe will be January 31st for Combat USA. They put on really good shows and I really like the promoter. I think I will be fighting Karen Williams a second time. On Sept 29th, 2008, I TKOed her in 1 min 58 seconds into the 1st round. She didn’t do a damn thing in those 2 minutes to deserve a rematch. I came out, threw a few kicks and punches, landed every single one, she rushed in, took me down and threw a few little punches to my face that did no damage, immediately I turned her, got on top of her and dropped punches and elbows to her face for the next 1 ½ minutes.
I landed 4 elbows to her face in a row right before the ref stepped in and stopped it. She was tough, she was trying to fight out of it, but I don’t think she has the skills to take me. I don’t think she deserves a rematch. I don’t think she has anything for me and I think I’m going to manhandle her a second time in our next fight. The reason they think she deserves a rematch is because the fight was for a belt, so it was 12 – 2 minute rounds (the promoter thinks it’s more entertaining with the shorter rounds). So the ref stopped it 2 seconds before the end of the round, and a lot of people would have liked to see a second round. Plus, the fights are in Wisconsin, she’s from Wisconsin and undefeated (until then) and some people from Wisconsin think she’s tough just because they’ve seen her knock a couple chicks out. Doesn’t matter, our re-match won’t last long either.
Jessica Bednark Training
RISING STARS Jessica Bednark Fighter Training Regimen: I spar 5 to 6 days a week, primarily with my boyfriend, but with whoever is willing to spar – kickboxers, boxers, mixed martial artists, tae kwon do dudes, ect. We spar 5 min rounds, 15 second rest for over an hour– no breaks. I also roll about 3 days a week. 3 to 4 days a week I hit bags with heavy gloves and sometimes weights on my ankles to work endurance, technique and speed. In the mornings before school I run at least 5 miles (slowly increasing the miles). I lifted weights through most of my teenage years, but quit when I broke my back. I just resumed weightlifting this week, but haven’t come up with a real set plan for how I’m going to go about it, but I will keep it up because I feel like I’m getting old and losing my strength now that I just turned 22.
RISING STARS Jessica Bednark Fighter Other Hobbies/etc: I am going to school with the goal of becoming a physician’s assistant. I started out going for art, but changed my major because I don’t want to struggle so much to make money. I love to paint and draw, but rarely have time to do it. I live with my boyfriend who is a single father. I’ve been helping him raise his son since he was 17 months old and now he is 4. Not really a hobby, but very time consuming, but worth it. He is a great kid and comes to the gym with us while we train every day. They haven’t nailed down what he has yet, but it’s some form of asbergers – but he’s very high functioning. He has speech, physical and occupational therapy twice a week and goes to a special preschool 3 times a week to get him ready for regular preschool, so taking turns running him around to his appointments is a very big part of my life as well. Other than that I just like hanging out with my boys and seeing my family whenever I can.
RISING STARS Jessica Bednark Fighter Goal for 2009: Arrange my finances so that I can train at Dave Menne’s gym a few times every week. Also, I’d like to maintain a lower weight. I have been weighing about 142, fighting at 135 and I want to maintain 130, taking fights at 125 and 135. Anything you want to add: It’s not on this website, but my pro record is 5-1 (my first fight was never reported and I’m sure it never will be – it was almost 3 years ago). But the fight I’m talking about is when I fought Karen Williams on Sept 29, 2008. I’m not sure if this is accurate (you guys would probably know better than anybody), but the promoter said that this fight was the 1st women’s MMA main event on a card where all the other fights on the card were guy fights. It was for a belt that was vacant prior to that.
Interview Shayna Baszler On Invicta FC 4, Shayna Baszler “The Queen of Spades” will be rematching Alexis Davis in Kansas City. A recap of Baszler’s interview with Fighter girls. On her rematch with Davis: “It was a barn-burner the last time, I think it’s going to be better this time…we match up pretty well.” The ‘submission master’ wants to finish her this time so there is no question at the end of the fight.
Interview Shayna Baszler
On her training: Training out of Next Edge Academy in Sioux Falls, wrestling at Augustana College. When in California, trains with Josh Barnett and Erik Paulson at CSW. “Erik Paulson should be like a 90 year old ‘master’!…If you train in multiple styles, you know what to expect from other styles…I’ve been blessed with coaches that encourage me to think outside of the box”
On fighting Ronda Rousey: “I would take that fight, Yes, I would take it in a heartbeat!” Yet Baszler stresses that her main concern is her next fight. “We’ll see what opportunities open up…I just want to fight the top girls…I’ve been doing this long enough that I want to just make a ‘stamp’…my focus is my next fight, I’m not going to sit here training for Alexis Davis blowing up my twitter to call out Rousey”.
Interview Julie Kitchen Two of the UK’s biggest Muay Thai stars – Julie Kitchen and Amanda Kelly – will fight in Los Angeles on Dec. 1st as the co-main event at “Muay Thai in America: In Honor of the King”. The show is in celebration of the King of Thailand’s 85th birthday, and can be purchased on PPV on Direct TV and INDEMAND at 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT.
About Julie Kitchen
Kitchen is currently 47-9-1 after a recent loss to Miriam Nakamoto. That fight was billed as one of the biggest in the history of women’s Muay Thai; FighterGirls caught up with Kitchen to see how training is going for her fight against Kelly, and how training has changed since her loss to Nakamoto. FG: How is your training going?
Julie Kitchen Fight Training and Fight Record
Julie: I am no longer training with Nathan for my fights so I spent 10 days in Holland with “Enfusions” Edwin Van Os before flying out [to] Los Angeles where I am currently training with the amazing Manny Pacquiao and his entourage for my running/circuits, and Muay Thai with Paulo Tocha who played Jean Claude Van Dammes’ nemesis “Paco” in the film “Bloodsport”.
We have gelled very well as his techniques are similar to what I am used to, so we will see how it pans out. Paulo is a fantastic motivator so I enjoy my training more now but Nathan got me to where I am now and will still teach seminars with me next year. FG: How has your training been different for Amanda Kelly rather than Miriam Nakamoto? Julie: I always train to the best of my ability. There have been some hiccups both personal and professional. I like the fact I am considered the underdog in this fight just because of one loss; I haven’t lost 2 fights in a row since 2005. FG: Are you back in California training and giving seminars? If so, when are your upcoming seminars?
Julie Kitchen Fight Seminar
Julie: We are doing a huge seminar tour of California in April 2013.I am so excited because we are bringing our twin daughters out as well who are fantastic fighters and Muay Thai enthusiasts. We will be offering seminars both in Muay Thai, following an amazing positive feedback from earlier this year, and also our new concept named tactical strike. The tactical strike seminar [is different from] the Muay Thai seminar as the target audience and student will be not only MMA based but will also be specifically aimed at the grappling expert. We are taking bookings now for April and are hoping to be fully booked by Christmas.
FG: What can fans expect when you step into the ring on Dec. 1st? Julie: I will always perform and give the audience a show. I have honestly had enough of fighting and my final match is imminent but not sure if this one will be my last. It all depends on what emerges in the future. My focus/hunger/desire just isn’t in competition anymore at this point in time, due to the constant drain with [Muay Thai] politics. I loved the “good old days” when I would step into the ring scared and nervous but also excited and overwhelmed that I was facing someone I respected.
Germaine de Randarmine, Angie Parr, Karen Lynch, Karla Hood and also Miriam Nakamoto were all household favorites and just to be chosen to compete against them was an honor itself let alone if you took the win. Nowadays it’s about business, politics and “piggy backing” someone’s career to climb the ladder as quickly as possible. In this fight I am defending a world title and not at my chosen weight; but I will be aiming to win nonetheless and silence the critics. FG: Any other words for your fans? Julie: Thank you to everyone who has supported me worldwide. I know I have the best supporters in the world and it means so much to me as well as having the best family behind me all the way. Other fighters can take a win or a belt off me but they cannot change a career with the result of one fight.
Interviews Two Female MMA Fighters Raise Havoc We talk to local Helena, MT female fighters Becky Maxwell and Emily Green about fighting in their hometown, and their aspirations to take on the world. As MMA has grown, so has the inclusion of female fighters from across the United States. Even in the smaller cities, women want to test their combat skills. Two such amateur competitors are Becky Maxwell and Emily Green.
Interviews Two Female MMA Fighters Raise Havoc
Maxwell (1-0) is looking to impress this weekend at Fightforce MMA’s “Helena Havoc” card in Helena, MT. After a submission win her first time out last month, she will take on Canadian Kailee Ryan in an mma bout.
Becky Maxwell and Emily Green
On the same card, Green will be making her fighting debut, in a kickboxing contest verses Canadian Roberta Nikkle.
Both women took some time to talk to Fighter girls to talk about their young careers, getting started in the sport, and their aspirations for the future.
Interviews MMA Shana Olsen Julia Budd Shana Olsen and Julia Budd Hear Shana Olsen and Julia Budd before they collide at “Strikeforce Challengers” tonight on Showtime. Two contenders collide tonight on Showtime as #6 ranked Shana Olsen and debuting Julia Budd hope to take the next step towards winning the Strikeforce 145 pound title. At the weigh-ins, Budd tipped the scales at 145.8 pounds with Olsen the lighter fighter at 143.4.
Interviews MMA Shana Olsen Julia Budd
Fightergirl’s reporter Veronica LoCurto (with videographer Kristin Usry from WMMA Roundup) was on hand at the weigh-ins to talk to both competitors before the big fight.
Interview MMA Fighter Fiona Muxlow 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?
Interview MMA Fighter Fiona Muxlow
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, scheduling 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.
Interview MMA Fighter Fiona Muxlow
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?
Interview MMA Fighter Fiona Muxlow
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 166 cm ( 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 65 kg (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 and Rocktape Australia ( 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. Whatever the outcome I know we are both going to bring it and I hope we put on a great show for the crowd. Interview MMA Fighter Fiona Muxlow
Interview with “Fighter Girl of the Month: Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc I want to be the best 105lb fighter in the world and top ten 115lb fighter. I want to Fight in England, Spain, and Mexico before I retire. I want to earn my black belt in BJJ.” These are the goals of this month’s “Fighter Girl of the Month: Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc”. She will be fighting this month on Invicta FC 2 and took some time out of her training to share with Fighter Girls about her training, her experience fighting on Invicta and more!
ABOUT HER TRAINING: “I train at Ultimate Performance Complex Tulsa (@UPCtulsa) at our facility they train Athletes to perform better at their sport. They train professional,collegiate,high school and kids Athletes that do Basketball, Baseball, Football, Hockey etc. We also Have Judo, Brazilian Jiujitsu, Muay Thai and of course MMA. My coaches consist of Travis Calanoc who is a former Strikeforce Fighter and Marine Corp Sargent. he has a black belt in MCMAP(Marine Corp Martial Arts program) and was also a MCMAP instructor. He also has black belts in Tae Kwon Do and Ninjutsu. Travis also founded his own art Calanoc’s Mixed Martial Arts Concepts. Travis also helps my strength, conditioning, speed and agility coach Jeff Pace who has a CSCS and is a Master Trainer under Combine 360. Travis is NASM accredited and certified under combine 360.
Interview Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc
My BJJ coaches are Jay and Brandon Chandler both are brown belts under The Farm BJJ and Werdum combat team. They are brothers. My Muay Thai coaches are Sean Dawson and Paul Vo. Mr. Dawson went undefeated in Muay Thai 11-0 and 2-0 Pro Muay Thai. Paul Vo is 2-0 in Muay Thai and both study under Saekson Janjira. My wrestling coach is Justin Porter who was an OSU state champion wrestler and also Miesha Tate has helped me with my wrestling any chance I get to have her down to help me train in OK. My is Team UnderDawgs fight team, the team consists of guys that fight from 115 to 155 lbs. I like the fact that most of the guys on our team are smaller because smaller guys are as technical as women but they are more explosive and stronger. They are all like brothers to me, I care about them all very much.”
SELF-CONFIDENCE IS KEY: “Before my last Invicta fight I said I finally found my self confidence as a fighter and I meant it. My last fight for Invicta was the first time I trained like a professional fighter. I have always trained hard but not like my last fight camp and this one. I KNOW in MY HEART and MIND that I’m ready because I put in the work every single day and everything I do is to push myself harder and harder past my limits. It was also the first time I showed my Mixed Martial Arts skills I can wrestle, punch, kick, clinch and Jiujitsu. There isn’t a place from stand up to ground were I feel uncomfortable. I have a ton of fights and experience I know I can grind or fight out of anything or put my opponent in places they don’t want to be and that’s what I meant was that is how I FINALLY feel comfortable ANYWHERE.”
INVICTA: “I Loved fighting for Invicta now and the first time because I feel like after all these fights and years its finally MY TIME and MY OPPORTUNITY to show everyone that this little Mexican girl from a ranch in Mexico can FIGHT and is a MIXED MARTIAL ARTIST. INVICTA is a truly professional organization they are here for the good for WMMA because they don’t play favorites and give everyone an equal opportunity. I Love how INVICTA does everything in their power to promote their card to the best of their ability and they give all the fighters goodie bags lol!”
THE GROWTH OF WOMEN’S MMA: “I think before INVICTA the future of women’s MMA was uncertain because people just weren’t interested I just think before INVICTA it just wasn’t being promoted enough and now thanks to them. They are bringing a lot of light and attention that it needed. I Love how each weight class just keeps getting deeper and deeper. In ten years if it keeps growing the way it has been I bet it could be on the same level as the men.”
FUN FACTS: “I LOVE comic books!! I hope to one day have my own comic book and I love to read books. Ranging in subject from History, Science, Philosophy, Sci-Fi and everything in between. I also love doing Make-up, I do hair professionally but I do Make-up as a hobby. I love watching extreme sports like skate boarding, Surfing, Break Dancing and Urban Free Running. I would love to do Urban Free Running but my coaches wont allow it until after my fight career… If I’m not in fight camp I love to wear Dresses in my free time and I love to play video games even though I suck at them. I love to travel and one of my favorite trips was when I went to Puerto Rico with my husband and best friends, Miesha Tate and Bryan Caraway.”
Thanks Nicdali! To check out some pics and a video of one of Nicdali’s fight, Click Here.
Jessica Pene female MMA Fighter Interview After the stellar card at Bellator V ended I had the opportunity to meet Jessica Pene. She graciously took time to answer a few questions for Fightergirls.com. Jessica comes off as a very respectful and humble person. I am grateful she took the time for the interview. I would also like to thank Fightergirls.com for giving me the opportunity to represent them.
Jessica Pene female MMA Fighter Interview
FG: Hi Jessica. Thank you for taking the time to talk to www.fightergirls.com. How are feeling after tonight’s win?
Jessica Pene: I was looking to finish early and I am pretty stoked that I was able to do that.
FG: What is next for you?
JP: My next fight is with Bellator hopefully.
FG: The women fight 3 five minute rounds in Bellator. Is this the first time you’ve fought five minute rounds?
JP: We were given the choice between three and five minute rounds. I’ve fought fives before and was ready. Our sparring and training is done in five minute intervals.
FG: You normally fight at 115. Why was this fight at 117?
JP: I think my opponent wanted to fight at 120. We compromised at 117 since I fight at 110-115 lbs.
FG: How would you describe your fight style? What do you train in?
JP: I am becoming well rounded. I love Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. Those are the areas I am more comfortable in.
FG: How did you get started in mixed martial arts?
JP: I was interested in learning to fight; I am a very competitive person. I started training Muay Thai and then shortly after discovered Jiu Jitsu.
FG: Who has been your toughest opponent to date?
JP: I think that all of my fights have been challenging, each opponent has brought different challenges.
FG: In closing is there anything else you’d like to say?
JP: I would like to thank my coaches at Subfighter and at Legends as well as my sponsors for this fight; Tapout, duzoxin, and Fighter girls Clothing.