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August 16th 2015

Fighter Profile
Name – Maria Pantazi
Nickname – Iron Barbie
Weight – 60kg (132 pounds)
Record – 35 wins 12 losses
Team – BG Academy

Where are you from ?
Melissia, Athens Greece

How long have you been training ?
Since 2007.

How did you get in to combat sports ?
I mostly fight K-1, but I have always tried different styles: I won international amateur competitions at boxing and I fought and lost for a Word Title at full contact and a European title at Muay Thai.

Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
I have had the nickname Iron Barbie since I was an amateur because I like to think I am strong, but feminine.

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ?
When I was young but, I started very old for that sport.

Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of combat sports ?
My family was worried at first about me becoming a fighter, but they have given me great support over the years. I have So have many friends.

What is your current record ?
47 fights / 35 wins (8 ko) / 12 losses

What is your favorite strike or submission ?
My most dangerous weapon is my right hand punch, but I am always working on improving my kicks and knees.

Who is your biggest inspiration ?
Ernesto Hoost and Kalliopi Geitsidou

What team do you train with ?
Ernesto Hoost and BG Academy.

Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
Stand – I am a K-1 fighter

What does being fighter mean to you ?
I get inspiration from the challenge of competing against another fighter. The greatest joy and excitement is to have my hand raised in victory.

What weight do you fight at ?
Around 60 kg

what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
My friends and fans say I am never in a dull fight. I think I am an open, aggressive and honest fighter.

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
I am lucky and unlucky fighter too! All my fights in other countries were with the best and toughest from there. This is the reason that I am famous in many countries.

Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
My toughest opponent, Satoko sassaki , june 2013 in Japan, “Ernesto Hoost Cup”

What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
I concentrate very hard for hours before – my friends know not to talk to me before a fight. I think about what I can do, not about my opponent, and concentrate on being as positive as I can be.

Who are you fighting next ?
Hara Dimitroula.

What promotion are you fighting for ?
MMA Challenge Pro

Date and time of your next fight ?
26/9/2015, in Thessaloniki, striking style.

What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I was proud to be voted Greece’s favourite female fighter last year. I hope I’m remembered as a very good fighter who always gave her fans excellent value and was a role model to young people.

Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport ?
Mike Zambidis

How would you describe your fighting style ?
My style is aggressive and open – I never try to close a fight down.

What drives or motivates you ?
I am always ambitious to do better, even at this late stage in my career.

What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
I began a career in finance and management, but I was much keener on sport than finance, so I think I would have been some sort of fitness trainer.

Who is your favourite fighter ?
I love fighters with Dutch style

When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
I have very little free time because I have pupils to teach, plus my own training. I like cycling, the cinema and socializing with my friends.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Probably winning the WKA World title in Athens, but there are many, from my World amateur title in Berlin in 2008 to fighting for the first time in Thailand (and winning) in Enfusion Reality in 2014.

What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
Train hard and play fair.

Where do you see women’s mma in the next 5-10 years ?
Very high

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?
In 5 years I hope I am still very involved in kickboxing. I hope I will have many successful pupils and I hope I will be doing media work. Already I often act as ring announcer and am starting to work on television.

What are your goals within the sport ?
I would like to carry on fighting for a little while, maybe have at least one more big fight, but my long-term goals are as I said in the previous answer.

Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
I would like to thank my coaches Ernesto Hoost, Mpampis Papadopoulos, George Chalkidis, my best friend and sponsor Ron Simpson who follow me all over the world, other sponsors QNT,, Mind Master, Seven Hellas, Black Bulls,, VRevolution, Paintless, Sportsclick, my physiotherapist Michael Sioulis, my family and all my friends and fans who give my love and power.