April 7th 2016
Name – Ani Hilditch
Nickname – Mighty Mouse
Weight – 105 pounds
Record – 12 wins 8 loses
Team – BJJ Revolution
Where are you from ?
Brighton, England originally, but I am currently living in Richmond VA.
How long have you been training ?
I have been training Muay Thai for five or six years and BJJ for around one and a half.
How did you get into Muay Thai / MMA?
I have always thought martial arts was cool, but as a kid, I was all over the place. When I reached my junior year of college, I finally decided to do something about it. I found a gym an hour and a half away and drove there three times a week until I moved to be closer. I was not very interested in BJJ at the start, however, after transitioning to a new gym I tried it out and found I loved the wrestling elements and transition from standing to ground. I got hooked after I learned a few throws and takedowns. Putting the stand-up and ground elements together just seemed natural.
Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
My BBJ coach, Daniel Frank, started calling me Mighty Mouse in Jiu Jitsu classes. After a while it just stuck and I kind of like it.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ?
I decided quickly, I had been training for three months and my coach at the time told me about the upcoming Muay Thai tournament. I expressed my desire to compete. After stepping out of the ring with a loss, I declared that I needed a beer and decided that I wanted to do this forever.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of Muay Thai and MMA ?
My mother still doesn’t really know what the sport entails, but both my parents support me and are happy if I am. Once I finished my degree, my parents were happy no matter what I decided to do.
What is your current record ?
12-8 in Muay Thai and 0-0 MMA.
What is your favorite strike or submission ?
My favorite strike is the superman punch; it’s all in the name. My favorite sub is the flying armbar; I like flashy techniques.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My Husband and best friend. He is constantly pushing me to be better, even so much as to be hypercritical, which I often need because I’m a cocky bastard. He also manages to balance an absurd amount of work while still giving a hundred and ten percent in the gym, which inspires me to get my ass in gear.
What team do you train with ?
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
I prefer to stand and pick them apart, but I am comfortable on the ground and compete in as many grappling tournaments as I can to keep it that way.
What does being fighter mean to you ?
It means being willing to test yourself in a way that most never will. It’s one thing to train in a martial art and another entirely to let someone attempt to use that art against you with no restraint while doing the same in return. It is the ultimate form of competition and I thrive in competition.
What weight do you fight at ?
105…I fight children.
What do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
I am technical, athletic, strong, ferocious, and tenacious.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
Goku, you can only truly test your strength in a fight against Goku.
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Genesis Bravo was my toughest fight, I wasn’t there mentally for that bout and that loss is what fuels me to give everything I have when competing.
What is your mindset going into a fight ?
I’m kind of goofy, I like to dance around (badly) and mess with my entourage. It’s the same when I train. I don’t want to take myself too seriously, I do this because I love it and so I’m happy and energetic before a fight or whenever I train…unless I’m running, then I want to attack everything around me.
Who are you fighting next ?
I currently do not have a match, since my extensive stand-up background has scared off all my potential opponents. I am diligently searching for a fighter woman enough to step into the cage with me.
Date and time of your next fight ?
If I can get a match up, I am looking to fight on the Sprawl n’ Brawl card on the 23rd of April 2016.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
Hitting things really hard with a smile. Nah, just joking. I think I would like to be remembered for my crisp technique so when I’m teaching my youth students I can lead by example.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
I would have to say my BJJ Coach, Daniel Frank. I was not really interested in BJJ and had never taken any of the classes I had participated in seriously until I trained under Daniel. He presented the sport in a fun way and was very encouraging. I am the kind of athlete that needs to be told I’m doing a good job or I just don’t put in as much effort. I’m kind of needy in that way, but Daniel never seems to mind.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why ?
In women’s’ MMA I would have to say, Ronda Rousey. Un original, I Know, but she really did bring women’s MMA to the forefront. Without her women in the mixed martial arts world would not get anywhere near as much credit. She may not be the best role model or even a good sport but she has paved the way for the many women that will come after her.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
Po panda style. Alright, I just wish I was like Po. I am a technically sound brawler that likes to Hulk smash explosively in every aspect of my game.
What drives or motivates you ?
Competition, I am extremely competitive in everything I do. If I’m not winning, I have a compulsion to work until I am.
What is something people might not know about you ?
I am a super nerd; I love star wars and comic books, I have written a fantasy novel because I was tired of waiting for my favorite author to finish a series I was reading, and I am an artist with my own art company.
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
I believe if I hadn’t found the sport when I did I would have stumbled into it eventually; it fills a part of me I always knew that I needed, but if I had to pick I would say superhero or secret agent.
What gets you hyped up for a fight ?
Dubstep and hard pad rounds. Gotta have that wub wub!
Do you have any pre-fight rituals that get you ready to go to battle ?
Apart from the loud “music” and hitting things loudly I would say naps. I always nap on fight day.
You’re backstage about to walk out your music hits what’s going through your head as you walk to the ring ?
“I think I’m gonna puke, I think I’m gonna puke, shit! I’m gonna puke”. Just kidding, it’s not that bad, but nerves are usually keeping me occupied until I hear the bell. Then everything falls into place and I remember why I’m there. I generally just remind myself that I’m a bad ass as the Imperial March plays in the background. Confidence is key.
Who is your favorite fighter ?
Angela “Unstoppable” Lee, I want to be like her when I grow up. She is very well-rounded and tosses her opponents around like kittens. Not that I am endorsing tossing kittens.
When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
I enjoy Writing and drawing, crime dramas, and anime. However, my ultimate distraction is video gaming. I’m super into RPG’s and MMORPG’s.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
I would have to say getting my first Title Belt and defending it. I have a training partner who, at the time, had one in the rear window of her car. I was always chasing that accomplishment, sometimes literally if I was driving behind her. When I finally got the belt, It was a huge milestone for me because I felt like I was growing into the fighter she was and I’ve always looked up to her.
What do you think the biggest challenges are for women in combat sports ?
Getting people to take you seriously. I can’t count the times I have been asked why I want to fight with such a pretty face or scrolled through comments that completely objectify a female fighter and overlook her skill and dedication. We have a long way to go, but the more women display what we can really do in the cage the harder it becomes to deny us.
What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
Winning is great, but losing teaches us more than victory ever can.
Defeat is the true test of a warrior.
Where do you see women’s MMA in the next 5-10 years ?
I want to say toe to toe with Men’s MMA in such a way that Women’s MMA is just MMA. However, I don’t think it will happen in that time frame.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?
As a pro fighter in Invicta or the UFC, if all goes as planned. I don’t want this to be my full-time job but I do want to say I made it there.
What are your goals within the sport ?
To go Pro, as I just mentioned, but also to make some strides in Women’s MMA. If I can be a part of the reason that lower weight classes make it into The UFC, I would be happy. I want to be one of the women that showcase what we tiny females can do, that we want it more and can give a technical, exciting, and fast-paced fight to the crowd.
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
Yes, my MMA Coach, Keith Parknow. He is always willing to give his time when I want to work on something or put in some extra training. He dedicates hours of his free time to my training partner and I so that we can reach our goals and gives us the confidence and tools to get there. Thanks Coach for all you do.