August 24th 2016
Name – Bryony Tyrell
Nickname – Killa Bee
Weight – 115 pounds
Record – 3 wins 0 losses
Team – Exile Gym
Where are you from ?
I’m from Southampton, England.
How long have you been training ?
I’ve been training in Martial Arts for nearly 17 years. I started with kickboxing and Kung Fu which I did for 12 years then moved on to Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga then finally MMA 4 years ago.
How did you get in to MMA ?
I’ve always loved Martial Arts and because I’d done a variety of styles, which included both stand up and ground techniques, it seemed logical to put it all together and train in MMA. It was just becoming popular when I started it but I didn’t think I was ‘tough enough’ to compete in it!
Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
When I first started at Exile they called me the ‘Gazelle’ because I used to bounce around a lot when I sparred and I wasn’t very aggressive…lol. When I started to do well and I’d won a couple of fights by ground and pound my coach changed it to ‘Killa Bee’ because Gazelle didn’t really suit me anymore. He chose that because a lot of people call me B and I have a tattoo of a bee on my arm.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ?
I was never much good at sports in school and I’ve always been pretty average at everything. I think the moment when I realised I wanted to become a fighter was when I won a kickboxing tournament at University. It was only a very small event but I’d never won anything and it was an amazing feeling.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA ?
Yes definitely, they thought it was great because of my Martial Arts background. I had also spent a number of years doing extreme sports constantly chasing the adrenaline rush. After I broke my leg doing BASE jumping they were pretty pleased that I’d found something a bit less dangerous…lol.
What is your current record ?
My amateur record is 5-2-0 and my pro record is 3-0-0.
What is your favorite strike or submission ?
My favourite strike is a side kick and my favourite submission is a rear naked choke.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
Cat Zingano is incredibly inspiring because she’s had to deal with real adversity and tragedy in her life and has still come out fighting.
What team do you train with ?
I currently train with Exile Gym in Southampton.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
One of the reasons I love MMA is because you can adapt to your opponent and exploit their weaknesses. I’m quite lucky because I have a good all round game. I’m not the best in any discipline but I am comfortable fighting standing or on the ground. If I’m up against a good stand up fighter I will aim to take them down, against a strong grappler I will aim to keep it standing. I really like the variety you can have in this sport.
What does being fighter mean to you ?
I don’t think a true fighter always has to win. I think a true fighter will fight to the best of their ability and will never give up. They will fight fairly and show respect to their opponent. If they lose it will be graciously without making excuses or blaming others for their downfall. This is the kind of fighter I strive to be.
What weight do you fight at ?
I fight at Strawweight (115lbs).
what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
In the UK very few people train in wrestling. I started wrestling 4 years ago and I absolutely love it. I think that gives me the edge over most of the fighters in my division.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
That’s a tricky question. I’m not really sure, probably Cat Zingano because I love her style of wrestling and I could learn a lot from her.
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
I would say my last fight against Mellony Geugjes was the toughest so far because it was the first time I’d had to go the distance at pro level. She is a world champion striker so she hit very hard and she’s tough and strong with it.
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
Leading up to the fight I can think clearly and strategically, I’ll study my opponent and train with a particular game plan in mind. As I walk out to the fight I feel like I’ve forgotten everything and I have so many doubts going through my mind it’s difficult to think straight. This is definitely something I need to work on…lol.
Who are you fighting next ?
My next fight is against TUF veteran Helen Harper defending my pro title. We will be headlining the show which is very exciting.
what holes or weaknesses do you see in her game that you can exploit ?
I have sparred with Helen and competed against her in grappling so I know her well. I think her weakness is her stand up game. She’s not a particularly technical striker, she doesn’t have a long reach and she rushes forward a lot.
What promotion are you fighting for ?
British Challenge Mixed Martial Arts (BCMMA) in Cholchester, England.
Date and time of your next fight ?
24th of September, starting at 5pm.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I would like to be remembered as a respectful fighter. For me MMA is about good sportsmanship and comradery, not just winning. I think a true Champion is defined, not only by skill and success, but by how they treat their opponents and those people who helped them get there.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
When I first started out I signed up to a mentorship program with Rosie Sexton, she definitely influenced me in my earlier days, now I rely on my coaches to guide me.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport ?
As far as WMMA is concerned it is of course Ronda Rousey. Love her or hate her she was a pioneer and, in my opinion, still the best female fighter there has ever been. Conor McGregor has also played a huge part in getting MMA recognised on a global scale.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
I would say my strongest disciplines are kickboxing and wrestling. I’m not overly aggressive, I’m more of a technical fighter than a brawler.
What drives or motivates you ?
I am driven by the need to become the best I can be in the sport. I also love the adrenaline rush that fighting gives you.
What is something people might not know about you ?
People may not know that I’m also an Intensive Care Nurse and I have two children age 8 and 5.
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
If I wasn’t a fighter I would probably being doing the same thing I am now as far as profession goes but I need excitement in my life so I’d probably be doing extreme sports more.
What gets you hyped up for a fight do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to go to battle ?
My coach Rich Harding is very good at getting my head straight before a fight. He will slap me if I start panicking and tell me to pull myself together…lol. I don’t really have any rituals but me and my team will always mess about and have a bit of a laugh backstage which really helps to calm the nerves. I also have a photo of my children on my phone which reminds me what’s important in life and puts things into perspective.
your backstage about to walk out your music hits what’s going through your head as you walk to the cage ?
Blind panic if I’m honest. I can’t think straight, I just feel sick and want to run away. I have to force myself to walk to the cage door, it’s horrible.
Who is your favourite fighter ?
I adore Joanne Calderwood. I think she’s a vicious machine when she’s fighting but so humble and polite outside the cage. She is exactly how I would like to be.
When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
Any chance I get I will do something crazy. I made my husband drive down to Switzerland so I could do the second highest bungee jump in the world…lol. I also spend time with my children, swimming or going to the park normally.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Most definitely winning the Pro Strawweight title at BCMMA last month. I still can’t believe it!
What do you think the biggest challenges are for women in MMA ?
In the UK WMMA is relatively new. To start with it was difficult to find suitable match ups or training partners but now it’s becoming more popular and more women are coming into it which is good.
What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
I would tell any fighter not to put too much pressure on themselves to win. Learning to lose was the most valuable lesson I learnt in Martial Arts, not only has it made me a better fighter but it’s increased my enjoyment of the sport.
Where do you see women’s MMA in the next 5-10 years ?
At the moment the popularity of WMMA is definitely on the rise and there are more and more women coming into the sport. It would be good to see more weight divisions in the big promotions like UFC, Bellatour and Cage Warriors.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?
I’m going to be 37 in October so I’m not sure whether I will realistically still be fighting in 5 years time. I’m going to keep going as long as I enjoy it then move in to coaching. I already run a franchise of Exile Gym so when I stop competing myself I can concentrate more on helping new up and coming fighters.
What are your goals within the sport ?
I just want to do as well as I can do and enjoy it. I’ve already far surpassed anything I thought I’d achieve so everything is a bonus from now on. If I could make it to Invicta or the UFC that would be amazing. I’d also like to promote safety in MMA, I particularly want to see weight cutting regulated better.
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
Yes definitely. I would like to thank all my incredible coaches and training partners at Exile and Look Borai Gym. To my family and friends for their ongoing help and support, especially my husband. I’d also like to thank my sponsors Booster Fight Gear, Temple Fight Gear, G&P Supplements and Fit Foods Uk.
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