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Fighting For Autism An Interview With Muay Thai Fighter And Ambassador Rishi Chisholm

September 1st 2016

Fighter Profile
Name – Rishi Chisholm
Weight – 59kg (130 pounds)
Record – 1 win 0 losses
Team – Barbarian Muay Thai

Where are you from ?
India but I was raised in Australia.

How long have you been training ?
I have been training since 2012 but I was only going on a casual basis just as a hobby i suppose and then in 2014 i started going full-time and committed myself to the sport and the team at Barbarian Muay Thai .

How did you get in to Muay Thai?
Well i wanted to learn kickboxing at first and then mum put me in the Muay Thai classes at Barbarian Muay Thai and i loved Muay Thai from then on.

Tell us about your nickname how you got it ?
I don’t have one as of yet but I’m open to suggestions.

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter ?
The defining moment for me that made me decide that I wanted to become a fighter was when i went to my first fight show it was Gold Rush 3 held in ballarat by World Champion Steve Moxon, i think about a week later i went to dave and told him that i wanted to be a fighter.

Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of Muay Thai?
Yes my dad has been amazing, his commitment to being able to drive me 30 minutes into town to train and then pick me up every time without fail and not complaining its more than I have ever asked for, he was probably stoked when i finally got my licence haha . My other family members were happy that i was so passionate about something and it keeps me out of trouble.

What is your current record?
1-0.

What is your favorite strike or submission?
Probably elbows, any kind they’re all good. I remember I had my first Full Thai Rules fight at the Barbarian Muay Thai interclub, myself and my opponent both wore elbow pads and knee pads as it was an interclub. It was a ripper 3 rounds, i was fortunate enough for my hard work to have paid off and to come home with the win.

Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration isn’t just one person, it’s a whole team, well more so my second family, everyone at Barbarian Muay Thai we all push each other to be the best versions of ourselves as possible.

What team do you train with?
Barbarian Muay Thai in Ballarat Victoria

What does being a fighter mean to you?
It means that I have a sense of direction in where i want to go in life plus it adds more goals to achieve.

What weight do you fight at ?
I currently fight at 59kg

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
To me it isn’t really a dream it’s one of my life goals to be able to touch gloves centre ring with “The Rebel” Roy Wills for hopefully at least 5 rounds of Full Thai Rules, Muay Thai action.

Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Probably Issac Tomlinson from Top Tier Muay Thai because I held my breath and i got gassed quickly.

What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
To relax and have fun.

Who are you fighting next ?
There aren’t any fights lined up yet.

What holes or weaknesses do you look to exploit in your opponents during a fight ?
When their guard is down and just little tweaks and reactions they do to certain movements.

What promotion are you fighting for ?
I’m an Ambassador for Fighting for Autism. I want to help children with autism and also create awareness for it.

Date and time of your next fight ?
Not sure.

What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I have no idea, I guess all the hard work that i put in to get as far as i did.

What is your favorite quote or motto ?
One of my favorite quotes which I feel is relevant to Muay Thai and also life is this. “If at first you DO succeed Embrace the shit out of it . Because if you truly are challenging yourself it won’t always be this way.”
~Dave ashmore

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Winning my first amature fight and also becoming an Ambassador for Fighting for Autism.

Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
Probably every one who is positive and encouraging towards me and my goals.

How would you describe your fighting style ?
Clean and fast.

What drives or motivates you ?
Spite is the first thing that comes to mind but not quite spite, its like when I decided that i wanted to be a professional fighter heaps of people said that i wouldn’t be able to do it and i want to prove them wrong.

What is something people might not know about you ?
I was adopted from India when I was 3 and i came over to Australia, and i have 2 dogs.

When you are not in the gym training what do you like to do in your free time ?
I love to run my dogs, spend time with my friends and eat food, lots of food.

What advice can you give to young fighters and those who want to become fighters ?
Have fun & commit yourself!! Decide what you want and just go for it like a bull at a gate. Good, Better, Best. never let it rest until your good is better and your better is best.

What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
I honestly don’t know.

What gets you hyped up for a fight do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to go to battle ?
Ahh well I think of songs that i like that will get me pumped!! Ahh a big breakfast in the morning on fight day and making sure my hair looks good haha.

Where do you see the sport of Muay Thai in 5 years ?
Hopefully the amature fights don’t have head-gear because it gives you a false sense of security, also I feel as though if you’re at that level then you should be able to be getting used to getting hit hard and in the head.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?
Owning my own house, being a professional fighter with at least 35 fights under my belt. I’m not quite sure what else.

Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to?
I want to give a massive shout out to my Dad and friends Laura Cartledge, Jessica Crick & Danny luke also my brother Callum McLennan for being so supportive of me. Dave & Sally Ashmore The Barbarian Muay Thai Team. Thank you to Christian Mitchell for helping me with all the promotion towards Fighting For Autism. Last of all to my friend Liam McCahon who unfortunately passed away in 2014.

As weird as it sounds I’m going to give my own Instagram a shout out, Follow me and keep updated with my fights and journey to create awareness for autism.
@Rishelicious

Team Thunder Muay Thai Fighter Jon Solano

August 31st 2016

Fighter Profile
Name – Jon Solano
Weight – 140-145 Pounds
Record – 4 wins 1 loss 1 draw
Team – Team Thunder Muay Thai And MMA
Where are you from ?
I was born in Caguas Puerto Rico but right now I live in San Juan Puerto Rico.

How long have you been training in Muay Thai ?
I started in september of last year.

How did you get into Muay Thai ?
That’s the gym’s strong art but we get a little bit of bjj, and self-defense.

Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
At the gym you have to earn one your coach or teammates give you that.

What was the defining moment when you knew being a fighter was what you wanted to do?
I wanted to become a fighter since I was in 3rd grade but my family didn’t like that so I did water polo for the Puerto Rico national team 18 and under but I was fighting every one in the pool. Hahahahahaha.

When you decided to compete and train in Muay Thai where your family and friends supportive of your decision ?
Right now yes, they are really supportive and really helpful.

What is your current record ?
My record is 4-1-1.

What is your favorite strike or submission to use in a fight ?
I don’t have a favorite strike nor submission. One thing I learn from coach is that when the opening comes you hit or submit with heart and mind behind it.

Who is your biggest inspiration in combat sports ?
My biggest inspirations are “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and Buakaw Banchamek.

What team do you train with ?
I train with the family at Team Thunder Muay Thai and MMA gym.

Where do you like to take the fight do you like to stand and bang or do you prefer taking it to the ground ?
That depends on my opponents fighting skills if he likes to stand I take it to the ground and if he likes the ground I don’t have any trouble standing with him.

What does being a fighter mean to you ?
It means discipline courage and responsibility.

What weight do you fight at ?
I fight at 140-145 pounds.

What separates you from other fighters ?
My goals that’s what separates us.

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against and why ?
Jose Aldo, Sage Northcut (just to destroy him) and Robbie Lawler.
(I dream every day to make this happen just a friendly fight) hahahahahahahaha

Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
16. I think every fight is tough because we always put 110% into it.

What is your mindset going into a fight ?
Kill or be Killed.

Who are you fighting next ?
I don’t have any fights coming up but we train every day waiting for on the call for the next one.

What holes or weaknesses do you look to exploit in your opponent during a fight ?
I wait to hear my coach call.

What do you want people to remember you for at the end or your career ?
I want to be remembered for being the a fearless and tough fighter, the guy that if you knock him down is coming back stronger and hungrier.

What is your favorite quote or motto ?
I have so many mottos and quotes but my favorite ones are “if there is no enemy within the enemy outside can do no harm” and “what we do in life?, echos in eternity”.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in Muay Thai ?
I havent accomplished it yet because that is when I have 13 or more belts.

Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
Everybody that lift me up on a bad day Alex ,Angela ,Coach, Joel, MB ,and the entire Team Thunder family.

Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on Muay Thai ?
I really don’t know that.

How would you describe your fighting style ?
Hands up all the time and kick after every combination.

What drives or motivates you ?
My girl and the little one in her belly.

What is something people might not know about you ?
I’m scared of roaches, spiders and rats hahahaha.

When you’re not training what do you enjoy doing in your free time ?
Studying to Finish my degree in massage therapy and playing paintball.

What advice can you pass on to young fighters ?
Never give up and as difficult as it is. Wake up before everybody to make your dream closer to reality every day.

What do you think you would be doing today if you had never become a fighter ?
I would be working at the restaurant and studying full-time but I love to fight a lot so there is no life without fighting hahahahaah.

What gets you ready to step in the ring and compete do you have any rituals that prepare you for your fights ?
I listen to Eminem and I have to wear my Vegeta shirt(dragon ball z) I close my eyes and see the fight after it happens.

Where do you see Muay Thai as a sport in 5 years ?
34. Right now Muay Thai is the most complete martial art for MMA in 5 years I see everybody practicing the sport to even use it as self-defence.

Where do you see yourself 5 years down the road ?
I see my self with five belts and a lot of money hahahahahahahahahah.

What do you think can change moving forward to make the sport better ?
Like I said Muay Thai is the most complete art in MMA or as a self-defense program.

Who is your favorite fighter ?
“Ruthless” Robbie Lawler.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or give a shout out to ?
First I want to thank God for this opportunity in life that he has given me thanks to my coach Ajarn thunder for believe in me and shout out to my second family and second house Team Thunder Muay Thai and MMA gym.

JonSolano2

The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness Interview With The Queen Of Muay Thai Julie Kitchen

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March 17th 2015

Fighter Profile
Name – Julie Kitchen
Nickname – The Queen Of Muay Thai
Weight – 59Kg – 67Kg (130 – 147 Pounds)
Record – 52 wins 9 losses
Team – Independent

 

Where are you from ?
I was born in Truro which in is Cornwall, England. I grew up in Penzance and had an amazing child hood.

When did you know you wanted to be a fighter?
I start thaiboxing after I had given birth to my beautiful twin daughters. I was looking to get rid of my baby fat, my husband at the time was teaching thaiboxing in the evening so it enabled me to see him and also burn some calories!
I went along to a show one of the junior fighters fought on and the atmosphere grabbed me and from that day forward I wanted to step through the ropes and experience it.

How long have you been training ?
I started just before my 23 birthday so 15 years!

What is your current record ?
61 fights, 9 losses, 52 wins.

What is your favorite strike ?
Throughout my career I have favoured different techniques. In my early years I enjoyed the boxing but realized it did not score enough in my sport, so I worked on kicks and the push kick (teep) soon became one of my trademarks. I enjoy the clinch and elbow range now as it changes the whole fight game plan when elbows are added.

Who is your biggest inspiration?
I am inspired by many people. Anyone in any walk of life who gives 110% to what they love. And it goes without saying my daughters.

What team do you train with ?
When I was competing I fought under mine and my husbands gym Touchgloves based in Cornwall, Nathan kitchen was my coach. I am currently independent and teach seminars across the world and teach individuals were necessary.

What does being a fighter mean to you ?
Being a fighter is a way of life, it requires full dedication, if you cannot dedicate yourself it is not a career choice for yourself.
I started competing when my twin girls were aged 2, I still got up for my early morning run even after a disturbed night sleep, before starting my day job.

What weight do you fight at ?
My favourite weight was 63.5Kg but my range in the weight categories ranged from 59Kg to 67Kg, I found by moving weights it kept me busier as a female fighter.

what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
I never ducked any opponents and would take fights late notice. I wanted to test myself and constantly improve, giving up is not in my nature, just to improve on my weak areas.

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against?
I am retired now but I always wanted a match with Gina Carano unfortunately as I made my way up the ladder Gina made a break in Hollywood and it never happened.
If I had my time again I wish I trained in ground work as I would love to fight the best female fighter in the UFC Ronda Rousey.

Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Every fight has been tough, all fighters step through the ropes believing they can win and will work for it.I never took an 8 count during my career. Out of all the girls I fought Angie Parr hit me with the strongest shots I have taken, she has great hands.

What is your mindset going in to a fight?
I could never doubt I had not put the preparation in, so my only worry would be if I would perform on the night. It’s a long journey to prepare yourself to step in the ring and cutting corners will make yourself doubt your ability as you are warming up ready for battle. I have a very strong mind and I am lucky to be able to cut out negative thoughts, saying that I always suffered with nerves but I used them in a positive way.

What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career?
I am known as The Queen Of Muay Thai my nickname given to me by my fans. Not only because of my fights but my whole story behind the reason of starting and struggles on the way.
I love the fact I inspire all ages and both genders in the sport.

How would you describe your fighting style?
I would always try to fight smart, be one step in front of my opponent. When I started fighting I fought aggressively, as I became more experienced I made opening for myself and enjoyed working on faking a move so I could land a clean shot.

What drives or motivates you?
Myself, If you cannot motivate yourself how can you expect someone else to do it for you? Of course you find motivation on the way from people, footage, images and everyday life.

What is something people might not know about you?
I have always been open in interviews, I would think my fans know as much as they need to know about me.

What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter?
My day job before I turned to Muay Thai full-time was a wages clerk in my local hotel. I started worked at the The Queens Hotel when I was 16 first of all as a chamber maid, then added to my hours by waitressing and bar work. I was then asked to be a full time receptionist and once I had given birth to my daughters they offered me a part-time job in the office as wages clerk. Who knows if I would still be there?

I will never look back at my time spent as a fighter and regret anything. Muay Thai has made me the person I am today, I have loved every second of it, I have the scars from Elbows and memories from the sport which will stay with me for life.

One of my daughters Amber is junior World Champion and Allaya is European Champion. They are concentrating on their school exams at the moment but the fight world has not seen the end of Kitchen female fighters…. Watch this space.

I am now currently working with Enfusion

http://www.enfusion-tv.com/ http://www.enfusionlive.com

Teaching Seminars World Wide

Skype clinics offering my experienced advice on training and preparing for competition.

You can follow me at
http://www.juliekitchen.com

instagram juliekitchenuk1

Hear Her Roar “The Thai Kitten” Grace Cleveland

grace7

February 23rd 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Grace Cleveland
Nickname – Thai Kitten
Weight – 105 Pounds
Record – 2 Wins 0 Losses
Team – High Altitude MMA/ Easton

 

Where are you from ?
I was born in Chiang Mia, Thailand

 

How long have you been training ?
Been training for 4 years total.

 

How did you get in Mixed Martial Arts ?
The gym I was at is one of the best Muay Thai gym in Colorado . So I got lucky to start my career at Factoryx.

 

Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
My coach started calling me the Thai kitten then followed my teammates. It is fitting since I am Thai and like kittens they are cute until you mess with them.

 

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter?
I knew it once I saw that woman could also compete.

 

Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to compete professionally in MMA ?
No no one was supportive at the beginning because either they thought I was a joke or I couldn’t do it just being a small woman.

 

What is your current record ?
5-1 amateur 2-0 pro.

 

What is your favorite strike,submission, or combination to use in a fight ?
I just like to be explosive and unpredictable so I never have anything that my favorite. I guess you could say Armbars, but that is because my very good friend Jennifer Perez who is a great purple belt told me they will always give you an arm. Which for the most part is true! So I’ll always go for an arm.

grace5

Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My coaches, teammates and friends. They inspire me to be great and push me.

 

What team do you train with ?
High Altitude MMA/ Easton

 

What does being fighter mean to you ?
For me it means being a better person. It changed my life

 

What weight do you fight at ?
105lb (Atomweight).

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What do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
That I’m not sure yet. I guess we will have to see since I am only at my beginning of my pro career. I feel though mentally I am different.

 

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
That I am not sure either, but I’m sure once the UFC opens our division I hope to have one.

 

Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
I would say Mallory Martin. I give her credit she did what she was supposed to do. I feel I lost to the lack of experience and if I could take the fight again I would, but at 105lbs instead of 115lbs. It was a huge learning experience and I’m glad we fought.

 

What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
Never underestimate my opponent and that they are going to go as hard as I am. So be ready for a fight. 15 mins of my life in the cage and I’m ready to do this!

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Who are you fighting next ?
I’m fighting for King Of The Cage against Kelli Valerino in Sloan Iowa on April 15th.

 

What holes or weaknesses will you look to exploit in your opponents game during this fight ?
I will take the fight standing or on the ground. It just depends because you can never guess what their weakness is always going to be like. They can be a new improve fighter after their last fight so I never game plan that they suck at this area. My goal is to train like they are the best at everything thing too.

 

What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
It would be awesome to be one of the best, but I guess just fun and exciting to watch is good too!

 

Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My coaches and teammates because they are always there and a part of my career.

 

How would you describe your fighting style ?
I would say an all round fighter, but others might say I love the ground and I’m dominate there.

 

What drives or motivates you to step in the cage and compete ?
I train everyday so I can be ready. I think it is just being prepared and ready to show what I have learned and seeing my improvements.

 

What is something people might not know about you ?
I am adopted and grew up on a farm as a child. We used to have wild cats everywhere and as I kid I would chase and tame all of them. So I guess I always liked cats. I love animals in general!!

 

What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
Working in the mountains during winter season or maybe the airlines so I can travel also. Not 100% sure always been an athlete so who knows. It’s hard to say I would or could have but I’m fighting so I don’t really think at the moment what else would I be doing.

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What gets you mentally prepared for a fight ?
I honestly don’t think of my fight going into a fight. I believe in balance and I entertain my mind with outdoors activities or learning more about the earth.

 

Do you have any rituals that get you ready to step in the cage ?
Just need a really good warm up. I like warming up and moving.

 

your backstage about to walk out your music hits what’s going through your head as you walk to the cage ?
I’m ready let’s do this! Have fun

 

Who is your favourite fighter ?
Michael chandler, Dominick Cruz

 

When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
I love to be outdoors or doing something productive. Teaching myself new things.

 

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
I would say getting a knee bar because that is rare to get. I feel for myself in accomplishment is just improving every time.

 

What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
Do everything with a purpose and give it your all. Don’t care about what others have to say unless it’s helpful. Do what’s best for you.

 

Where do you see women’s MMA in the next 5-10 years ?
Not sure besides it expanding and more woman will be competing and evolving.

grace3

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?
I hope the UFC and being one of the best and a Champ😸

 

What are your goals within the sport ?
My goal is to just keep learning and growing. There is so much to learn it’s awesome!!

 

Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
My Family, coaches, teammates and friends who have been apart of my journey🙏🏽

grace1

Rasthai Temple Fighter Liana Pirosin

liana3

November 29th 2016

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Liana Pirosin
Weight – 52.2kg (115 pounds)
MMA Record – 3 wins 1 loss
Muay Thai Record – 18 wins 5 losses 1 draw
Team – Rasthai Temple

 
Where are you from ?
I live in Brazil, in the city of Curitiba.

How long have you been training in Mixed Martial Arts ?
It’s been seven and a half years since I started training ?

How did you get in to MMA and Muay Thai ?
I started to practice Muay Thai to lose weight, to practice a physical activity, and to learn a personal defense.

Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
I do not have a nickname in MMA, they call me “Li” short for Liana.

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter?
When I had my first fight, unfortunately I did not win, but I felt a great desire to overcome myself, and to try more often.

Were your family and friends supportive when you decide to enter the world of MMA ?
My parents supported me a lot because they thought it was interesting to be involved with the sport.

What is your current record ?
MMA: 4 fights, 3 wins and 1 loss
Muay Thai: 24 fights, 18 wins 5 losses 1 draw

Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My parents.

What team do you currently train with ?
Rasthai Temple, with coach Renato Rasta.

When you step in the ring or cage do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
I like to keep the fight standing up.

What does being fighter mean to you ?
It means daily overcoming, my work, my dream one of my best wishes.

What weight do you fight at ?
52.2kg strawweight category.

What do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
I am dedicated, focused, and determined, and I train with the best.

If you could have a dream fight, who would it be ?
A title match against Joanna, UFC champion.

Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
The Colombian Marcela Nieto.

What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
Confident in God and in all my preparation.

Who are you fighting next ?
I’m going to fight Vanessa Guimarães on December 10th 2016.

What holes or weaknesses do you see in her game that you can exploit ?
She is a tough, experienced athlete and I will have to be very intelligent.

What promotion are you fighting for ?
Immortal FC-6.

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Date and time of your next fight ?
December 10th, 2016

What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
That I was an athlete who always gave everything within the octagon and I have always worked very hard to achieve my goals.

Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My coach and my training partners.

Who do you have the greatest impact on the sport ?
Wanderlei Silva, Cris Cyborg, Shogun.

How would you describe your fighting style ?
Technical and aggressive.

What is something people might not know about you ?
I’m very sensitive and crying, but when I’m fighting I become a strong and brave woman.

What do you think you would be doing today if you had not become a fighter ?
I would be a realist, or a physical education teacher.

What gets you mentally prepared for a fight ?
Trust in God.

Do you have any rituals that will get you ready to step in the cage or ring ?
I like to make a good warm-up, like it’s the 1st round, read a Bible verse and say a prayer.
Your backstage about to walk out your music hits what’s going through your head as you walk to the cage or ring ?
I like to come with a song that speaks of God, to walk towards the cage strengthening me.

Who is your favorite fighter ?
Jose Aldo.

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When you are not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
Eat and watch movies.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
I reached the semi final to compete for the title of champion strawweight in the XFC.

What advice can you give young female fighters ?
I advise that all persevere in the dream, do not give up, the sport has already evolved a lot, and in a while I am sure that we women will be as well seen as the men fighters.

Where do you see women’s MMA and Muay Thai in the next 5-10 years ?
At major events.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?
Champion of a big event, training enough to keep me champion

What are your goals within the sport?
To be champion in the same category, and considered the best in the world.

liana1

The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness

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June 17th 2016

Fighter Profile
Name – Molly Walborn
Age – 12 Years Old
Nickname – The Monster
Weight – 42 kg (92 pounds)
Record – 28 wins 8 losses
Team – Nemesis Muay Thai Academy

Where are you from ?
I am from Erith, Kent.

How long have you been training ?
I have been training in Muay Thai for almost 5 years and been training Brazilian jujitsu for 2 and half years. I have also been doing MMA for a couple of months.

How did you get in to MMA ?
I got into MMA because I watch the UFC with my dad. I really like Ronda Rousey and wanted to get even better than her. I wanted to be the first person to beat her and that made me train even harder.

Tell us about your nickname The Monster how did you get it ?
My fighter name is Molly ‘The Monster’ Walborn. I got that name because people use to tell me I was a monster in the ring.

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to be a fighter ?
I went to train because I struggled with my behavior at school. It was before I was diagnosed with autism. My mum sent me to try to help me. After a few weeks my coach sent me for my first inter club and I knew then this was what I wanted to do. I really enjoyed it.

When you decided to compete in Muay Thai and MMA what was the reaction of your family and friends where they supportive ?
My mum and dad always tell me I can be anything I want to be. They do tell me I have to keep up with school just in case it doesn’t work out but if that’s what I want to do then go for it.

What is your current record ?
My current record is 28 wins and 8 loses in Muay Thai with 8 titles including a world title and I have achieved 1 bronze 2 silver and 10 golds in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and also won Naga 2016 expert division for gi and no gi. I am yet to compete in MMA but hope to this year

What is your favorite strike and submission ?
In Thai it’s the knee and BJJ its arm bar.

Who is your biggest inspiration ?
I watched the UFC over the weekend and Michael Bisping really made me look at things differently. No matter how many times he got close to winning the belt and then got knocked back he kept going and got it in the end.

What team do you train with ?
I currently train at Nemesis Muay Thai Academy with my coaches Michael Tekyi, David Muscat, Bernise Alldis and Austin Gardiner.

Where do you think you would want to take the fight would you keep it standing or take it to the ground ?
All though I have not had an MMA fight I would like to take it to the ground.

What does being a fighter mean to you ?
I love fighting and if I couldn’t I don’t have any words to describe how I would feel.

What weight do you fight at ?
My weight is 42 kg but I am happy to fight anyone.

What separates you from other fighters ?
I don’t know many people who train as much as I do. I go 6 times a week and for up to 3 hours a time. I’m not worried about getting back in the ring with someone I have lost to because you have to beat the best to be the best. My coach always tells me you never lose you either win or learn.

If you could have one dream fight who would it be
against and why ?
My dream fight would be against Miesha Tate. You should always fight the best.

Who has been your toughest opponent ?
My hardest fight was against a girl named Abbie Jones. She was a really good fighter

What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
Before I have a fight I just remind myself that win or lose I just have to do my best.

Who are you fighting next ?
My next fight for BJJ is 26th June but I don’t know who it is until the day.
Muay Thai I will hopefully be fighting 7th August but we are still sorting details out

What weaknesses do you look for in your opponents that you can exploit ?
I don’t look for weaknesses in other people I focus on what they can’t do instead of what I can do

What promotion will you be competing for ?
The BJJ competition is IBJJF British National 2016 June 26th not sure of what time but it is an all day thing.

What do you want people to remember you for at the end of your career ?
I just want to be remembered for being a good fighter who never gave up.

Who has been the biggest influence on you and your career ?
My coaches are my biggest influence cause they made me who I am today.

Who do you think has had the biggest impact om the sport ?
Conor McGregor has made a massive impact in MMA.

How would you describe your fighting style ?
I like to be relaxed placing my shots carefully and I work a lot on counter striking.

What motivates you ?
I don’t need motivating. I love to fight that’s all the motivation I need. I nearly never became a fighter. The first time I went to training I couldn’t understand why I was allowed to hit when I was always told not to. It took 6 months for me to go back.

What do you think you would be doing if you had not become a fighter ?
I’m not sure I can’t imagine not being a fighter.

What gets you ready for a fight do you have any rituals or traditions that get you prepared to walk to the ring ?
The warm up really gets me in the mind-set for a fight. I don’t really have rituals

Your backstage your music plays what is going through your mind as you walk to the ring ?
When the music starts that’s when my nerves kick in and I just tell myself it’s just another fight.

Who is your favorite fighter ?
Iman Barlow is my favorite fighter.

When you’re not training what do you enjoy doing in your free time ?
When I have free time I like to take part in other sports such as swimming, football and gymnastics and go out with my mates.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport ?
Winning my first ever title. It was the best feeling in the world.

What do you think the biggest challenges are for women in combat sports ?
The way people look at woman fighters and the lack of categories for woman. It’s getting better but still not the same as the way people look at male fighters.

What advice can you give to other young fighters ?
My advice would be don’t let people put you off. If you want it enough go for it.

Where do you see women’s MMA in 5 years ?
I think people are going to see what woman are really made of. Hopefully there will be more support for us by then.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?
Hopefully in 5 years I will be having pro fights and getting ready to be on the UFC.

What are your goals ?
My main goal is to be a world champion.

Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
The people I want to thank are my coaches. Michael Tekyi Bernise Alldis and David Muscat for always being there and believing in me. For never giving up on me. Also a special shout out to some one who started me off with the help of Michael Tekyi and that’s Mark Colville. When many people said I couldn’t do it and wouldn’t get any where they were there for me.

Lucielle “The Buster” Verhoef

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February 6th 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Lucielle Verhoef
Nickname – The Buster
Age – 13
Weight – 50kg (110 Pounds)
Record – 30 Wins 7 Losses 2 Draws
Team – Fight and Power Academy

 

 
Where are you from ?
Amersfoort Holland.

 

How old are you ?
13 years old.

 

How long have you been training ?
I started at 7 years old with Judo. When I was 9 i started K1 and Muaythai, I just started BJJ.

 

How did you get in to Muay Thai ?
My dad brought me to the gym.

 

Tell us about your nickname how you got it ?
A cousin of Bas Rutten give me that name and I liked it.

 

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter?
I really don’t know.

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Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of Muay Thai and combat sports ?
Yes they love it and they have supported me from the beginning.

 

What is your current record ?
30-7-2

 

What is your favorite strike, or combination to use in a fight ?
My favorite combination to use in a fight is the spinning backfist.

 

Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My dad and Ronda Rousey.

 
What team do you train with ?
Fight and Power Academy.

 
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
Standing and fighting is my favorite.

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What does being a fighter mean to you ?
Its my life.

 
What weight do you fight at ?
50kg.

 

what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
I have the best trainers you can have in my opinion. Azad Soufi and Dennis Van Der Linden.

 

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against and why ?
I hope Cris Cyborg is still fighting when I am 18.

 
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Marie Day from England.

 

What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
Just focus.

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Who are you fighting next ?
Shannon Hands.

 

What holes or weaknesses do you see in there her game that you can take advantage of?
I do my own thing, make my own game plan and so we go in the fight.

 

What promotion are you fighting for ?
Different promotions I am not contracted yet so I can fight everywhere.

 

Date and time of your next fight ?
February 4th 2017 Newcastle England

 

What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I hope they remember me as a good person.

 

What is your favorite quote or motto ?
Peace will win and fear will lose.

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What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
I think the my world titles where the best, but my hardest fight were the dutch championships.

 

Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My dad.

 

Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why ?
Dana White UFC because he made MMA big as it is.

 

How would you describe your fighting style ?
Offensive.

 

What drives or motivates you to step in the ring and compete ?
Music helps me a lot.

 

What is something people might not know about you ?
There’s so much they do not know.

 

When you are not in the gym training what do you like to do in your free time?
I like listening to music and being on social media.

 

What advice can you give to other young fighters ?
Keep going and never give up.


What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
I think I would be a drummer in a band.

 

What gets you mentally prepared for a fight ?
Just focus, in my own head I see the fight before it starts.

 

do you have rituals that get you ready to go to step in the ring ?
Listening to music and preparing with my father.

 

Where do you see the sport of Muay Thai in 5-10 years ?
I think its very big, bigger then ever.

 

Who is your favorite fighter ?
Jorina Baars and Georgina Van Der Linden.

 
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
First I want to thank my parents for every thing they do for me and my little brother he’s my biggest fan.

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To follow Lucielle and stay up to date with all the latest news from her click the link below to check out her fan page
https://www.facebook.com/Lucielle-the-Buster-Verhoef-1597113853918589/

Amateur Spotlight Akeela “AK”Al-Hameed

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February 5th 2016
SFCL and The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness present The National Amateur Spotlight.

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Akeela Al-Hameed
Nickname – AK
Weight – 135-145 Pounds
Record – 3 Wins 0 Losses
Titles Held – 2016 Thai Boxing Association Super Welterweight Title
Team – Spartan Martial Arts

 

Representing Spartan Martial Arts and training under Tom and Kelly Schmitz, this is Akeela “AK” Al-Hameed. Akeela stands 5’6 and a half and competes at both 135 and 145lbs.

 

Akeela comes to us from Fort Dodge, Iowa, and fights out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Akeela is very well rounded, winning the 2016 Thai Boxing Association super welterweight title, as well as holding a blue belt in jiu-jitsu. “I am a huge fan of jiu-jitsu and the love of this art grows each day. I am currently a blue belt with an undefeated record in matches and I roll every day. I am a competitive martial artist and will be competing in numerous jiu-jitsu competitions in the near future”.

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Akeela also holds a 3-0 MMA record and is the #2 ranked ammy female, pound for pound, in Minnesota, by tapology.com. Akeela was brought to MMA by another fighter. “I was introduced to MMA by a former fighter, Dan Kiser. I walked into the gym and got destroyed by every member, big and small. Because of my competitive spirit, I believe it isn’t over till I win, so I kept coming back for more”.

 
Akeela is looking to return to the cage soon, but is very difficult to match. “I am having a tough time finding women who are even willing to throw down, let alone scrap for a title. The courage is thin in the Midwest and I am trained to go with any amateur regardless of experience and skill level. Being an amateur is about fighting whoever is in front of you. This is not the stage to pick and choose.

 
I would like to thank the many promotions/individuals/matchmakers who have put the effort into finding me opponents, I am grateful for their help”. Akeela was able to find a Muay Thai match, March 4th, at the Canterbury Park Expo Center, for Driller Promotions.

Follow Akeela’s career on Instagram @ak_hashashin

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Contributing Writer – Conrad “The Influence” Loucks

“The Samoan Savage” Jhonoven Pati

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January 31st 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Jhonoven Pati
Nickname – The Samoan Savage
Weight – 185 Pounds
Pro Record – 1 Win 1 Loss
Team – Fort Hood Fight Team

 

Where are you from ?
Originally from the Islands of Samoa I Was an Army brat growing up so I was born in Germany , raised in North Carolina till I was 10 , and then moved to Texas and I have been there ever since.

 

How long have you been training ?
Since 2012 , so about 4 years now.

 

How did you get in to MMA ?
Funny story. We used to box in our locker room in high school and I was somewhat decent and one of my best friends dropped out of college and stared fighting and he remembered the high school boxing matches in the varsity locker room and told me to come give the sport a try . Thanks Geoff Neal lol.

 

Tell us about your nickname how you got it ?
“The Samoan Savage” After my first fight I was out of control like a savage and I’m SAMOAN lol so my coach said SAMOAN savage lol.

 

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter?
The first day I touched the matt and got punched in the face and realized I was still moving forward though the adversity , I instantly fell in love.

 

Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to pursue a career in MMA ?
Yeah they were . Especially my dad and brother ! It was hard for my mother and sister and still is till this day but they support me because it’s what I love to do.

 

What is your current record ?
Ammy 7-0, Pro 1-1.

 

What is your favorite strike, submission, or combination to use in a fight ?
Straight , liver kick, spinning back kick, and body hook to the liver side.

 

Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My father , I just want to make this guy so proud !

 

What team do you train with ?
Fort Hood Fight Team.

 

When you enter the cage where do you like the fight to take place do you like to stand and throw hands with your opponent or take the fight to the ground?
Lol bang bro! I’m an islander ! The fight starts on the feet and that’s where I want it to stay ! I’m sure the fans agree !

 

What does being a fighter mean to you ?
Fighting in the cage is a great analogy to fighting in life . Just like rocky said it’s not about how many times life knocks you down its how about getting hit and still moving forward !

 

What weight do you fight at ?
185, yeah crazy right ? A Samoan at 185 lol.

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What do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
My team ! My coaches ! I have the best around Texas without a doubt in my mind ! They are a reflection of me ! Without them I’m nothing !

 

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against and why ?
Chris Weidman! Because he beat my hero Anderson Silva!

 

Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
Ryan span . He’s my only loss and if I fought him again it would be completely different ! I was inexperienced . It was his night ! But not a day goes by that I haven’t taken advantage of to never let that happen again!

 

What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
Be like water . Bruce lee! Literally ! That’s all that’s on my mind !

 

Who are you fighting next ?
Whoever they put in front of me !

 

What holes or weaknesses do you see in their game that you can take advantage of and exploit ?
Lol good try . Next question .

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What promotion are you fighting for ?
Whatever one will take me.

 

Date and time of your next fight ?
In the works as we’re speaking.

 
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
Leaving people with something worth value in helping them be better people in life ! Life is more than what you see in the cage ! Just the way the you look at things ! Change your perspective in life !

 
What is your favorite quote or motto ?
So many but the most important to me is John 3:16 because without this there is nothing else !

 
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Still being able to see today! Which isn’t promised ! Every new day is my biggest accomplishment! Because this sport isn’t forever , so everyday in it is a blessing !

 

Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My family ! Including my girl ! And my COACH KRU KASIB ! And my brother Geoff Neal !

 

Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why ?
Anderson Silva ! He was literally the best fighter to ever step in the cage ! And now Conor McGrgeor ! His story is what revived my career !

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How would you describe your fighting style ?
Muay Thai practitioner that knows how to wrestle lol.

 

What drives or motivates you to step in the cage and compete ?
That fact that I’m alive , and I have another chance daily to make my family’s life easier by making it big one day!

 

What is something people might not know about you ?
That I’m truly a FAT KID at heart hahah. I love food so much! That’s why I protect my abs with a little layer of chub bahaha.

 

When you are not in the gym training what do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a huge gamer ! Love spending time with my woman! Love spending time with my church family ! Love to throw down on the Grill lol.

 

What advice can you give to the next generation of fighters ?
When you come into this , go in there with the best guy at the first gym you go to , and see if the sport is for you ! Because getting punched in the face isn’t for everyone , and usually the best guy will take care of you but he will also let you see some things to at least let you measure yourself and see if the sport is for you .

 

What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
Probably a wack 9-5 and just ….living a routine life ….boring right ?

 

What gets you mentally prepared for a fight ?
Seclusion . Training with my team . And staying at work , I don’t like to change my routine because it kinda makes me treat the fight like more than it is. It’s just a fight and I fight daily , so why act like it’s any different ? You know what I mean.

 

Do you have any rituals that get you ready to step in the cage ?
Prayer , prayer , prayer ! And don’t get me wrong . I’m not a guy that believes in praying for a win! God doesn’t work like that! He doesn’t bless a winner and a loser . He gives us the ability to work for that! I just ask him for the strength to take advantage of my abilities!

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years
In the UFC! Or working for another big promotion ! It WILL happen ! and Providing for my family and church because I made it to the UFC.

 

What do you think can change moving forward to make MMA better as a sport ?
Get rid of the politics in the sport!

 

Who is your favorite fighter ?
Anderson Silva , Carlos Condit , Connor McGregor , in that order.

 

Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?

My woman Donna baby Ariana !
My family !
My coach KRU kasib , chad turner , Patrick Miller , Colton smith , Jamir Toledo
My TEAM
My friends
My fans

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In Deep Water With Cody “Black Shark” Moberly

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January 16th 2017

 

Fighter Profile
Name – Cody Moberly
Nickname – Black Shark
Weight – 135-145 Pounds
Record – 23Wins 15 Losses 7 Knockouts
Team – Black Shark Muay Thai

 

Where are you from ?
I’m from Wichita, Kansas.

 

How long have you been training in Muay Thai ?
I have been training since I was 16 so 12 years of training.

 

How did you get into Muay Thai ?
I got into Muay Thai after watching a documentary about it. I had just dropped out of school and was working for a plumber..I hated it.

 

Tell us about your nickname “Black Shark” How did you get it ?
Black Shark come from my trainer Hum. He taught me a lot and his Wai Kru. He owned a Thai cafe here and I would go there to eat and train. His nickname in Thailand was Black Shark.

 

What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter?
I’ve been fighting since I was a kid. If anyone disrespect me or my friends at the time I was a hot head with anger problems. Muay Thai got me out of a lot of stupid shit I was getting involved in.

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Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to pursue Muay Thai as a career?
My family supports my path but of course would rather me stay home and work a normal 9-5. I tried that life and almost drank myself to death.

 

What is your current record ?
My current pro record is 23w 15L 7ko

 

What is your favorite strike or combination to use in a fight ?
I like to clinch and sneak elbows in through that point.

 

Who is your biggest inspiration in Muay Thai ?
My biggest inspiration is Ramon Dekkers he showed the world it doesn’t matter if you want it bad enough.

 

What team do you train with ?
I’ve been at a few places to train since I got back from Thailand in April Universal Muay Thai in Phoenix, Arizona. I had my own gym for a bit but I have my team Black Shark Muay Thai.

 

What does being a fighter mean to you ?
What does being a fighter mean to me?
Well at this point it is just my job. It means a paycheck and not very much. So obviously not doing it for the money. But I’m a fighter and I’d much rather struggle fighting than live on my knees, hoping the system is going to do right by me and my family. I feel much better and sleep much better if I can fight for the opportunities ahead of me.If I give up I will have to learn a trade and go to school. This is the path for me and regardless if one day I end up under a bridge I will keep this path I will not lose sight of what I’m fighting for.I fight because it’s me. It’s who I am and where I’m most alive.

 

What weight do you fight at ?
I was fighting around 130lbs in Bangkok but America has put weight on me haha I’m around 145lbs now I’d like to fight around 135lbs.

 

What separates you from other fighters ?
What separates me from other fighters? Mostly nothing. We are all capable I just have the experience. I’m just a normal person who refused to settle.

 

If you could have one dream fight who would it be against and why ?
Dream fight.. I’d like to fight against McGregor in a Muay Thai fight.

 

Out of all your fights which one has been your toughest ?
My toughest fight would have been at the Burmese border fighting no gloves and got head butted in the jaw. Those Burmese boys are tough.

What is your mindset heading into fight night ?
My mindset going into a fight is another day at the office. I just want to fight well and keep calm.

 

Who are you fighting next ?
Don’t know who I’m fighting next. There are some possibilities being discussed.

 

What do you want people to remember you for at the end of your career ?
At the end of my career I don’t care if I’m remembered I just hope I can inspire someone to think damn if he did it I can too. I just want to help light the way a bit.

 

Who has been the biggest influence on you and your career as a Muay Thai Fighter ?
The most influential person in my career would be Andy Zerger. All my roots and everything I’ve amounted to is thanks to him.

 

Who do you think has had the biggest impact and influence on Muay Thai ?
Biggest impact on the sport I’d definitely say Buakaw.

 

How would you describe your fighting style to a new fan of Muay Thai ?
My fighting style is traditional and I like to use tricks.

 

What drives and motivates you to step in the ring and compete ?
The drive to fight and compete in the ring is the motivation. Death and life. One day this life as I know it will be gone. It won’t matter what kind of car I have or home. Nothing really will. My only goal every time I step into a ring is to Inspire.

 

What is something people might not know about you ?
People might not know that I was a monk for a while.

 

What do you thin you would be doing today if you had never found Muay Thai or become a fighter ?
If I hadn’t fought I know exactly what I’d be doing probably still selling drugs. But definitely working a job I hate and drinking my life away with no hope. Muay Thai made me believe that there is more out there.

 

What gets you mentally prepared for a fight ?
Mental preparation just remember the struggle and the training.

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Do you have any rituals that prepare you for stepping in the ring ?
I meditate.

 

Your backstage about to walk out your music hits what’s going through your head as you walk to the ring ?
When I’m about to walk out I’m thinking about the events leading up to this point and I keep in mind that I’m writing my story now!

 

Who is your favorite fighter ?
My favourite fighter is Anuwat Kaewsamrit.

When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
When I’m not training I love to cook especially Thai food. I like to go to markets and flea markets and just look at what people are selling and doing. I like to people watch in places with seas of faces and different life. It’s crazy to think what kind of different life these people may have or their stories.

 

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
My biggest accomplishment would be when I won the Queens cup in Bangkok 2015.

 

Where do you see Muay Thai in the next 5-10 years ?
Muay Thai is going up and I can’t wait to see what fighters we can cook up here.

 

Where do you see yourself 5 years down the road ?
In the next 5 years I’d like to be back in Thailand and teaching English. Possibly open my own cafe in Bangkok.

 

What are your goals within the sport ?
My goal in the sport have mostly been checked off but there is one major goal I want to fight for a belt at Rajademnern or Lumpinee stadium.

 
Is there anyone you would like to than or give a shout out to ?
I’d like to give a shout out to.
Andy Zerger, Jonothan Balgame, Dave Brooks, Charlton Henri and
Uncle Hum RIP.

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