All posts by Tawanda Musonza

Juma switches from hoops to hip hop

Sitting in front of Wilson Juma, long limbed and muscular, you’d be thinking point or shooting guard.

It was actually both positions that I remember him playing when I used to go and watch, before he switched from dominating games in Britain to trying his luck in America, the home of hoops.

Juma had always been athletic even when he was very young playing multiple sports.

He had a passion for football and showed much potential. But he found himself more comfortable with the ball in his hands, and ever since then basketball became his life.

Training under Corry Macgee for a couple of years at LEAP Basketball in Cobham, the teenager proved to be a force to reckoned with and soon found himself in America, competing at prep school with some of the best athletes in Florida.

But one wonders what it must have felt to go through all that. The switch from leafy Surrey to the Sunshine State must have been extreme.

Adapting

It felt like I’d done what I needed to do. I was happy to actually set a goal and go through with it and get there and actually see that it works,” he said. 

And trying to get out there, it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, basically. It was pretty much trying to swim across.

“So when I got there, I felt like I’ve got to make sure I get better, grow as a person and take as much advantage as I could.” 

Adapting to life in America wasn’t so easy. It’s one thing to achieve a goal, but it’s altogether another trying to press the reset button and compete again from the bottom of the ladder.

That is what Juma would have been when he arrived in America, some kind of a flawed athlete with potential, but an equal amount of work needed to get rid of all the dust clouding his ability.

Organised

Juma said: “It was a big step, dude. I came back home so tired. In fact when I got there for my first try-out, everybody was built, ready to go. I took on the point guard, full court defence the whole session without stopping. And I was shooting well, playing well. That was my first ever workout there.

“The first six games were the worst I’ve ever experienced in my life in basketball”

“I was told I had all the aspects needed, but I just had to get acquainted to the fundamentals of the game. Just being taught different fundamentals that fit with playing college.

“Just playing free is different, College is a lot more organised. You have to be accountable for everything you do. They try to teach you to be a professional.

“Because most people get taught that in high school, I needed to go through that. So I went to prep school.”

Prep school is one big battlefield. It is the furnace between high school and college, where everyone is fighting for that scholarship.

Change or fold

Athletes from many high schools spend a year at prep schools giving their all to secure a place in one of America’s most prestigious colleges.

One outstanding prep school is Findley. It has produced the likes of Avery Bradley (Boston Celtics), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Corey Joseph (San Antonio Spurs) and Anthony Bennet (Cleveland Cavaliers).

Juma played a the Impact Academy in Sarasota, and said: “We were playing against colleges and universities only, so think about all the top prep schools in the US and top universities in Florida.

“Some games we would lose by 30, some games we would win. But I remember the first six games were the worst I’ve ever experienced in my life in basketball.

“Then after those six games, I was put in a position where I’d have to either change or fold. And I made a change, I started working on myself, expanding, growth is painful.

“But when you realise you can do it, it sets you apart from everyone else. I remember there were eight point guards at my prep school and they were all nice, fighting for that scholarship.”

Freedom

Things were going well for Juma. He was playing well at prep school and gaining attention.

I remember one session I had got so good, we were put on the court to play one on one against all of them, the 6’5  or 6’3 point guard. I would out-muscle, out-jump and think faster than them. I had adapted myself to the environment,” he said. 

And that hard work bore fruit. He would attend the University of Maine, another goal that had been set and achieved in a very short space of time.

College life is crazy, there is nothing like it. There is a lot going on in college,” he said.

“You have a lot of freedom, people do whatever they want. If you’re a student athlete, you’re a prized possession because you bring money to universities and schools.

“You’re an asset to the school so you are treated with respect.”

But his happiness at Maine would be short lived. Complications with his scholarship meant that a year later, he would be preparing to come back home to England.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make, it’s never easy to climb down that mountain of potential. Especially potential that had almost been realised.

But Juma did not cast a negative eye on this move at all.

He said: “I had experienced a lot and got a lot out of being in the US. Coming back was not a problem for me because I felt like in the US I was successful.

“I ended up playing American football and soccer and being successful at both sports. I ended up going to nationals with my soccer team and also successfully attaining a scholarship with my college.

I felt like I had many places I could put my hands and had opportunities to still play for my national team [Zimbabwe Basketball]. It was one of the things I was actually looking forward to do when I came back home.

“Not necessarily playing professionally, but I just wanted to keep myself active whilst I was attaining my education and work on my other endeavours.”

From hoops to hip hop

And those endeavours have served him well. He now goes by the name of Woddy Green and is an up-and-coming music artist and producer based in Manchester.

Also a member of the hip hop collective Roots Raddix, he said: “Music is something I took lightly and I took for granted. But I am grateful that I was involved in music from a young age.

“I got opportunities to learn about music and learn instruments, and the ability to make the music is something I’m also grateful for. To be in a position to push my music further is something I never thought about before.”

Basketball changed his life, he will never forget the places it took him; playing in America and for Zimbabwe.

But basketball is no longer his life. Juma, aka Woddy Green, is now more known for his poetic flows and lyrical genius than his ability to dominate on the court.

You can follow Woddy Green on Twitter.

At last – sport has a spring in its step

Spring is about to give a much-needed boost to the sporting calendar.

Apart from the occasional big event, such as the Australian Open and the Super Bowl, the period between November and March offers pretty thin pickings for armchair sports fans.

Even rugby union’s Six Nations competition is now a long, drawn-out affair, meaning there really are some weekends when we should go outside and take a walk because there is simply nothing worth watching on TV.

But come the end of March, and things start looking up.

Formula 1 is revving up for its new campaign, beginning with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 26th, following swiftly by the first major of the golf season, the Masters at Augusta (April 6-9th).

Football

The 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign is reignited towards the end of the month. England boss Gareth Southgate has gone back to the future by selecting 34-year-old Jermaine Defoe.

The Sunderland striker’s last international match was in November 2013, but he’ll be hoping to feature against Lithuania at Wembley on March 27th.

With Leicester’s Jamie Vardy not finding last season’s form, and Tottenham’s Harry Kane injured, goal threats from midfield inclujding Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard and Delle Alli will be key for the Three Lions.

Domestically, if Chelsea continue in their current form, we will not have to wait until May to know who will be crowned the Premier League Champions this season.

Brighton and Newcastle look to have the Championship’s automatic promotion spots sewn up, but they’ve both suffered wobbles in recent weeks and can’t take their eye of the pursuing pack.

Rugby union

With the Six Nations having drawn to its conclusion, the attention of rugby union fans switches to this summer’s eagerly awaited British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

It begins in early June, with three Tests against the mighty All Blacks scheduled for June 24th, July 1st and 8th.

The Lions are again being coached by Warren Gatland, who led them to a 2-1 series win in Australia four years ago.

But the Kiwi will know that the best British and Irish talents have their work cut out against the 2011 and 2015 World Cup winners.

Tennis

Maybe it’s just me, but watching Andy Murray trying to win at Wimbledon was more compelling than seeing him actually take the title in 2013, then again last year.

Nonetheless, the British sporting summer will reach its peak in July as the Scot goes for his third men’s singles crown in SW19.

He’d be a popular winner again, but perhaps not as acclaimed as Roger Federer, who’ll be going for his eighth title at the age of 35, having won the Australian Open in January.

Coincidentally, Serena Williams, also 35, will also be chasing an eighth ladies singles crown, having also won in Melbourne.

Athletics

West Ham’s current home will return to it’s original use when the London Stadium hosts the Anniversary Games in July, followed by the World Athletics and ParaAthletics Championships in August.

The Worlds will offer British athletics fans their final chance to see quadruple Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah competing on the track before his switch to road racing.

He’ll be hoping the controversy over claims that his coach Alberto Salazar has at least infringed the spirit of anti-doping rules won’t spoil his track farewell in London.

Another all-time great hanging up his spikes after the Worlds is Usain Bolt; the Jamaican will be aiming to go out with yet more sprint golds to add to his astounding collection.

 

Formula 1

The real reason why March properly kicks off the sporting year is those five lights going out in Melbourne to start the new Formula 1 season.

New cars, new drivers and even new rules are waiting for us on the 26th of March. Last year we said goodbye to the German Grand Prix, Jenson Button and Manor racing who folded.

This year, we say hello to Stoffel Vandoorne at McLaren, Lance Stroll at Williams and myriad technical rule changes.

The arrival of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes has fans rubbing their hands with excitement.

The Finn has already confirmed his talents at Williams, but how will he measure up against new team-mate and triple F1 champion Lewis Hamilton – surely the best driver of the current era?

Bottas’s predecessor Nico Rosberg took the drivers crown last season but promptly retired, not wishing to face another year of battling Hamilton for the title.

One to watch – Osaze Urhoghide

Hull City goalkeeper Will Mannion and Stoke defender Ryan Sweeney are prized products of AFC Wimbledon’s acclaimed academy.

Another prospect hoping to join the ranks of those successful graduates is 16-year-old Osaze Urhoghide.

A first-year scholar formerly of CB Hounslow United, the tall and nimble centre-back was discovered at a tournament where he was representing his former club.

“We were at a tournament in the summer and there was an AFC Wimbledon scout who approached me afterwards. I went on trial for five months and then I got signed on a two-year scholarship deal,” Urhoghide said.

Since his arrival at AFC Wimbledon, Urhoghide has seen drastic improvements in his game.

He said: “How I see the game tactically, the way I play, I have to do more things now. My positioning and what I do with my first touch, plus talking and communication are emphasised at our club.”

Competitive

AFC may be categorised as third in the pecking order under the Premier League’s controversial Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) introduced in 2011, but in recent years they have often punched above their weight at academy level.

A good example is this year’s FA Youth Cup run that saw them finish just outside the quarter-final places after a defeat to Preston North End.

Being in London makes a place at AFC’s academy a prized possession. Many of the players released by the top London clubs, still young and wanting to stay in the capital, find themselves fighting for scholarships at clubs like AFC.

As a result of this, Urhoghide admits himself that this makes things “quite competitive”.

 Main focus

To add to that, featuring for under-21s against more physically developed opponents adds more fuel to his desire to succeed.

“Height-wise it’s not much of a difference. They may be bigger, but once we’re playing, I feel like I can handle it,” he said.

“Football is my main focus, so I hope that the hard work pays off”

Despite his shy and calm demeanour off the pitch, once on it Urhoghide enjoys making things difficult for opponents no matter what their size or level of talent and experience.

With his first year as a scholar almost completed, attention will soon start to turn towards life after the academy.

Players will usually know their fate at their academy clubs a few months into their second year as scholars, with the offer or lack thereof, a professional contract.

“I’ve been thinking about that quite a lot lately. My aim is to work harder going into my second year so I can get a professional contract. Football is my main focus, so I hope that the hard work pays off.”

AFC Wimbledon Under-18s have nine games left in their current campaign. It will not be long before Urhoghide begins the most important season of his life.

Do we really need boxing’s bad blood and feuds?

How far do boxers need to go in order to grab our attention when it comes to hyping up a big fight? And how far is too far?

These are questions that came to mind when Dereck Chisora threw a table at Dillian Whyte during a news conference to promote their recent contest in Manchester.

Are the months of sweat, pain and dedication that goes into preparing for a bout not enough to attract viewers? Does there have to be bad blood – or at least what appears to be real animosity between boxers?

“There was mutual respect shown in the end, but then we all know that they didn’t really hate each other’s guts in the first place”

That certainly seemed to be the case in 2002, when Mike Tyson sank his teeth into Lennox Lewis’s leg during a press conference brawl in New York.

A few years down the line, it was David Haye gatecrashing the media event after Vitali Klitschko had beaten Chisora (that man again).

A heated exchange of insults quickly descended into chaotic scenes in which Chisora was hit with a bottle and threatened to ‘shoot’ and ‘physically burn’ his fellow British heavyweight.

Ahead of their fight at West Ham’s Upton Park stadium, the two Londoners were kept apart by a fence and a battalion of security staff.

Sworn enemies?

Back to Chisora v Whyte, and was that airborne item of furniture really necessary just to sell a few more satellite and cable TV pay-per-views?

It resulted in their bout being stripped of its British title status, and could have resulted in someone – a journalist, photographer or passing PR person – getting seriously injured. All in the name of selling a fight.

As it turned out, that fight was a bona fide thriller, with Whyte winning by a split decision and the general consensus being it was one of the year’s best contests.

There was mutual respect shown between the two fighters in the end, but then we all know that they didn’t really hate each other’s guts in the first place.

Isn’t it fascinating how we lap up the pre-fight narrative of boxers being sworn enemies, only to commend them for sharing a warm embrace at the end of the fight.

Trash talk

Boxing is particularly prone to opponents trash-talking each other, and has a long tradition of fighters ‘calling out’ rivals and threatening to do all sorts to them once they step into the ring.

“There is a serious side of ‘the noble art’ that is being completely being ignored in favour of the gimmicky, the soundbite and the video clip that goes viral”

Surely what makes a fight is the match-up, the clash of style and tactics, the test of character and one’s chin inside the ropes, not at a press conference or weigh-in.

True, nobody was better at winding up opponents that Muhammad Ali, but this was a form of verbal showmanship – you never saw ‘The Greatest’ throwing tables at George Foreman or Joe Frazier.

Their fight build-ups involved no flying furniture, or any need for an army of heavies to keep two adults apart in case they couldn’t possibly resist the temptation to knock each other’s blocks off there and then, with no cheque, title or win-loss record at stake.

Struggles

Perhaps ‘the show’ is losing its credibility as a result of too much window dressing. Instead of magnifying meaningless spats that happened years ago, why don’t promoters focus more on the human stories of these boxers and their backgrounds?

Okay, so when Whyte fought Anthony Joshua in yet another ‘grudge’ bout, they were indeed former amateur opponents, with Whyte the winner over three rounds.

But when it came to Whyte v Chisora, we were told their feud was all down to a few sparring sessions in the gym a while back.

What about the struggle that each boxer has had to face throughout their careers? Why do they fight? Why do choose to risk their health every time they enter the ring?

There is a serious side of ‘the noble art’ that is being completely being ignored in favour of the gimmicky, the soundbite and the video clip that goes viral.

Reckoning

Nick Blackwell had to be placed in a medically induced coma for a week after his fight with Chris Eubank Jr earlier this year.

Eduard Gutknecht underwent surgery after his fight with George Groves, and Mike Towell died after his fight with Dale Evans as a result of severe bleeding and swelling to the brain.

Whyte and Chisora are both family men. Is there not a better story to be told here in light of recent events?

Chisora’s £30,000 fine and his suspended two-year ban isn’t going to do much in the way of deterring this sort behaviour in the name of selling a fight.

The irony is, when the hour of reckoning came, their fight proved to be truly memorable one.

But while actual tickets to a fight night are limited by the size of the arena, there are always more PPVs to be sold, so the hype and the press conference antics will continue.

One day, someone is really going to get hurt…

SA Rugby’s problems are bigger than wins or losses

When Nelson Mandela presented the Webb Ellis trophy to Francois Pienaar after South Africa’s 1995 Rugby World Cup triumph, what had traditionally been seen as a white man’s sport briefly seemed to have the power to unite the Rainbow Nation.

In reality, rugby union in South Africa has been something of  a political football ever since, with the game’s custodians under constant pressure to make the national team more representative of the country’s post-apartheid society.

Staying in the top five of the world rankings for years on end, winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup and making the semi-finals in 2015 was all well and good.

But powerful voices in South Africa criticised the Springboks’ continuing failure to reflect and connect with the black majority.

Photo Credit: GovernmentZA

Identity crisis

Currently, the team is struggling badly under head coach Allister Coetzee, beaten in recent weeks by England, Wales and even – for the first time in their history – Italy.

What many are seeing as an ailing squad, a team without leadership and or direction is in fact the manifestation of a country going through an identity crisis.

Just this year alone, there was a protest held by the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) outside the South African Rugby Union (SARU) HQ regarding the lack of visible transition in the Springbok team.

According to Sport24: “Chaos erupted outside SARU. Protesters were carrying placards with phrases such as ‘Cricket, Netball and Tennis are next. White Supremacy must fall’.”

Do they have a point? Does white supremacy still exist in South African sport?

In September 2015, Siya Mnyanda writing for the Guardian Africa network said: “Rugby’s reluctance to grapple with its past and take concrete steps to mirror the country’s demographic make-up reflects how black South Africans remain spectacularly sidelined in many aspects of life.”

This was in the wake of then-head coach Heyneke Meyer selecting an overwhelmingly white squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

But the ANCYL aren’t their only enemy either. A little known party called the Agency for New Agenda took SARU to court over “the lack of transformation in South Africa rugby”.

Sanctions

“Although much has been done to transform the country, the national team’s rugby selection criteria are racially exclusionary and biased in favour of whites. Fikile Mbalula [the sports minister] has failed to transform rugby, and any argument SARU represents to justify it’s failure to do so should be treated with disdain.

“It has betrayed the trust of millions of South Africans, continues to resist change and should attract the severest sanctions possible.”

“A scholarship here and there to a few non-white players isn’t going to cut it”

These were the words of the ANA’s president, Edward Mahlomola Mokhoanatse. Despite their case being eventually thrown out, the fact that such a situations developed shows how bad race relations are in South Africa, and how much worse they could get.

Coetzee has been the scapegoat many have chosen to point their frustrated fingers at. To some it’s the fact that he has never actually coached an international side, having been an assistant to Jake White in 2007.

Others are calling for the entire system to be brought down. Just recently, a petition was started in the name of overhauling the entire Springbok coaching staff.

A quick scroll down the comments section and it doesn’t take long before you run into the interesting comments that have dominated this issue, ever since the government decided to turn its attention to SARU.

Transformation

Loyal fans may cry over poor form and losses, but the sad truth is that the issue is bigger than that.

Rugby union’s grassroots transformation in South Africa has been great, it has yielded results.

“If organic means have failed to bring about this change, it must be engineered to bring about a Springbok team that represents all of South Africa”

But unfortunately that transformation has failed to reach the highest tier of SA Rugby which is their national team.

In order to aid the transformation going on below national level, it too has to transform. Rugby will remain a white sport if the country is to depend on grassroots transformation alone.

A scholarship here and there to a few non-white players isn’t going to cut it.

They say seeing is believing. What is going to motivate young black boys to pursue a career in rugby when year after year they watch a predominantly white Springbok team?

How is the seed going to be planted in their minds when their parents, their families either despise the team or at, best, don’t identify with it?

Oppression

To South Africa’s black majority, the Springboks have never represented them.

Instead, they have been a constant reminder of the old South Africa that many wish to bury in the depths of their memories.

The old regime of racial segregation and white-minority oppression may have been dismantled many years ago.

But, sadly, and despite the efforts of SARU and the Ministry of Sports, the Springboks have failed to refresh and update themselves to be more representative of today’s South Africa.

If achieving this means taking 10 steps back, appointing a coach who has never held international credentials or enforcing an aggressive quota system, then so be it.

Yes, sport should be kept separate from politics, but if the sport cannot govern itself well enough to fall in line with the new South Africa, then politics must intervene.

If organic means have failed to bring about this change, it must be engineered to bring about a Springbok team that represents all of South Africa. Not a team made up of old boys from predominantly ten white schools.

Laura Howarth – fighting mentality

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Preparation is an integral part of any fighter’s routine.

There is no killer blow or perfectly executed punch combo that can create the desired effect without weeks of fine tuning.

In this video, professional MMA fighter Laura Howarth talks about the process she goes through and the state of mind she needs in preparing for a bout.

Based is Portsmouth, she fights for Invicta FC and has two wins and one loss under her belt so far.

 

Day in the life – Dina Asher-Smith

Dina Asher-Smith was named British Young Sports Woman of the Year in 2015, and for good reason.

At the age of 20, the Team GB sprinter is the fastest British woman in history. The 2014 Junior World 100m champion and 2013 Junior European 200m gold medallist now holds the UK records at both distances.

Originally from Orpington in Kent, she is currently combining top-level athletics with studying for a degree at Kings College London. She runs for Blackheath and Bromley Harriers.

Her main ambition for 2016 is to compete successfully at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Here she talks about her daily routine.

What time do you wake up and why?

It changes day to day! Normally it ranges between 7 and 8am depending on how early my lectures are on that day, but I don’t normally stay in bed for too long anyway. So many things to do!

What do you have for breakfast and why?

I normally have either yoghurt and granola and a banana, or scrambled eggs and maybe some chorizo or spinach – either one with a glass of water. I have it because I obviously like the taste of them – ha,ha! –  and because they’re relatively healthy and provide me with the energy I need for the rest of the morning.

What’s your morning training regime and how does it affect everything else you have to do before lunch?

Since I have lectures most days in the morning, I only do morning sessions on Wednesday and Saturday. I kind of prefer morning sessions, because it’s another thing ticked off your list and then you can get on with the rest of the day.

What is your motivation when the training becomes difficult?

I take most of my motivation from my training partners. I’m fortunate to be in a both friendly and amazingly talented group, so we have loads of fun at training and bounce off each other. We are all quite resilient; we understand that training becomes difficult but also know that you have to push through the hard bits if you really want to improve.

What do you do for the rest of the day?

Well if its a uni morning, then I will spend a few hours in the library, then go home, have a snack, nap and then train! If I’ve trained in the morning then I usually spend most of the afternoon in the library.

What do you have for lunch and why?

My lunch varies, as at lunchtime I am 9 times out of 10 in central London, so I’m buying food there. I’m so grateful for so many healthy food chains that have popped up recently that I’m spoilt for choice! I just eat whatever I fancy – as long as its healthy and high protein of course.

How busy is the normal day for you, and how much does athletics impact your daily schedule?

My days are really really busy, athletics impacts my day to day life a lot! It makes it fun and enjoyable, but also sometimes hectic! My uni friends are always laughing at me because unless I have something fixed in my diary, I’m usually impossible to pin down.

How tired are you at the end of the day?

Funnily enough I’m normally not that tired at night, so I tend to do some more work then or chat to my friends. I think it’s because I nap during the day and I’ve been busy like this for many years, so I’m used to running around.

What do you have for dinner and why?

I have whatever my parents make, if I have training that night, or I nose around in the fridge! Dinners are, again, always healthy and often focussed around high protein and vegetable content. My mum and dad are really good at making dinners healthy.

When you can’t fall asleep at night, what do you do?

I listen to some soft music or I start thinking about all the stuff I have to do the next day! That’s more than enough to put me to sleep -ha, ha!

Photo credit: Mark Robinson

‘We need more female MMA fighters’

Rumblr, the new mobile phone application set to make Fight Club a reality, would have been quite useful to Laura Howarth during the early days of her MMA career.

“It was still relatively new in the UK especially for women, so to find other women to fight was really difficult,” she says.

 “It’s so hard to match females and I want that to change”

“Training was tricky at times, mostly because I was the only girl in the class and training with a bunch of men wasn’t the easiest. But I feel it has made me a stronger person and definitely helped with my career.”

Howarth, who trains at Gym01 in Portsmouth, is relatively new to the professional circuit having fought just three bouts – two wins and a loss. She made her name with four straight wins, one including a rear-naked choke, at amateur level before making her professional debut a year later in December 2013.

Her love affair with combat sport began at an early age. “I started karate when I was eight years old. I fell in love with this sport and as I grew I fell in love with combat sports altogether.

“I moved on to kickboxing, Muay Thai and finally MMA where I feel I can excel to my full potential. I have a pure love for striking but I love the nitty gritty of MMA.”

Encouragement and support

With MMA being the brutal sport that it is, it’s not an easy career choice for any young fighter – male or female.

Despite the giant steps of social progression we have seen over time, many families have frowned upon or even restricted their daughters from taking part in certain sports, particularly combat-based ones, as a career path.

“I see so many females training hard and enjoying the sport, but they can never take it as far as they want”

Howarth says of her own family: “They saw my love of sport and combat sports at a young age and they encouraged and supported that.

“When I told them I wasn’t going to college and was going to focus on a career in fighting, they wanted to support me, but continually asked when was I going to get a proper job.

“It wasn’t until they came to watch me fight and I went to Las Vegas to take part in The Ultimate Fighter that they believed in me. My family continually support me, and my parents help me out as much as they can. I couldn’t ask for more support.”

With her feet firmly planted on the ground, Howarth aims to climb all the way to the top. She says: “I’ve recently been signed to Invicta FC and I am waiting to make my debut with them, hopefully early next year. I plan on making a big impression and moving forward in my career.”

And as for the future of women in MMA, she adds: “I would like see it grow. I see so many females training hard and enjoying the sport, but they can never take it as far as they want to as they can’t get fights. It’s so hard to match females and I want that to change.”

Laura Howarth is on Twitter @LauraHowarthMMA

Photograph courtesy of Sherdog.com