My MMA Match in Berlin

Jumping For The Guillotine

I got invited to Berlin to fight Vanessa Reinsch from IMAG Berlin in November. This was pretty important as it was the first MMA only fight night in Germany.

There’s a lot of political pressure not to have any MMA fights in Germany. They already cancelled the first event only four days out due to local councillors complaining.

So there was a lot of pressure to put on a good show with respect and sportsmanship coming from all fighters and coaches. The way it should be.

In fact my wrestling coach Tim commented it was the coolest most laid back show he’d ever been to. Not a Tap Out T shirt or meat head in sight. He’d like to point out to all Irish promoters they had loads of sandwiches, fruit water,soup, coke, red bull and the best gummi bears available for the fighters backstage.

When we arrived in Berlin there was about 2 feet of snow on the ground but everything ran perfectly, not at all like here!

Our apartment was next to a gym so I went in to use their sauna and check my weight on their scales. This was my first time fighting at 48 kilos and I wanted to be sure  I hit it dead on. No one from Pankration Kickboxing has ever missed weight and I wasn’t going to be the first.

As soon as I saw their scales I was worried. It looked old and I could barely see the LCD display.

It also read heavier after my first spell in the sauna. Dermot went out in the snow to find me another scales. It took him about 45 minutes but Berlin is very well laid out and almost everyone speaks english really well so getting around is easy enough.

This scale read way lighter than the other, it turns out I was 47.9 the whole time :(. Aaagh!

When I weighed in I was 48.3 wearing jeans and a rashguard so happy days. TIME TO EAT!

Berlin is full of amazing Bakeries and Delis. I used to be a Fresh Food consultant ( Catherine’s Deli Nightmares 🙂 ) and the Germans had some of the best I’d ever seen. I had to walk past all of them of Friday afternoon before the weigh in. Not fun.

Tim was supposed to arrive at 11 Saturday morning but the train from the airport was cancelled due to works on the line and he had to take 3 buses and the underground to get to Alexanderplatz, the main station in Berlin.

When he finally arrived we headed for the official fake weigh ins for the media. There was a lot of  newspapers and TV cameras here for this with a real big fight feeling.

The Weigh Ins

That over we went back to the apartment and chilled out and ate some more food. I ended up making Dermot and Tim sandwiches before my big fight! They’ve being paying for that every time I’ve hit them with my patented guillotine since 🙂

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Alias where Jennifer Garner goes to a German night club to investigate( which seemed to be most episodes) that pretty much descibes the scene that night.

Our warm up area was underground with low ceiling corridors and rooms. I ended doing my warm up in a long corridor with a steel floor and flourescent lighting. Now I was in Saw 7!

I was keeping calm. They told us exactly when our fight was on and were right to the minute. This was the polar opposite of my experience when I won the European Sanda Title in Pisa. That leaning tower summed up the whole event organization.

Tim and Dermot were nervous. It was the most nervous I’ve ever seen Tim. As Tribal Warfare champion and one of Ireland’s top Featherweights he’s so cool and calm in the cage, but tonight a little bit a crack in Mr Ice showed. I felt like he was a big brother to me that weekend and I couldn’t have done it without him.

Of course if Iwas to talk about Dermot and his dedication and support over the years I could write a book. When I’m in the cage I’m fighting for myself and Dermot always.

It’s hard for them when they’re stuck outside the cage watching, and all they can do is shout “You stupid woman, what are you doing now!” at me 😉

I knew we were up next and we were waiting for someone to come get us when we heard the drums of my intro music kick off upstairs.

We pelted it up the corridor and stairs to make it to the stage in the nick of time. That was hilarious and very exciting with sound of drums filling the arena, (and my two coaches getting some exercise trying to keep up with me for once :)).

Dressed To Kill

I  came out and did my run around the cage and got ready for battle.

They didn’t use the ring girls for our fight but had the MC walk around with the round one card much to everyone’s amusement but his own.

Vanessa came out really quick and we exchanged strikes. Both of us throwing quick punch kick combinations. I shot on her after a kick and took her to the wall. She immediately attempted an arm in guillotine. I finished my single leg takedown as I could feel the guillotine wasn’t locked in and I knew I was safe.

Vanessa closed her guard and held onto her guillotine as I worked my head free. At this point the referee asked me to show him my eyes so I waved at him and said to him “I’m perfectly fine”.

I popped my head out and looked to land some ground and pound. We worked our way back to the feet. I kept her against the cage wall and landed a nice series of knees to the body and legs. I saw her wince when I landed a big knee and knew the win was going to come soon.

Vanessa tried her own single leg takedown and I locked my own guillotine in. I could feel it was really tight and jumped up and wrapped my legs around her waist going for the finish. She tried to slam out of it but I held on to my choke getting the tap at 1.55 of round one.

Getting The Tap

You can see the whole fight here

It’s a great professional film. Just like watching myself in the UFC (joke).

Vanessa was a great competitor with very quick striking and slick grappling. I’m sure she’ll do very well.

We’ll be glad to go back to Berlin anyday. It was a first class event and I only wish I could have seen more of Berlin. It’s an amazing city.

Roll on the next fight!


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