Losing is a B*tch!

Here I am again and I truly didn’t think I would be. Lucky I’m a left handed writer because my right hand is nicely jacked up at the moment. I have a wonderful black eye that makes seeing my mother a no go for at least a week.
One of the other female fighters Hatice gave me a great tip put Toothpaste on it and it’s working!

Where do I start? Was the camp bad? Nope, not this one, myself and Dermot really got back to ground roots of training hard an relentless everyday. We worked with new people but still kept my core strengths, just tried to improve in ground and escaping.

When I heard the change of opponent and it was Celine I was really excited but part of me knew she may possibly not make weight. I was tempted not to make weight but that only ever shows how unprofessional you are as a fighter. Now I know Celine took the fight on short notice but she told BAMMA she could make the 110 catch weight. Except she didn’t, her weight was 114.8 on the day of weigh ins and mine 108.8!

I was given the option fight or no fight! I remember Dermot telling me years ago, the girls that often don’t make weight win and no one cares after except who won. He was right 😦 coach always right!

I had sold 106 tickets and all my Alpha Force were coming and let’s be clear if you are a fighter you want to fight. It was the first female fight for BAMMA and how could I let them down as well.

We did make Celine go back in the sauna to make second attempt and she made 113! I know over the years from cutting that saunas suck and I do respect her for doing that!

I guess people wonder why I didn’t take 25% of her purse. I knew BAMMA would be taking 25% also. That’s half her money and I just know how little we get as fighters and I just wouldn’t have felt right taking it. I don’t want extra money that way ever! My motto is to be a martial artist first and we are always thought about Kindness. As I said things happen in the cage that may be out of my control but how I conduct myself outside will always be my decision. I’ve no regret about not taking her purse.

Anyway the night came and I tried to rehydrate as big as possible but I heard she was a hell of a lot bigger. It did make a difference and again proves that I truly don’t belong at 115 unless I’m seriously going to put on a lot of muscle.

Being given main card was mega but I never asked for it or thought I deserved to be on it. I was happy just fighting on the card. I will say about BAMMA they do invest in making it a total show. My entrance and the screen art was a very nice thank you from them. Seeing the words Costigan bounce out from the screen as I took to the cage was fuelling my fire.

Everything I had done would pay off, that’s what I believed. I was very happy that when I got put on my back that I fought with everything I had to get back up. In my head I was saying no way, not again. Our back and forth game went on with me staying defensive in her guard. I thought ok now I have the plan and next round will be mine. Then where the f#ck did that arm bar come from ? I felt these rips in my tendons and soon my arm would break.

Had to make a quick decision again and I wasn’t getting my arm broken! The moment when you tap is your dreams moving further away with a sinking feeling inside. It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever felt. Especially in my country, in front of all my Friends and supporters.

I went to Mc Donald’s after and it was probably the worse tasting burger but nothing is ever open after fights. I love one thing and that’s a hot Apple Pie so when I had one my friend Veronica went up and got me a second. Came back with my money and I asked did he not charge you? Apparently he is a big fan of MMA and asked about my eye and then of course did I win? As Veronica said those words, it then hit like another wave of honesty and I just started crying because I realised that I’d never change that moment in the 3 Arena. It will haunt me for a good while, not lying on this one.

I’ll always tell in these blogs what sometimes fighters hide, that MMA fighting is one f#cked up life. Over the last few days I’ve thought every second about the fight, I go to sleep it’s in my head and as I wake it starts again.

Where or what do I do next? Not a clue! People are saying take a break, just train for fun. They are right and I will do that for a time but then the monster inside will grow and I’ll need to face the demon again. I’m a fighter and I need to fight just never again outside my weight category.

I truly want to thank everyone who got tickets from me for BAMMA, the money I got will go straight back into future training camps, everyone please know you are helping me everyday in my journey to still chase my dream. It’s taking a little longer but I still believe if my Alpha Force want to see me fight, then I’ll turn up on the night and bring the show.



BAMMA must be a sellout.

It’s one of those nights before the fight, I can’t sleep because my mind is full of energy. Ideas and game plan running through my head. I’ve been thinking a lot of how my career is going and even after suffering a pretty awful loss my career is reaching another high.

I’m in such a great place and in about ten days I’ll debut for one of the biggest European promotions BAMMA. Not only that but I get to do it in the 3arena this is what fighters dream about and why we train everyday for that one opportunity. The one that will give us the big break we need.

Irish fighters must see how important and significant this is and it’s only one shot we have to convince BAMMA they made the right choice.

Last year when another very big cage promotion left the scene in Ireland many fighters ended up with no activity or if they did it was on small local shows for very little money. I was very lucky I had a new path with Invicta FC but I really felt for those fighters.

For years before WMMA exploded in the UFC I searched the world looking for opponents and getting excited when I thought I had one. I’d get straight into camp hoping the girl would be up for it or was my weight or was even a pro fighter. I trained very hard to just suddenly be told we can’t get you anyone. Often pure excitement quickly turned to sadness.

If you are a fighter then it’s a simple thing you are only ever happy when you are active in your division. One fight a year doesn’t cut it !

Now some don’t understand why I push the media so hard, it’s because I want BAMMA to sell out! I want Ashley the boss to say we are returning and even if I’m never on another card.
I want all talented up and coming fighters to have a chance to chase their dreams and also pay some bills, have a bit left over for a good night out 😉

I know the quality of fighters that are lined up for this card on the 19th. I know they will deliver great performances and some have a huge chance of becoming stars with this World Class promotion. I’ve loved MMA my whole life and all I ever want to see is hard working fighters having somewhere they can grow.

I was speaking with one such fighter the other day after my training. I’d never seen him so excited to have gotten the chance to fight on BAMMA. He’s smile told the whole story and that made me very happy inside.

This is his shot for the big time. I’ve watched him and judged him over the last few years at other small shows, seen his work ethic and what he gives in every performance, he deserves BAMMA no question about it.

It’s sometimes difficult for fighters to connect with the public. For me never, I treat them with respect and try as much as I can to share my journey with them.
I love sending a fan a signed pic and receiving back a message with a big smile attached.
I know I’ve made them happy and that always comes back to me in my ever growing Alpha Force. Either through the support on social media or purchase of a ticket my alpha force takes care of me.

High level fighters mixed in with dedicated fans makes for a sellout formula.

BAMMA will be a sellout and I’m going to make sure they return. We have way to many talented Irish fighters who need that one shot and BAMMA is the spring board of their dreams. Right that’s the Jerry Maguire rant over, I’m hoping in the morning I don’t regret this blog or my awesome manager will be on the phone letting me have it!

Again last thing BAMMA have given me unlimited tickets to sell if you want to come and be part of a moment, that you can say you witnessed my debut then go buy your ticket for my fight at http://www.catherinecostigan.com I’ll have the tickets and a signed pic in the post before you can say Irish Takeover 😝

Myself and Alpha Pup posting more tickets, he’s great at licking stamps 😝


That’s a beautiful word and it brings a promise of a moment in my career that is going to be unforgettable.

BAMMA 22 Dublin sept 19th at the 3arena. Myself and three other lady’s have been given the opportunity to launch the female MMA division, now that’s something that has fuelled me up again.

It’s a chance to start over again, I went to Invicta Fc. I lost badly, people said it’s great you got on the show. For me that’s total crap as I feel I achieved nothing, except leaving my fans, my coach and Invicta down. Every fighter or athele will tell you and it’s true you don’t show up to make the numbers, you want to win. Even if I didn’t win but gave a Fifteen minute war and lost then I’d be sort of ok with it. (Probably not 😝)

I feel that I’m starting all over again, that I lost my undefeated streak and as Joseph Duffy told me a month ago, that when he lost the pressure was off. He said it made him enjoy fighting and training again. He saw more things around him that made his life special.

He’s a wonderful and very humble fighter, can’t wait to see him fighting soon in Dublin for the UFC.

I’ve found over the last few weeks I’ve felt and seen what he was talking about. I’m enjoying training more, seeing the support from family and friends over the last month has been heart infusing.


The minute I left the cage of Invicta I was thinking the only way I can fix this for myself and the incredible supporters all over the world, especially my Irish fans is get back and BAMMA 22 is the arena for my return. Make no mistake this is not an easy fight to give me a win. I’d never ever want that because I’m just fooling myself.

Simona has been on my radar for years and we were supposed to fight many years ago on my second pro fight but I had to have hip surgery. Over the years we crossed paths but never got the fight done, I’ve always wanted to fight her and believe her to be one of the best in the 105 division. This means that on BAMMA for me it is going to be a fight that will match the hype. I’m working harder than I ever did and I’m pretty sure she is.

As many have said you learn from a loss, well no fighter ever wants to lose but actually now I get to see if I can comeback and capture the right to call myself again The Alpha Female. Hey if Rocky can do it then I’ve got a underdogs shot! My days spent with my Dad watching those wonderful movies. Good memories that will keep me strong.

One last thing Invicta was a risk in every way, especially financially and it didn’t work out. I lost money and they do pay well just the cost of getting a license to fight in Nevada basically left me very little, when I came back that helped pay the rent. Again I never was in the fight game for money but it would be nice at some point to afford a holiday. Haven’t had one in six years because I wanted to give everything to my career. Alpha Force if you could donate, buy a t-shirt, a signed pic or even better come watch me fight on BAMMA 22. You can get the tickets off me through http://www.catherinecostigan.com
Thank you again to all that helped me out and continue to support me.
Forever grateful.


Valour can never be beaten

Well I’ve been having it good, surfing down winners highway but slam here comes the wave. It’s a big one and nothing I can do but try and find a way to the top again.

I’m writing this blog as I fly home to Ireland with a very heavy heart. Damn… What happened ?

This fight week in Vegas has been an education in how and what is required when you fight on the Worlds Stage for Invicta FC.

I was pretty sure I’d be returning a winner because if I didn’t believe I could win what was the point in even showing up.

I spent all week between cutting weight and doing media while living pretty much in an hotel room. Keeping it all in toe and staying strong in my mind. My friend Veronica helped so very much with that, she kept me smiling.

Dermot kept my thoughts on the plan. I spent the night after weight ins staying up and watching all my recordings on training strategies for the fight. Meeting Dermot on fight morning and watching more. I was focused and I knew how much was on the line in this. My debut would be ace! Nope! It wasn’t and all the work we put in vanished in seconds out of my hands.

The cut was excellent to the point that first time ever I was eating an apple and drinking a little water the day of weigh-ins. That never happens! Giulliano had done a great job and again a great mind advantage for the fight.
Warm up was great with Dermot and Ryan Shultz, not one bit hard. I felt so sharp and fast.
I noticed how as I warmed up other fighters returned carrying either smiles or tears. That reminded me again of what a dangerous costly game we play of emotion.

Keeping my mind strong still, my music hits, the Invicta Banner lights up my entrance and I’m ready to do what I said I would. Stepping closer to the truth of the moment and never once running from it.

Mind and my heart hearing the cheers of the crowd. I wanting to give them everything and it didn’t happen. I owe so much to the people of Ireland and my family but especially Dermot who put just as much into this for the last 18 years.

The fight is still a flash moment and always hard to explain to outsiders but it feels like you see things coming but it’s slow motion yet you can’t react fast enough to stop it.

Getting hit hard and smashed to the point were I know my face will not look good at the airport next morning never makes me give up. I try never to break to pain! I just know I’ll fix the moment but this I couldn’t.

Choke snapped in before I can stop it. Deep and what do I do? go out cold or try to keep my body from suffering any long time affect. I choose to fight another day and trust me it killed me to tap. Killed Me!!!!!

Truly that is something I’m never going to forget but I also must not let it control me as a fighter. Things will have to be let go off and I know many great fighters have had this same feeling. Serious, no one knows the mentality that’s needed to get to the moment of either a victory or defeat.

My only regret is I didn’t get to see my fans and friends who came after the fight or spend much time with my cousin after. I hadn’t seen him since my wedding. I don’t think he had a clue what was going on and it truly sucked to lose with him at it.

Thing is how much did I really lose? Has this stopped me in still wanting to go back to my gym to train and teach ? Hell No!

All the messages last night from parents showed me how much I need to teach my ninjas. I need to show them how being a fighter doesn’t always mean winning. A fighter has Valour to start with and to finish with always. No one can take that from you.
Yes I’ll have sad moments and probably tears because I’m still human and very much so this week. I’ll also stuff my face with comfort food. I’ve an Easter Egg kept with my name on it. 😊 Landed! Ok time to go pick up Oscar my little happy Paws.

Weigh-in done with the pup


Undisputed, what a beautiful word and it’s what I want over the next year to be announced in the Cage.
What a crazy year I’ve had and when we got the news that my future with Cage Warriors and the dream of becoming their 105 champion was gone, it was sad. I wasn’t super upset for myself but mainly for the people who worked on CW. Those very cool people, especially Ian Dean and Graham had been always kind and fair to me. They gave me the platform to unleash my brand and to transform into the Alpha of my division.
Cage Warriors was the most professional show I’d ever worked on and the excitement and build up before I hit the bright lights in the Helix was the closest feeling to going to see Disneyland for the first time when I was a teenager. Damn I truly loved that feeling and hearing the crown get behind me. I’ll miss that!

I felt that finally all the work on the mats in my gym and all the traveling all over the World to fight was paying off. The crazy mentors and fighters I met over the years to sharpen my skills was worth it. The mad moments like racing to a train station in Italy and the taxi man outracing an ambulance to get me there on time. Me in the back half starving and thinking this is like being in a car chase and this taxi dude has no English!!! Such good times and I’d do anything to get a fight back then. I was always chasing the Dream of becoming the best in the World.
I thought with CW the belt would soon follow. Ian would call and say, yes, New Years Eve we crown you the first Atomweight Champion.
The call never came instead I got Christmas Dinner, and it wasn’t exactly the belt I wanted, it was a bigger one around my food belly. 😊 Still it was very nice to have Christmas.

Then soon after we found out my moment with Cage Warriors was done and we would need to find another path. I want something to be very clear and that is I owe CW forever. They believed in me and my Fight CV is very impressive now because of the opportunities Graham and Ian gave me.
It may seem cocky of me now ok I never won the belt with them but I destroyed every Atom in front of me and in an always impressive way. I believe I was The Undisputed Cage Warriors Atomweight.
Now people ask me especially in interviews if I am feeling cage rust because I’m out nearly a year and did I get depressed. Huh?
I first can’t afford to get depressed as I’ve to pay rent on my full time gym every month and c’mon I was out for nearly 3 years with my neck fusion and hip surgeries. I came back and fought in Norwich and didn’t feel anytime was missed. Mentally over the years I’ve learnt patience and also how to chase every chance you get. I’m a fighter and I keep myself to that routine in diet, training and attitude. I’m always ready to go when I get the call. Oh and guess what Shannon Knapp has just made the call. Invicta FC it’s time for the Alpha Female to shine.

2015/05/img_8122.jpg quick note on that belt I robbed from Jim Alers because I’m from Ireland and that’s what we do 😝

Life cuts the deepest.

I’m a fighter, I know how to take hard shots and take pain. I’ve spent years conditioning myself to it and mentally making my mind steel. What happens when something comes out of no where and attacks your heart. No warning, no training camp to prepare for it and not one coach to help you through it.
Tonight I’m writing this piece as I watch my beautiful dog Leila fight against cancer.

I met Moo( her nick name) a little over a year ago and my best friend Veronica allowed me to kinda adopt her over that time. Veronica took a while to trust me with her, as I am from Limerick!
She was a ball of energy and pure happiness. She had the cutest gremlin ears that always perked up when she heard the words “do you wanna go for a walk?
She chased rabbits and me as we hill sprinted together. She kept her brother Oscar out of trouble as he always started fights with cows, no idea where he got the aggressive streak from?

She helped me to understand again what pure love was as we would sit on a rock on the beach on my day off. She helped me recover my body and mind. She never wanted anything in return except a ball thrown or a digestive biscuit with a little tea. All were gladly given and received with a wag of the tail.

Over the last year I’ve learnt so very much about what exactly is important and as much as I desire a World Title belt. I can’t help but feel I’d give it up to have Leila better. No money can fix her or fill the void when she’s gone.

Tonight we took her to the beach that we spent so many happy times on and we watched her take a walk on it. Knowing it was the last time well the blow to my heart was harder than any shot in a fight. As the sun went down we held her tight and tried to give her a moment of Happiness with us.

I looked to the stars and picked the brightest one and attached my love for her to it. That every time I look up and find the brightest one, that it’s my moo taking care of myself and Veronica. Tomorrow life will cut its deepest but I promise Leila it will never take away my love for you. Shine bright because I’ll always look for you.


Lucia Rijker

In Amsterdam one hour before I train with the greatest female boxer ever. I’m nervous but at this stage I’ve had many challenges that have made me ready to step into the ring with her.

I arrive and wait in the gym reception with my coach Dermot.
I’m allowed up to change, it’s coming close to my time, I dress and do something I always do before a big moment.

I look straight in the mirror and recognise the ability I have and that I will show no question of it. I’m good, no I’m damn good. Nothing to fear, confidence all the way. I leave that changing room like I’m stepping forward to a fight.

The gym she is using is beautiful, clean white mats and hanging bags, a ring perfectly placed by the windows. I approach her with the highest level of respect, she says hello in a soft level but her words as she talks are one of a very confident, commanding lady. Already I know this will be my toughest personal ever.

She listens to my fight story and as I’m running around warming up, Dermot shows her my recent fight. She says I’m a freak, in the best way of course!! Unless she means I enjoy beating people up.

She starts with some cool warm up drills, then the moment comes she asks me to shadow box for her, I’m feeling already her eyes analysing how I fire my punches.

How my footwork anchors on each shot, I’m feeling the time coming when she will say we have a lot of work to do. She doesn’t say the words but I know it myself.

Don’t think she’s that impressed by my boxing and fair enough because as the personal continues and she shows me how to throw a strike, I clearly understand she’s world class.

We go to the ring and it’s movement time, she brings out these foam things, I’ve seen them on tv, very excited, looks fun.
I’m sure this will help with defence, happy to do it. She throws them like rockets attached to her hands, oh holy hell and the power.

I’m slipping the fastest ever as when they land it goes right threw my brain. I’m thinking she killed Hilary Swank in Million Dollar baby and I’m going to die. I already paid my money for this weeks ago, no reason for her to keep me alive!!!

We move on to the pads, this is where I’ll impress her, she is teaching how to land the knockout, it’s not just one shot land and goodnight. It’s the multiple shots before it, the fakes and faints that set up the KO! I’m beginning to understand as she commands the ring.

She has total KO power, a few times I’m not fast enough on returning my hand to my head and I pay for it dearly with a counter of a champion, when it landed it was the first time I’d ever trained with someone that at any moment could finish me. I did not ask for a break or water. Too scared. Lol. No she is amazing and I’ll want is to be worthy of her teaching.

After the first Hour I’m begining to get the combinations better, the sun is beating down on me, my body is still sore after the fight. She has me hitting the hardest I’ve ever done, my hands are getting the KO power and she saying beautiful, yes thats it. She is really fast and I’ve got to match it. Finally I’m understanding what power I hold within my body. The music we make on the pads is one of sweet violence! I got it!!

She says to me at the end as we finish up some very important words that I needed to hear to prepare me to accept my mistakes and listen to my feelings. It’s great to hear from Lucia, that at times she went through the same. Reassures me it’s not a big problem, just another thing to work out.

We as fighters may seem like Heros, made of steel but we all need to heal. I had the toughest fight of my career and I was having a hard time finding Catherine again. She helped me mentally that day, her words sunk deep and healed me. Those words alone and getting to shake her hand was worth every penny of my winnings I used to get me to her.

Lucia is a perfect example of a Alpha Female, she found and reached the summit but pushes for another moment to conquer. Even tho she is retired she is in super shape, never stops challenging herself, physically and mentally. She’s a kind, humble and beautiful person. Goodness shines from her. The way a World Champion should always be!

I hope to return and train with her again, if I could afford it I’d do a private everyday with her. She wrote something on a pic I had gotten for her to autograph. I was shocked as she wrote the words, I’m not worthy of them but soon I’ll become that because Lucia guided me and shows me how to be a Champion.