The rise of the ‘Killa Bee’ 2.0 – Bryony Tyrell


Bryony Tyrell  - BELLATOR weigh-in - Credit: Bellator
Bryony Tyrell – Bellator weigh-In Credit: Bellator

 First released 21st June 2019

On Saturday, June 22nd, 2019, Bellator MMA will be making their return to the SSE Arena in London.

Making her debut for the promotion will be U.K’s Bryony Tyrell, and if you had told her six years ago that she would be on one of the world’s largest MMA promotions and competing in front of her home crowd, I’m pretty sure she’d be laughing at just the thought.

Born and raised in Sevenoaks, Kent, Bryony has always enjoyed the thrill and excitement of extreme sports; from BASE jumping, Bungee jumping, and sky diving, to testing herself in mixed martial arts.

Holding a Masters Degree in nursing and a Degree in Molecular Cell Biology, the critical care nurse now based in Southampton has always had a passion for martial arts.

Starting in Kickboxing and Kung Fu 19 years ago, Bryony quickly fell in love with all aspects of martial arts so much, that, she added in Krav Maga, Japanese jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai before finally concentrating on Wrestling and Brazilian Jiujitsu, forming the mixed martial arts career she has today.  “Martial arts are my passion in life.  I love the contrast that they can be beautiful and deadly at the same time” Bryony said. “Anyone that practices a martial art to a high level knows that it involves incredible dedication and discipline, and also pushes your body and mind to the limits of endurance.”

Originally part of U.K MMA pioneer (and ex UFC athlete) Rosi Sexton’s mentoring scheme, Bryony went about taking Rosi’s advice on training, nutrition, competing and training with Rosi. “I was very privileged to be on a mentorship scheme with Rosi. I gained invaluable advice at the beginning of my amateur career” said Bryony.

The 18th of May 2013 is a day that Bryony will forever have as a fond memory. It was when she made her amateur debut and found out exactly what she is capable of in the cage. “I think the only way to truly know how good you are at fighting is to compete. Being locked in a cage with another trained fighter who can use pretty much any style or technique against you is the ultimate test”,  Bryony said when recalling the first time she stepped into the cage.

Not only content with competing in amateur MMA bouts, but Bryony also tested her skills by competing in white-collar boxing bouts, Muay Thai bouts, and grappling matches to gain invaluable experience before turning pro in November 2015.

Holding a current professional record of 4 wins 3 losses and 1 draw, with all 3 of those losses coming from title fights with two of those athletes currently competing in the UFC and Bellator, Bryony is no stranger to adversity in the MMA industry.

Having started in her MMA career aged 33, Bryony was considered by some promotions and coaches to be ‘too old’ to be competing in the sport.  Once Bryony turned pro at the age of 35 and started to win, it was only then that she began to believe in herself more and knew that ‘age was just a number’.  At least, to her anyway, and she set about proving just that.

Having gone 4-3-1 in her pro career, taking short notice fights and a title fight in a weight class above her usual weight division, Bryony felt that her current gym, Exile, had let her down. “I felt like the industry had written me off for being too old, and some of the coaches at my gym had said I was too old and slow after I lost the Cage Warriors title fight against Molly McCann.  When they wrote me off because of that loss, I didn’t think that was fair.  It was quite demoralizing for me.  The whole experience was quite demoralizing, and I just stopped the enjoyment of the sport.

On top of that, Cage Warriors wouldn’t give me a fight at strawweight, and I felt I was not valued as a fighter, and not being given significant opportunities.  It just wasn’t worth the sacrifice anymore. So, I decided to retire in July 2018.”

Since retiring from competitive MMA, Bryony thought that she’d feel better because of the less stress involved and would have more time to spend with her husband and two children.  However, she felt like there was a massive hole in her life and felt very down, having nothing to work towards with the Adrenalin rush that she always knew she had.  “Having just a normal life is not good enough for me.  I know it is quite a selfish attitude to have especially the fact that I have got young children and an amazing husband and a stressful job.  I need that buzz to make me happy.”

Looking to replace that ‘buzz’ Bryony decided she would concentrate on achieving the top levels in grappling.  After taking home silver at the IBJFF and silver at the UK ADCC, she didn’t have the same drive for grappling as she did in MMA, stating that “I didn’t put 100% in because I just didn’t have that kind of fear factor that someone is going to smash your face in if you don’t train properly, and it wasn’t dangerous for me.”

On May 30th, 2019 it was officially announced that Bryony had come out of retirement and will be competing on the Bellator London card on June 22nd at the SSE Arena, where she will face the current kickboxing champion Denise Kielholtz in a flyweight MMA bout.  A fight that has been over a year in the making, as Bryony initially accepted a short notice (1 week) fight against Denise back in February 2018 but had to withdraw due to being medically suspended after her fight with Molly McCann.   It was suggested to Bryony that Denise wasn’t matched up for the London card and did she fancy another fight.  It was at that point that Bryony messaged her managers, who then contacted Bellator, and they came back with a yes straight away.

With ten weeks to prepare for the bout, Bryony went to Cross Face gym in Watford, training with head coach Dave Lee and Charlie Leary who is also on the London card. For the final two weeks of her training camp, Bryony flew out to Thailand to train at UFC athlete Johnny Walker and Leo Gosling’s new gym Chokchai Muay Thai. “While Johnny and Leo were here in Southampton, I trained with them, so it made sense for me to go out and spend two weeks over at there new gym in Thailand.  They have a few UFC athletes training there, and Jorge Kanella who is also on the London card.  Being surrounded by world-class coaches and fighters, this fight camp has been on a different level to any other I’ve had.  They treat me as an equal, and I’m keeping up with these guys who are top-level pro fighters, so it’s been a massive confidence boost to come back to fighting after people had written you off.  I’ve got some amazing people around me that believe in me, and I know I can win this fight.”

With the advantage of having 16 MMA fights compared to Denise’s 4 MMA fights, and factoring in that Denise is Bellator’s kickboxing champion and has had numerous kickboxing bouts,  Bryony realises that Denise is a superb striker,  having watched a lot of her fights just purely to learn from her and improve her own striking.  She is also a classy athlete and represents the sport incredibly well.

Feeling that this is a good match-up and an opportunity Bryony had been asking for throughout her MMA career, she now thinks that having dedicated her life to MMA and competing for the last five years, come June 22nd it will have paid off.

With the fact that Denise is a world champion kick-boxer, Bryony knows that it is unrealistic to think she could beat a multiple world champion striker on her feet, and therefore feels Denise will probably think that Bryony will want to get her to the ground as that is where she tends to do best.  “She will be physically stronger than me and be powerful so it will be down to see who can implement their fight game, as always in MMA.

“It’s going to be a fair fight as we both have had a good preparation for this bout.  I think I am probably going in there as the underdog and that’s fine with me as that’s normal, but the nice thing for me is she may well be a top striker in Bellator and the promotion, but we are fighting in London in front of my home crowd,  which is nice for me because it’s rare that I get to fight  in front of a home crowd.  It is going to be amazing to have support there, and I’m also fighting on the same card as good friends of mine, Kate Jackson, Charlie Leary and Jorge Kanella, and Johnny and Leo are also going to be there.  It is going to be amazing.”

Aiming for a submission win, Bryony has one last thing to say.  “Last year my fire went out, this year it’s back with a vengeance! I am incredibly honoured and grateful for this opportunity on the world stage against such an impressive opponent. I got written off as a fighter.  This year, I’m training alongside Bellator and UFC athletes treated as equal. Don’t let anyone crush your dreams if you surround yourself with the right people you will succeed!”

Raged UK MMA 8 returns Saturday 26th May 2018 at The MECA in Swindon


Raged 8 poster

Raged UK MMA has been going from strength to strength and is back for their eighth instalment this Saturday, May 26th at The M.E.C.A, Swindon.

Headlining the event is Wales’ own Lew Long (15-5) who faces Sheffield’s Shaun Lomas (23-74) in a catchweight 80kg bout.

Also on the card is Swindon’s own Craig Rawlins (6-2) who will be defending his Amateur Welterweight belt for the first time against Wales’ Elliot Chilcott (6-2-1).

Full fight card

Amateur Fights:

Amateur Welterweight Title Bout

Craig Rawlins Vs Elliot Chilcott 77kg

Ruslan Vrabije vs Matthew Rahman 63kg

Jordan Miller vs Richard Lukas 66kg

Jamie Tungate vs Craig Trevorrow 80kg

Sami Bousri vs Day Gamble 70kg

Jesse Mccann vs TBC

Thomas Young vs Andy Bear 73kg

Dean Hart vs Kirk Heely 65kg

Nick Ballard vs Stephan Todman 80kg

Robert Kasparzak vs Chris Connolly 77kg

Luke Lubega vs Connor Elliott 77kg

Tom Enstone vs Reiss Jones 80kg

Nando Borralho vs Matt Davies 80kg

Pro Fights:

Chris Astley vs Will Ciarns 80kg

Lawrence Jordan Tracy vs Dom Colossus 73kg

Bernie Gomm vs Matthew Williams 75kg

Adam Webb vs Brad Watchorn 77kg

 

Paul Reed vs Tyler Thomas 77kg

Lew Long Vs Shaun Lomas 80kg

 

Doors open at 18.30 – till late

Tickets: Standard £25 available from any of the athletes or £30 on the door

V.I.P £40 available from any of the athletes or £50 on the door

V.I.P tables £500 (limited availability)

Tickets also available at http://www.raged.co.uk

 

If you have a V.I.P ticket you also gain access to watch the Champions League final in the V.I.P bar

*Fight card subject to change

 

 

 

 

“When I win Cage Warriors gold the UFC have got to see that my age is not a factor” – Scott Clist


This interview was conducted back in June 2016 and featured in the July/August issue of MMA Uncaged Magazine.

“Age is just a number. I will be in the UFC by the end of the year”

London, 2002 and the UFC held its first event outside of the United States for UFC 38. ‘Brawl at the Hall’ was held inside the iconic Royal Albert Hall.  Headlined by UFC Hall of Fame veteran Matt Hughes and Carlos Newton. Also on the main card was a 36-year-old Ian Freeman who faced and beat a 23-year-old Frank Mir by TKO, proving that ‘age is just a number’.

Fast forward to April 15, 2016, when European Promotion Cage Warriors returned home to London and held its 75th event.  Making his debut for the promotion was 38-year-old Scott ‘The Priest’ Clist facing 25-year-old Brad ‘The Crazy Kid’ Wheeler. Clist was the heavy underdog and after weathering an early storm where it looked like Wheeler was going to submit him in the opening minutes, Clist gained control of the fight (with 30 seconds to go) landing a head kick followed by a right hook which knocked Wheeler to the canvas against the cage and began to unleash a barrage of punches (16) only for the klaxon to sound the end of the round.

It was in-between rounds that Wheeler’s corner retired him from the fight as he had taken too much damage, declaring Clist victorious by way of TKO at the end of round one. Proving yet again ‘age is just a number’.

“Age is just a number. I will be in the UFC by the end of the year”

Born and raised in Bridgwater, Somerset but now residing in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, the nightclub manager first started out in the world of Martial Arts at the tender age of 5.

My dad would get me and my brother to throw punches and box train with him. He would show us how to twist our hips with the punches and lead with a jab” Clist recalls of his fond childhood memories. After briefly flirting with Karate, Clist settled on Kickboxing where he would start his Martial Arts career and held British titles in kickboxing and full contact Tae kwon do.

Clist was first introduced to Mixed Martial Arts by a colleague whilst he was working in Swindon as a barman at the age of 19. A doorman he knew lent him 3 video’s called “UFC” and after watching them decided he wanted to give MMA a try.

After watching the ‘UFC’ video’s I attended my first MMA class which was also run by the same doorman who gave me the video’s.  ‘Oz’, Michael Osbourne at ‘SVT’ Swindon Vale Tudo.  Although I really enjoyed the class due to my working schedule at the time I couldn’t commit to it.”

After spending some time training in different Martial Arts and balancing a full time job, Clist found classes run by Tony Childs who was teaching San Shou, JKD, Combat Submission Wrestling and Escrima to add to his Kickboxing and Tae kwon do background.

Finally, after experiencing success in teaching kickboxing, Clist decided it was time to open up his own gym.  In March 2008 The Revolution Gym in Trowbridge was born, all the while still competing as an amateur mixed martial artist himself from 2006 – 2009. In 2010 Clist turned pro finishing his first five opponents within two rounds. Although picking up his first pro MMA loss in 2013 to Dan Rushworth, that fight earned him fight of the night honours. Winning his next fight Clist then entered an 8-man tournament.

“I had no emotion in the lead up to the event and was spending a large amount of time teaching instead of focusing on my own training. Ali Maclean tapped my out with a north and south choke 4:34 seconds into the first round. It was the only time I had been stopped as a pro fighter. I was gutted.”

“It was after this fight that I realised I needed to focus on my own training so I shut down my gym and moved over to Dragonslair MMA in Melksham home to UFC athlete Bradley Scott.”

Scott 1
Photo Credit Adrenalin Fight Night

Now [10-2] as a pro and with the help and guidance of Head Coach Stu Pike at Dragonslair MMA, Clist is currently on a three fight win streak after winning his last fight against Brad Wheeler at Cage Warriors 75 where he was very much the underdog on that card.

“I kept the fight standing for a while and me and Brad traded some shots until I threw a kick and he caught it. Brad got the takedown but I managed to get back to my feet only for brad to get a deep double leg and take me down again, his ju jitsu is sleek and he managed to get my back and sink in the body lock quickly. I went into autopilot and 2 on 1 defence. I had done this so many times in the gym that I was never really worried about getting tapped, I just had to get the lock off. I tried putting pressure on Brad’s ankle but that didn’t work so I had to defend and try to turn into him but like I said Brad’s BJJ is something else and trying to get someone as good as he is off you is not the easiest thing.

“After a few mins spent on the defensive I felt the lock loosen so I stepped over his leg to avoid him getting it locked back in, I turned quickly and we got back to our feet.

“I threw a good uppercut to the body and Brad backed off. I saw my opportunity and threw the head kick followed by the right hook.

I saw brad fall and started throwing down some serious ground and pound. I could hear his corner shouting “10 seconds, hold on Brad”. I kept throwing punches thinking the ref has got to stop it but he didn’t and the buzzer sounded for the end of the round. Brad’s corner retired him in between rounds which gave me a TKO win coming at 5 mins of round one.”

The fight Clist had with Wheeler was originally scheduled for a lightweight bout but got changed to a catch weight bout a few days before. So will we be seeing Clist again in the lightweight division?

“I would like to fight against top 10 opponents. A fight with Chris Fishgold would be interesting and a fight against Andre Ward would make for a great fight. I aim to Keep growing as a fighter and I am in the right place and working with the right people to do that and keep winning. I want to be a successful UFC fighter.  I don’t just want to make it into the UFC, I will make it into the UFC and get some good wins.”

With a nickname ‘The Priest’ I did however wonder how it came about.

“My first sponsor gave me that name.   I told him he could pick my ring name.  He had just watched The Davinci Code on dvd and decided I looked like the psycho killer from the film (blonde hair, white skin) so he said it was great to call me The Priest. I kept it because it caught on after my first fight.”

As with any interview, I ask if Scott has anyone he would like to thank.

“Firstly, my wife and daughter as they put up with me missing time spent with them, being tired from training and weight cutting etc. I would like to thank my coaches Stu Pike, Bradley Scott for making me a better fighter. My boxing and s+c coaches Mark Kent and Smudger at contender gym. My teammates who let me learn and let me be part of their learning. Stu Mourant for making a massive difference and opening doors. My sponsors for helping me with fuelling my body, BadBoy Supplements (kalv Singh) and financially Nacho Cheese, Richard Henley (Heating and plumbing), Darryl Moore (Carpentry) and a massive thank you goes out to all my friends and supporters”.

You can follow Scott Clist’s journey on the following media sites.

https://www.facebook.com/scott.clist

Twitter

@scottThePriestclist

By Emma Bramford

Botched Street Robbery on Female PRO MMA Fighter!


This ‘incident’ happened on September 2nd 2015, just over one month on I thought I would re-cover the said ‘incident’ and put this ‘attempted’ awful crime that happened back out there for even more people to see.

Monique Bastos and her friend were on their way to jiu-jitsu training in Acailandia, Brazil when two men demanded their phones!

Much to their surprise, Bastos turned out to be an MMA fighter and wouldn’t let them get away with their actions.

“I’ve been through this a few times before, and it’s the second time I fought back,” she told MMAFighting.com.”There were two guys, and they were using knives, but I was able to use my jiu-jitsu and get my phone back. It’s a huge risk, but I did it to defend myself and my friends, so I used what I learned.”

In the video above, you can see how Bastos managed to capture the would-be thief and  then subdued him by a figure four leg lock around his neck to stop him from moving until the authorities showed up. Now, that’s some serious strength!

Last Chance to Apply for IMMAF Pan American Championships of Amateur MMA


Don’t miss out on the last opportunity to apply for the IMMAF Pan American Championships of Amateur MMA. Apply here: http://bit.ly/1CIwnUR

Due to challenges posed by local authorities, the event was recently moved back to 24th to 26th April in Toronto. The Canadian Combat Alliance has carried out incredible work to enable the event to go ahead.

The “Pan American AMMA Championships” will follow a tournament format and the event includes open contests for Amateur Mixed Martial Arts, youth and adult submission grappling, adult Brazilian jiu jitsu and karate. In addition, fans can enjoy traditional Muay Thai and kickboxing matches featured at the event.

IMMAF Pan American Championships of Amateur MMA
IMMAF Pan American Championships of Amateur MMA

The Amateur MMA competition spans a three day period and is open to attendance from Pan American Nations. Amateur MMA competitors eliminated in the preliminaries on 24th April may participate in the BJJ or Muay Thai Championships on Saturday 25th April; and Amateur MMA Competitors eliminated on 24th April or 25th April may participate in the ISSGF Submission Grappling or Kickboxing Championships on 26th April.  Finals for the IMMAF Pan American Championships of Amateur MMA will take place on Sunday evening (26th April) in the form of a carded show.

The contests are open invitationals, so that non-member countries from the American continents are welcomed to discover IMMAF and its worldwide Amateur MMA movement. Individual athletes from the American continent are also warmly invited to apply.

  • Now taking place on 24th to 26th April in Toronto
  • Open Invitational Tournament. Apply here: http://bit.ly/1CIwnUR

The event launches IMMAF’s wider global program of Amateur MMA competitions. The Americas have been pivotal in the evolution of the sport of MMA. The region is also renowned for producing high calibre talent, which will make this first annual tournament particularly compelling ahead of the 2015 IMMAF World Championships in July.

The IMMAF Pan Americans will also see the piloting of the www.splitdraw.com tournament management system that will be used for the 2015 IMMAF World Championships at UFC® International Fight Week in Las Vegas in July.

IMMAF CEO Densign White said:

“The Canadian Combat Alliance has managed to keep faith and worked incredibly hard to make this inaugural event happen in spite of great obstacles. We hope that this event will be the first of many more to come over the years, as the IMMAF family expands its footprint in the Americas. We encourage all MMA athletes that are able to, to make the journey to support this historical event by taking part.”

IMMAF Pan American Championships of Amateur MMA
IMMAF Pan American Championships of Amateur MMA

To register for the IMMAF Pan American AMMA Championships, please visit: http://www.panamma.com/index.php/registration2
For information about the Canadian Combat Alliance visit:http://www.canadiancombat.com/
For information about the United States Mixed Martial Arts Federation (UMMAF) visit: http://usammakif.org/