The ‘Killa Bee’ Instinct – Bryony Tyrell on her BCMMA Title Fight


Bryony Tyrell will be competing for her first amateur title on BCMMA 11 this Saturday, June 13th in Colchester, Essex in what will be her toughest challenge to date in a strawweight bout against hard-hitting Wendy McKenna.

Bryony Tyrell GnP #UIC14  by Chris Scadden

Bryony Tyrell is a 35-year-old, married mother of two, who by day works as a Cardiac Intensive Care Research Nurse at Southampton General Hospital and in her ‘spare’ time is a Mixed Martial Artist, competing all over the country in the sport she loves.

Having started out in Martial Arts 15 years ago, first in the art of Kickboxing and Kung Fu, Bryony has also trained in Japanese Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga (for 2 years) before adding Wrestling, Muay Thai, Boxing and BJJ to the mix since starting her amateur career in MMA 3 years ago.

“Martial arts are my passion in life. I love the contrast that they can be beautiful and deadly at the same time. 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.”

Bryony took her new-found passion head on, and started to gain experience by competing in several different tournaments, in many styles so she could keep on evolving and improve her ever-growing arsenal of tools to make her the all rounded athlete she is today.

“The only way to truly know how good you are at fighting is to compete, and that’s where the MMA comes in. Being locked in a cage with another trained fighter who can use pretty much any style or technique against you is the ultimate test. I’d always liked the idea of MMA but I wasn’t sure if I was tough enough for it, it wasn’t until I started Krav Maga that I thought I should go for it. MMA is the closest thing to it and also compliments it very well.”

With a current record of 3-2 in her amateur MMA career thus far, Bryony who trains out of Southampton’s Exile Gym will be facing her toughest challenge to date in the form of BKK Fighter Wendy McKenna [3-1] for the BCMMA Women’s Strawweight Amateur Title on Saturday, June 13th in Colchester, Essex.

“I’m very honoured to be offered the opportunity to fight for a title. BCMMA approached me after their last show and of course I jumped at the chance. Wendy and myself have a similar experience in MMA which will make for an exciting match-up.”

Bryony Tyrell (c) Stephen Smith - Fast and Furious

Bryony knows that come fight night, as with every other fight she has trained for in her amateur career preparation is key in getting to know her opponent before she has stepped foot into the cage on the night.

“Wendy holds the BCMMA Women’s Flyweight Title. She is a good boxer so obviously her punches are going to be strong but I’m also expecting her to have very good footwork and great cardio. I’m quite lucky as an MMA fighter because I feel comfortable on my feet and on the ground. I think my strengths definitely lie within my kicks and wrestling.”

For thrill seeking, adrenalin junkie Bryony who in her additional ‘spare’ time used to Base Jump, Sky Dive and Bungee Jump the times have changed, she is now a Company Director of her own branch of Exile MMA Southampton Central and is thriving on her new challenge, although she is very much looking forward to a much-needed break having little to no down time at the minute.

“It’s been a massive learning curve and pretty stressful if I’m honest. It’s still early days but it’s going well. With Exile Gym booming over the last 2 years the owners felt it was time to open another new gym, this gave rise for me to take on more of a managing and coaching role in the gym. It’s such a huge part of my life that it seemed silly to pass up such a great opportunity.

Being based at Pound for Pound Training Ground in the centre of Southampton. Pound for Pound was already an established and well-respected boxing academy run by Steve Barnes. Steve runs all his boxing classes for novice up to pro boxers and Exile runs classes for Gi BJJ, NOGI BJJ, Wrestling, MMA striking and Muay Thai. We also have independent classes for Krav Maga, Kung Fu and Chinese Kickboxing. It’s made for a great collaboration between two of the best gyms in Southampton.

I’m definitely looking forward to having a break after this Saturday. Lots of bbq’s with the family over summer.”

Bryony Tyrell (c) Daniel Rose at Phoenix Fight Night

With anything in life comes confidence but Bryony has always been adamant about one thing and that is about her Amateur MMA career, it has always been about gaining experience, so much so, Bryony was given a new fighting nickname in the process and went from ‘Gazelle’ to ‘Killa Bee’.

“I think Gazelle suited me at first because I used to feel like I was going to be eaten alive when I stepped into the cage…lol. Fortunately with experience I’ve grown in confidence and toughened up. After I won my last 2 fights by ground and pound my coach re-named me ‘Killa Bee’. I really like it because lots of people call me Bee anyway and the Look Borai (our Muay Thai gym) colours are black and gold.”

Bryony would like to thank the following people in helping her reach her goals so far:

I would like to thank all my wonderful coaches and training partners at Exile, Look Borai and Pound for Pound that have helped me prepare for the fight. My brother who has helped me massively with setting up the new gym and is a constant source of advice and support.  Lastly I would like to thank my long-suffering husband who I can never thank enough for putting up with my crazy antics…lol.

I would also like to thank my sponsors THT Plumbing and Home Improvements for providing me with my nutritional supplements and Temple Fight Gear for my fantastic new fight wear.

You can keep up-to-date with Bryony on her Facebook account here.

You can Follow Bryony on her Twitter account here.

BCMMA 11 takes place Saturday, June 13th, Charter Hall, Colchester

Click here for more information.

Photo Credit: 1 Chris Scadden

Photo Credit: 2 Stephen Smith

Photo Credit: 3 Daniel Rose 

‘If this fight goes to the ground I think I will dominate it’ – Bryony Tyrell


Bryony Tyrell will be making her fifth amateur MMA appearance tomorrow night, Saturday, February 21st on UIC 14 at GL1 Leisure Centre in Gloucester.

Bryony trains out of Exile Gym in Southampton; is a working mum with two children and competes up and down the country.  Here I get to find out what Bryony has been achieving since I last spoke with her 18 months ago and I for one can say WOW!

Bryony Tyrell
Bryony Tyrell

It has been awhile since I have last caught up with you [July 2013] and since then you have been one busy lady.  Can you talk me through the last year of your achievements for which I know you have achieved a lot.

It’s lovely to catch up with you again, I can’t believe it’s been that long! Yes it has been a very busy couple of years.

In October 2013 I fought on Extreme Cage Championships – Banned 1 in Blackpool and won by split decision.  A few weeks later I was asked to do a white-collar boxing match at short notice in Andover which I won by decision.  

In November I fought on the Muay Thai World Series in Bournemouth and lost by decision.

In December I fought Main Event (MMA) on a small local show in Andover and won by first round rear naked choke.

The day after that I competed in the Grapplers Showdown Strike and Grapple UK Championships in Watford winning Gold in my weight division (-60kgs) and Silver in the absolute (NoGi).

In February 2014 I competed in the Hampshire Open Grapplers Showdown and won Silver in both my weight division (-60kgs) and the absolute (NoGi).

In April, at the Grapplers Showdown London Open in Watford I won Gold in my weight division (-55kgs) and bronze in the absolute.

In May I was lucky enough to fight on Cage Warriors 68 in Liverpool and lost by decision.

In September I competed in the Grapplers Showdown London International NoGi Open and won silver in my weight division (-55kgs) and amazingly won the absolute!

The week after I competed in the British NoGi Open in Birmingham and won Gold in my division (-56kgs) and Bronze in the absolute.

The week after that I fought on Warrior Fight Night in Bournemouth (Muay Thai) and won by decision.

Last but not least (lol) in November I fought on Shock ‘n’ Awe in Portsmouth (MMA) and won by TKO second round. 

That’s a lot of achievements for a working mum of two, to fit all of those achievements into your ‘spare’ time. How do you do it?

I’m not really sure how I managed to do all that. My life is absolute chaos for the most part to be honest, but I love it! I couldn’t do it without the amazing support of my husband, coaches and teammates.

You train out of Exile Gym in Southampton, alongside Arthur Frost who is another top amateur MMA fighter and also Pro fighter Benny Carr. How does it feel to train alongside Arthur and Benny when it comes to a fight camp?

Benny and Arthur are a massive inspiration to me. Arthur in particular has helped me out immensely; I’m very lucky to train side by side with someone of his calibre.

Your’re now 2-2 in your amateur MMA career; have been on one of the biggest shows as in Cage Warriors, when can we see you make the move to the Pro ranks?

My aim was to turn pro at the end of this year if I do well in my next two amateur fights. My concern with turning pro though is the lack of opponents at my weight. The amateur scene for women is definitely expanding but the pro level still seems to be very scarce in the UK.

Bryony Tyrell at 'Shock N Awe'
Bryony Tyrell at ‘Shock N Awe’

You’re facing Jemma Jacques at UIC 14 at GL1 in Gloucester this Saturday February 21st in an Amateur MMA bout; do you know much about your opponent or the challenges she may pose on the night?

I know quite a lot about Jemma because I’ve been matched against her before. I’ve never met her but I like her. She seems savvy and a bit fiery, good characteristics for a fighter . We’re both from a kickboxing background so I’m quite familiar with her fighting style. She has powerful striking which I’ve got no doubt could cause me serious problems if I don’t keep moving (lol). 

Where do you feel that you will be stronger in this fight and where do you feel it may end up?

To be honest I’m not sure what will happen on Saturday, I’m quite comfortable standing and on the ground, although I think my grappling is stronger. I expect this fight to go to the ground at some point where I think I’ll dominate.

Are you still part of ‘Rosi Sexton‘s’ mentoring scheme? If so, how is that going?

I’m not part of Rosi’s mentoring scheme anymore. She was understandably very busy when she got signed to the UFC so I think that went on the back burner. I will always be very grateful for the help and advice she’s given me. She’s a true icon for WMMA.

What did you think of TUF 20: A Champion will be crowned?

I really enjoyed TUF 20. It was quite interesting to have an insight into some of my favourite fighters. It’s a shame they gave so much airtime to the more unpleasant characters in the house. Angela Magana was particularly vile. It was nice to see Jo Jo and Aisling coming across so well, both a true credit to WMMA.

Bryony Tryrell at Grapplers Showdown
Bryony Tryrell at Grapplers Showdown

After your fight will the ‘Gazelle’ be eating lots of cake?

Haha…yes I’ll definitely be eating lots of cake after the fight, I might even indulge in a cheeky cider too! I can’t relax too much though because I’m fighting again in March.

Lastly, is there any sponsors or anyone you would like to thank?

I don’t have any sponsors, only my brother who spoils me with random MMA related pressies..lol. So obviously I would like to thank him and my beautiful sister-in-law Lisa who are always there for me. I’d also like to thank all my fantastic coaches and training partners at Exile and Look Borai, in particular Daniel Bourne, Gareth Blair, Dean Kendall, Janis Meiksans, Trevor Birmingham, Jarrod Speed, Rich Harding and Arthur Frost. I’d also like to thank my Mum for being brave enough to come and watch me and last but not least my husband for enabling me to chase my dreams and only complaining a little bit..lol.

Thank you for your time Bryony it is very much appreciated.

Bryony is next fighting on March 28th on Phoenix Fight Night XXV at the 02 Academy in Bournemouth.

You can follow Bryony on her Twitter here.

Bryony’s Facebook page here.

If there are any sponsors out there that would like to sponsor Bryony (every little helps) you can contact her via her Facebook.  I for one know she would be very grateful.

Photo Credit 1: Vandal Panda Photography

Photo Credit 2: http://www.grahamfinneyphotography.co.uk

Photo Credit 3: Grapplers Showdown

 

Ultimate Impact 14 Event Poster
Ultimate Impact 14 Event Poster

Fightcard:

  1. SHANE RILEY V ADAM BOUSIFF 77.2kg Welterweight Title
  2. MARC ALLEN V TERRY DOYLE 70.4kg Lightweight Title
  3. STEVE SMITH V DAVE CONLON 78kg Catchweight k1
  4. IAN DALBY V LEE RUSSELL 56.8kg Flyweight pro
  5. LAURA HANDY V FFION DAVIES 61.3kg Bantamweight ammy
  6. PAULINA MALINA V AMY O’MARA 52.2kg Strawweight ammy
  7. HARRY DAVIS V OLLY MYERS 77.2kg Welterweight ammy
  8. JEMMA JACQUES V BRYONY TYRELL 56.8kg Flyweight ammy
  9. ANDREE WARBRICK V ASHLEIGH JOHNSON 54kg Catchweight k1 ammy
  10. POLLY BEAUCHAMP V CHARLOTTE FREEMAN 52.2kg Strawweight ammy
  11. JORDAN PATEY V WILL JONES 90kg Catchweight ammy
  12. MACK STEVENS V JOSH OZANE 74kg Catchweight ammy
  13. BARTOSZ RUSIECKI V LAURENCE COATES 72kg Catchweight k1 ammy
  14. DAVE TIBBETS V PAT BENSON 90KG Catchweight ammy