‘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

 

 

 

‘THERE’S NO OTHER FEELING LIKE FIGHTING IN THE CAGE AND I WANT AS MANY FIGHTS AS I CAN GET!’ – FFION DAVIES


Ffion Eira Davies is a name that should firmly be on everyone’s lips in the world of MMA.  If you have not heard of this bright, talented,upcoming, future star, then please let me introduce you to her.

Making her second amateur MMA appearance on Saturday, February 21st at UIC14, GL1, Gloucester. The 20-year-old from Wales, who trains out of Chris Rees Academy in Swansea is no stranger when it comes to competition, having been competing in Judo since age 9 and BJJ for the last 18 months.

I managed to speak with Ffion to find out more about her, her achievements in the world of Judo and BJJ, MMA and Ronda Rousey.

 

Ffion Davies competing in BJJ

You maybe ‘new’ on the MMA scene but you’re not on the BJJ scene. Can you talk me through all your achievements please.

I started BJJ about a year and a half ago now, originally just as a hobby. It’s quite funny because I always hated groundwork in judo and avoided it at all costs! But I ended up falling in love with it, and since then I’ve won the British gi and no gi, Paris gi and no gi, the Welsh gi and no gi, NAGA at my own weight and the absolute (blue and purple belt) and most recently the European championships in Portugal all at blue belt. So far I’ve not lost a BJJ match.

Not only contempt in BJJ, you started out in Judo; at what age did you start training in Judo, then competing? What achievements have you achieved in the world of Judo?

I started judo when I was about 9 years old, and started competing 3 months later. I won the Welsh a few times and the British twice as a Cadet/Junior. I trained full-time for a year in Sophia Gardens with the Welsh National Coach Craig Ewers, but I noticed my passion for judo was dwindling after so many years of competing and decided I wanted something fresh. That’s when I found BJJ which led me to MMA.

You train out of Chris Rees Academy who trains many up and coming champion MMA athletes, along with arguably one of the best Bantamweights Wales have seen in a long time, Brett Johns, who also comes from a judo background and who also was the Cage Warriors World Bantamweight Champion. How does it feel to train with another high level Judoka who has made the transition into MMA?

It’s quite funny because one of the main reasons I started MMA was because of Brett! We were in the same comprehensive school, he was in my brothers year, and we also did judo together growing up! I saw his posts on Facebook about MMA and I was amazed by it, at the same time Ronda Rousey had become big on the scene and I saw that the transition from a judo background would be pretty ideal for me! It’s amazing to have such a high level fighter as a teammate and friend, it’s very motivating. I’m looking forward to him claiming another world title! 

Was it always the ‘plan’ to make the transition to MMA, having had the Judo and BJJ background, or was it something that just progressed organically?

No not really, BJJ and MMA were supposed to be fitness hobbies. But I’m hugely competitive and couldn’t resist competing in the end!

Ffion Davies first amateur MMA fight
Ffion Davies first amateur MMA fight

 

Are there any other disciplines you are quite well versed in? Was you already doing Kickboxing, K1, Muay Thai, Karate etc whilst you were competing at Judo/BJJ? 

Nope, I started learning striking in the MMA class, and have taken so many punches to the face it’s hilarious. Chris (my coach) then arranged for me to start doing pad work with Sam Thomas who’s one of the Thai boxing coaches at the academy. He’s really helped me a lot with my striking the past few weeks and invested a lot of time in helping me. I’m extremely grateful to him and all my teammates.

You finally had you’re first amateur MMA fight at SnA for which you won via Kimura Keylock in the first round. How did that finally feel to get that first MMA fight out the way with all the false starts you’ve had previously due to scheduled fights being cancelled through opponents being injured?

It’s been very frustrating the past few months because of pull outs. If you don’t want to fight don’t sign up to it, amateur is all about gaining experience whether you win or lose. When I finally did get to fight on SnA I was ecstatic; especially against a good opponent who I knew wouldn’t pull out due to ‘injury’. Jade was a decorated fighter who I knew wouldn’t pull out as she was confident in her abilities so it made it all the more nerve-racking. There’s no other feeling like fighting in the cage and I want as many fights as I can get!

Can you talk me through the experience you finally felt achieving your first amateur MMA fight? Was it any different to what you had ‘thought’ it would be like? Once at the venue knowing the crowds are there, walking out to the cage and into the cage and of course the fight itself.

I loved every minute of fighting, but the nerves are like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I spewed the day before and a few times on the day of the fight due to nerves, I’ve never been that bad before! Then in the last half hour before the fight everything changed and I became this aggressive psycho who just couldn’t wait to get in the cage! And then after the win I felt on top of the world, there’s really nothing else like it.

You’re competing on UIC 14 at GL1, Gloucester, this Saturday, February 21st in your 2nd amateur MMA fight. How are you feeling this time?

I feel just as nervous, but also excited. I have more self belief this time round and I’ve been training hard.

You’re facing the UIC K1 Flyweight Champion Laura Handy, do you know anything about your opponent?  do you watch your opponents fight video’s or do you leave that to your coach/team and you take their instruction in what you need to focus on?

Yeah I’ve had a look at a few of her fights, but it’s always down to what my coach Chris wants me to do. He has so much experience in coaching that I know he knows what’s best for me and so I put my trust in him to decide! At first that was hard as I’m stubborn, but after so many grappling comps where I’ve followed his instructions and won that stubbornness quickly went away!

Ffion Davies first amateur MMA fight
Ffion Davies first amateur MMA fight

 

This is a classic ‘striker vs grappler’ fight and it’s fair to say with Laura being a K1 Champion and yourself a BJJ champion, for the fan watching this is a great match-up made by Paul Sutherland. Where do you see the fight going yourself?

Naturally were both going to want to go where we feel our strongest. I’ve been putting in a lot of effort to round-up my game. Obviously we are both going to imagine ourselves winning, nobody steps into the cage expecting to lose. I’ll do my best, and she will do her best, and whoever is the better fighter will win.

Has anybody ever referenced you to ‘Ronda Rousey’ at all with your Judo background and your Arm bar submissions in BJJ along with your sleek ground game?

Chris says I have a moody face like her! I get where it could come from but not really.. We both did judo but she was Olympic standard whereas I was very very far away from that standard!

Is there any sponsors or anyone you would like to thank for this fight?

Tatami Fightwear for providing me with free BJJ kit! And although obviously they aren’t sponsors but they buy me snacks and give me lifts, I’d like to thank my teammates, coaches and family!

Thank you for your time today Ffion it is much appreciated.

You can keep up to date with Ffion on her Twitter page here.

Ffion’s Facebook page here.

If you still require tickets for Saturday’s event click here.

Photo Credit 2 and 3: Marc Moggridge

Photo Credit 1: BJJStyle.com

 

Ultimate Impact 14 Event Poster
Ultimate Impact 14 Event Poster

Fight Card:

  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

ULTIMATE IMPACT 14 – ‘2 TITLES ON THE LINE’ FEBRUARY 21ST, GL1, GLOUCESTER


Ultimate Impact returns to the GL1 leisure centre, Gloucester, on February 21st for their 14th event.  With two pro MMA Title fights on the line, a pro flyweight bout, along with 1 pro K1 fight, four female amateur MMA fights, one female amateur K1 fight and four male amateur MMA fights, one amateur K1 fight it is safe to say this is there best card yet.

 

Ultimate Impact 14 Event Poster
Ultimate Impact 14 Event Poster

 

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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

 

DATE:  21st February 2015

TIME:  Doors open at 4pm

WHERE: GL1 Leisure Centre, Gloucester, GL1 1DT

COST:  £360 VIP table of 8 (£45 per head), £35 Cageside seating & £25 Standard Ticket

More details here on tickets.