How did you get involved in MMA and how long have you been training?
-I was working as a sales manager in quite a high pressured environment. I decided I needed to take a bit more personal time and get a hobby. As I was under a little bit of stress with work I thought boxing or Thai boxing would be a great way to relieve a bit of tension. I had done a bit of Thai boxing at a younger age which I learned about from my uncle. I had seen the UFC at his house when I was young and thought it was great, much more entertaining than the boxing which was usually on. So after a few Thai boxing fights I decided to go to the best MMA gym I knew of (London Shootfighters) and learn to fight on the ground with the intention of having a mixed martial art bout as soon as possible.
Where are you currently training and what's a typical training week like for you?
-I train at London Shootfighters. There are several classes on every day consisting of bjj, wrestling, boxing, Thai boxing and shoot boxing. I will do one or two of these classes, then have some personal training with my coaches on pad work and other techniques. In addition to these classes I also include regular sparring and cardio training.
What is your best experience as a fighter? What is your worst?
-My best experiences as a fighter would have to be the support you receive from your gym, coaches, friends and family. It's great to see how happy and proud they are when you perform well.
-As for the worst thing, well there is always something good to come out of something bad. The wrong gym will encourage you to choose another one, injury will make you want to train harder and losing a fight will motivate to be better.
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-There are many more gyms that now teach MMA. Maybe take a friend with you and just try as many different martial arts until you find one or more that you love. If you are doing it with the intention of competing then make sure to choose a gym with a good reputation, and that u feel confident of the instructors.
What are some of the hurdles that you think Women in MMA need to overcome before Women's MMA will be considered a top level sport like Men's MMA is today?
-I think it's just a matter of time really. Women are already overcoming any hurdles they are facing by getting out there and competing proving that Women’s MMA is a sport that people enjoy to watch and have respect for.
When do you think we will see women’s divisions in the UFC?
-Not long hopefully. I hear there are already meetings between Strikeforce and Dana White discussing this.
What or who are your inspirations in MMA and life?
-MMA is a fantastic way to keep your mind and body strong. I gave up a very good career in sales to follow my dream of doing something I love every day, no matter how different or crazy it seemed to other people. I get inspired by people around me every day when I see how much they put into this sport sometimes with very little reward or recognition in return. Thank God I have been very fortunate so far with all the support I get from fans of MMA, so that inspires me to go on and realize that I made the right decision.
Who are your favorite MMA fighters?
-The list is endless, from Ken Shamrock and Rampage Jackson to Dan Hardy. But I love to watch Jose Aldo.
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting? Any hobbies?
- I Love to eat, cuddle and be lazy. I spend most of my free evenings at the cinema watching action films especially Marvell Comic films.
Any future plans or dreams?
-Yes many! I plan to box more and continue learning and improving all my MMA skills. Travel to other countries to train and compete. I hope to fight all the best girls at my weight, get a contract with UFC, and achieve something that will make my parents and possible children proud and inspired to do something they really want to.
Thank you very much for your time Michelle and we wish you all the best with your fight tomorrow and all your future plans and dreams. To keep up on Michelle’s awesome career please see her website and say hello to her on Twitter @michelle_tyler7.