How did you get involved in MMA and how long have you been training?
-In 2009 I had been competing in amateur Muay Thai for many years and had been contemplating making the change over to MMA for a few years and then a Facebook conversation with my previous coach, Duke Roufus, helped solidify the decision. I began training my ground game by enrolling in BJJ class shortly after I returned from the Muay Thai World Championships in Thailand and by the winter of 2010 I turned my focus strictly to training for MMA.
Where are you currently training and what’s a typical training week like for you?
-I’m training at Wiley Jiu-Jitsu and Newline Boxing Academy. Sundays, Mondays and Fridays I train BJJ and MMA and Wednesdays consists of technical boxing and boxing sparring. I alternate Muay Thai sparring between Tuesdays and Thursdays. During the work week I get up in the morning and do a 45 minute run before I head off to work and then do 20 minutes of sprinting on my lunch hour. It’s a pretty hectic schedule.
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who are you fighting and where?
-I will be fighting Sy Jewett on the next AFC card in Calgary this Friday. This is AFC’s 15th event so it is aptly named “The Ides”.
What is your best experience as a fighter? What is your worst?
-There have been many excellent experiences in my fight career, but the best was winning my amateur Muay Thai Championship in Thailand! The worst actually started out as one of my best but took a quick down turn after I returned from India and had to fight with the SFL to be paid my purse and subsequently got released from my contract, via Twitter, for my efforts!!!
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-Well to narrow it down, I would tell them to always believe in themselves (even when it seems as though no one else does) and to surround themselves with good people who believe in them as well. There is nothing more frustrating than knowing that you can do something and having those around you telling you that you cannot. Remember, “Do not let someone who has given up on their dream talk you out of yours” –unknown. Know that you can do anything you set your mind to and even though the road to success can be frustrating, all of the blood, sweat and tears will be worth it in the end.
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 sports like Men’s MMA is today?
-One of the things that I experience on a regular basis, which I believe is holding Women’s MMA back is the fact that the average, untrained male (not all, but quite a few) cannot or will not believe that if a female fighter were to step into the cage with them the female fighter could actually WIN. Until it is widely understood that fighters in general (not just female fighters) are highly trained, skilled athletes who do not just rely on brute strength to do what we do, I believe that Women’s MMA will continue to be seen as a novelty. Women’s MMA is coming into its own, but even after the UFC 157 main event I read a tweet from some guy that said something along the lines of “great, now can we please end this stupid division”. I liken Women’s MMA finally being showcased on the UFC to when my gender was finally able to vote, we had won a battle but the war had just begun; we have a long way to go as fighters but I don’t believe that we will stop fighting until we win the war!
Who are you favorite MMA fighters?
-GSP (of course), Chael Sonnen (I love his attitude) and Cris “Cyborg” Santos (I’m really hoping that Ronda quits hiding behind weight class and takes on the fighter she had been calling out since she first started fighting).
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?
-Free time? What is that? Lol, when I can find some free time I love to read, watch movies and do puzzles.
Of course we have a few questions for the male readership as well.
Are you single?
-I am not single; I have a husband and two teenage sons.
What do you look for in a guy?
-Well, I have to answer in the past tense, but one of the first things I looked for in guy was that he was taller than me. It sounds superficial, I know, but I LOVE to wear high heels!
What are your turn-ons?
-Long walks on the beach, and gifts of chocolates and flowers…JUST KIDDING (except maybe about the chocolate), I’m much more of a long run down the beach type of woman!
What would you say is your best feature?
-My washboard abs :)
Any futures plan or dreams?
-I tend to think in terms of goals and my first goal is to win my upcoming fight against Sy, thus evening out my fight record. The second is to fight for Invicta FC and third to win their 145-pound Championship. And lastly, to fight in the UFC; c’mon 145’ers lets make a statement this year!!!
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-Hahaha, quite a few actually. To my teammates and coaches at Wiley Jiu-Jitsu and Newline Boxing Academy. My husband and manager Cord Crowthers. My boys, Christian and Josh, as well as the rest of my family and friends. My long list of sponsors, MMA Cauliflower Ears/Dedicated Few, Canada Whey, strength coach Allan Shaw at Perfect Body Consulting, Build 360, Les Lee Consulting, Power Dodge, Signal Direct, Brawn and Body Activewear, Baker Hughs, Certified Plumbing and Heating, The TapHouse, Piper Sports Photography and Tina Hudson Photography. And last, but not least, to all my fans, without whom I would not be able to do what I love.
Thank you very much for your time Charmaine and good luck on fight night! For the latest on Charmaine “Not So Sweet” Tweet stop by her Facebook and Twitter pages.