Conflict MMA Promotions: Carolina Cage Fights 16 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Fighting out of Team Renegade in Charlotte, North Carolina we recently caught up with Nicole prior to her big fight this Saturday for the interview below to learn a little more about her.
How did you get involved in MMA and how long have you been training?
-Several years ago a friend of mine did boxing and talked about how great his coach was, it was something I was interested in so I checked him out one day. I loved it, but at the time I just didn't have the dedication for it (a decision I kick myself for now!). However, a couple years ago, I started training at another local gym, got my first fight and was hooked. Now I am back with that coach my friend recommended to me and couldn't be happier.
Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?
-I am with Phil Wills, the founder of Team Renegade. Most of my training takes place at Charlotte Boxing Academy but I have been lucky enough to be able to go to other gyms as well to make sure I get all types of training. My camp has truly been a group effort. I work Mon-Fri from 8/830-5 or later so I have had to squeeze my training in wherever I can. Sometimes that means getting cardio in at 6am before work. After work, I train from about 6:30-9 as well as a few hours on Saturdays and sometimes I go all 7 days.
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who you're fighting and where?
-I am fighting February 15 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in SC for my absolute favorite promotion, Conflict MMA. I am matched against Amy Bybee. From what I can tell she looks tough and this should be another exciting fight on my record.
What is your best experience as a fighter? What is your worst?
-I have only had a couple fights so I don’t have much to choose from but my best experience has to be my first fight. I had only been training 5 months and I was so nervous I wanted to run out of the arena but I went in there and managed to get the girl to quit after the first round. It was an amazing feeling.
-My worst (besides taking a tough loss my second bout) is probably eating right. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE food and it is so hard to say no to bad things during fight camps, but it’s worth the pain when I step in the cage healthy.
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-Stay true to yourself. I am not at all against using what you’ve got to get want you want but don’t sell yourself short. Make sure you are spending more time in the gym than in front of a camera! Also, make sure you find GOOD training partners. There is nothing worse than thinking you are ready for battle and stepping into the cage and getting beat up because someone took it light on you in the gym. Better to take those beatings during training than in front of your friends and family.
What or who are your inspirations in MMA and life?
-I am inspired by all of these beautiful women in MMA who have done such a good job at making a name for themselves, and female fighters in general. It makes me so happy to hear people tell me that they would much rather watch WMMA because women are more exciting fighters than men. Most women go in the cage and battle it out to the last second and hug each other at the final bell. It’s amazing.
Who are your favorite MMA fighters?
-Initially, I was not a Ronda Rousey fan but she has managed to capture my attention. I also like Sara McMann, and I cannot wait for her fight with Ronda. Tecia Torres is probably one of my favorites. I got to see her fight as an amateur and have kept up with her since then and she has done a great job at developing as a fighter and even got casted on TUF 20. My all time favorite is without a doubt Anderson Silva, he is a beast! I hate the recent downfall he has had but he will always be the champion in my heart.
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?
-Being lazy!! Haha. Nothing better than laying back relaxing in the recliner with my dog at my feet, the cat in my arms, and my wonderful husband beside me.
For those who will inquire we have a couple questions for the male readership as well.
Even though you just mentioned the answer, are you single?
-Nope, sorry! I met a wonderful man a little over 10 years ago and somehow talked him into marrying me 3 ½ years ago. I really don’t think he knew what he was getting into.
What are your turnoffs?
-Ego. Which I can’t say my husband is without but he is not on the level of some of the fighters I have met in training. Tune it down fellas! Nothing wrong with confidence, but don’t be cocky.
What would you say is your best feature?
-Well I would say my eyes. A man might answer differently.
Lastly before we let you go we would love to hear about your future plans and let you send some shout outs.
Any future plans or dreams?
-I want to get a couple more amateur fights and if those go well I will look to turn pro, and just push to go as far as I can.
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-I want to thank Coach Phil Wills for dealing with me and training me so well. Snake, Rodney Wallace and the rest of the people at Team R.O.C. Charlotte for your help during my camp. Ronny Huitt and his adorable little students at Mat Masters Wrestling. Real American Grappling for my Jiu-Jitsu skills. Wendy at the 9 Rounds in University and also Gym One for letting me use their facilities. My training partners Elizabeth and Carrie for helping me out with everything. Most importantly my husband, Kyle, who has had to deal with so much while supporting me and my crazy dreams.
Thank you very much for your time Nicole and good luck on fight night! Click here to purchase tickets to Nicole’s fight and send her some shout outs on Twitter!