EFC Worldwide 37 at Carnival City in Johannesburg, South Africa. Danella fights out of Tapout Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa as a strawweight and flyweight. In between training sessions and her busy schedule as a doctor in Psychiatry Danella found some free time to speak with us about her martial arts background and her historic fight this Saturday.
How did you get involved in MMA and how long have you been training?
-I started out doing boxing and Muay Thai for fun. After discovering BJJ in 2009, I fell in love with the ground game. I started taking my training more seriously and MMA was a natural progression. I had my first MMA fight in 2010.
Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?
-I train at Tapout Academy in Johannesburg. I train twice per day (before and after work) with one rest day per week. Sessions consist of boxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, wrestling and conditioning.
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who you're fighting and where?
-My upcoming fight against Zita Varju from Hungary will be the first professional women’s fight in South Africa. The event is staged by EFC Worldwide and will be held on February 21st at Carnival City in Johannesburg.
What is your best experience as a fighter? What is your worst?
-My best experience was my first fight against Mika Cilliers in 2010. It was a surreal but wonderful experience and one of the best nights of my life. All the hard work and training paid off and being part of WMMA history in South Africa was an honor.
-The worst part about fighting is the injuries one picks up along the way.
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-Competing in MMA requires lots of hard work and dedication. If it’s something you really want to do, don’t listen to closed minded people who will tell you that you can’t do it. If you are prepared to work hard, you can have it all: the career, family, your sport, so don’t let people convince you otherwise. In the words of Dr Seuss: “be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”.
What or who are your inspirations in MMA and life?
-I am inspired by many people around me. I am inspired by my family, my coaches and my patients. In terms of MMA, Gina Carano and Chris Cyborg really helped establish women’s MMA. Knowing that they were competing at such a high level internationally inspired me to keep training in the hope that one day women in South Africa would have that opportunity too. Obviously, Ronda Rousey continues to inspire so many female athletes. Her skill set just keeps getting better.
Who are your favorite MMA fighters?
-Internationally: Joanne Calderwood, Connor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. Here in South Africa: Liam Cleland, Adam Speechley and Nkazimulo Zulu.
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?
-I don’t have much free time but when I do I spend it travelling. I love seeing the world and visiting art galleries. I also paint, read and spend time with family and my pets.
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 am living my dream at the moment. For now I am focused on the upcoming fight.
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-To my coaches and training partners: Liam Cleland, Denis Ovinca, Gert Strydom, Paul de Vos, Liam Cleland and all the guys at Tapout who have been helping me with my fight camp. Thanks to Jess Mouneimne for managing my sponsorships and social media. Thank you to Hunter MMA for the clothing sponsorship.
Thank you very much for your time Danella and good luck on fight night! We would also like to thank both Danella and Tobias Ginsberg for sharing the great pictures with us for this feature. Click here to purchase tickets to Danella’s fight and send your shout outs to her on Facebook and Twitter!
Posted on February 16, 2015 by www.babesofmma.com