Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More on Cross Dressing Fighter, Plus Kick Ass Female Bouts and Tom Watson in K-1 Rules Fight at UCMMA 22

Cage Rage is really pumping their August 6 card, and rightfully so. How often do you find a MMA fighter who admittedly and openly cross dresses? Yes, my friends, the headlining bout on UCMMA 22's card features one retired fighter-slash-actor who appreciates Victoria Secret's finest linens. That skirt-donning culprit is Alex Reid, who will return to the cage to face his crazed stalker, welterweight Jason Barrett. It's a fight build-up that could easily be written into a soap opera or pro wrestling skit. For more on this cross dresser vs. stalker saga, follow this link to my previous entry on Alex Reid vs. Jason Barrett.

But Maybelline and stalker scenes don't sum up UCMMA 22's fight card. The card presents two female bouts, one featuring undefeated, multi-titled Muy Thai champion Karen Ousey making her MMA debut. There will also be a "UK1 Super Title" (K-1) rules bout between BAMMA Middleweight Champion Tom Watson and successful kickboxer Luke Sines.

Karen Ousey was the subject of a recent press release (from Halo PR). Ousey responded to questions about her life and transitioning to mixed martial arts. Peep Ousey's interview below. UCMMA 22 trailer and official fight card follow.


With just under two weeks to go August 6th, UCMMA 22: Warrior Creed sees two high profile female fights on the bill. Here Aundre Jacobs talks to Karen Ousey ahead of her much anticipated MMA debut.

Karen Ousey comes into the fight undefeated with a Muay Thai record of 17-0-1 and an impressive collection of belts. Making her MMA debut against fellow title holding MMA debutant Anna Zuchelli, this bout sees two world class fighters turn their hand to MMA – expect a fast, explosive battle.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, as you've led a pretty interesting life?

A: My name is Karen Ousey, nicknamed '9mm' after the Uzi sub-machine gun that rhymes with my last name. I am 39 plus one year old (don't like to admit that I am 40!)

I have been training and competing for nearly 20 years now and through that time I have won many titles including World, British and Area titles. This experience has enabled me to get involved with coaching, which is something I love. I am a qualified Martial Arts Instructor and Fitness Coach.

Not one to sit around, I have also created a new Thai Boxing fitness programme, currently named KBOX, which I teach throughout the South West. This has enabled me to help 100's of women build confidence, self-esteem and overall fitness. I am in the process of working with SPIKED to launch this on DVD, hopefully very soon.

My nature is to always want to put something back, so I am also involved with a new anti-bullying campaign in partnership with Kidscape called Knockout Bullying. The aim of the campaign is to help bullied children build confidence through participation in combat and action sports. This is in the final stages of being released and also has some other great MMA fighters involved including Brad Pickett, Dean Amasinger and Sol Gilbert.

On top of all this I live with my partner and trainer Howard, and we have 2 children, Jade 17, and Tyler who is 4. So you could say I have a pretty full life.

There are some other exciting things in the pipeline, but I will keep you posted on those.

Q: Who or what inspired you to get into Martial Arts?

A: My first introduction to Martial Arts was when I was contacted by a friend who was embarking on a travelling style holiday. She was advised to take some self defense classes to build confidence. She asked me if I would accompany her so that she was not alone as a first timer, and so I agreed to go with her. I was immediately inspired. I surprisingly enjoyed the classes and very quickly became dedicated to the training.

Q: How difficult has it been to train at such a high level and raise a child at the same time?

A: I am a very dedicated, focused person, so it is really is just about being very well organised. It is only difficult if you make it so. I manage to multi task without ever neglecting any aspect of my life, I just do what I have to do, I don’t really know any different as I have been doing it for so long.

Q: Obviously training Muay Thai is one of the most difficult disciplines in Martial Arts. What attracted you to that over such things as Karate or Tae-Kwon Do?

A: I began my journey with Muay Thai. It was the first art that I studied, I was very lucky. We were always encouraged by our trainer to expand our knowledge and research other Martial Arts, and so as time went by I became more aware of other arts, so that I could make a comparison to my own.

For me, none of the other arts had more to offer than Muay Thai, they seemed rigid, or over
complicated, or not realistic enough to hold my interest.

Q: You've won a plethora of Muay Thai awards. What do you feel it takes to be a champion?

A: I do feel that it is a number of key things to make a complete athlete that ultimately represents the sport/art well.

This includes professionalism, respect, and commitment. On top of this you have to be extremely dedicated. I was not a natural fighter, far from it. But I became what I am today by not giving up on my dreams and ambitions. So if I have to offer any advice to anyone else, it would be to believe in yourself, visualise what you can become, and anything is possible, I am proof of that!

Q: What was it about MMA that attracted you to the sport?

A: I was introduced to MMA by my trainer/partner Howard. He is always studying other arts, and was right at the forefront of the MMA revolution from the beginning, which was around 1993. When I saw what he was doing, I naturally wanted to learn. I could see how the ground techniques of MMA would blend perfectly with the striking skills that I already had, and a new passion was born!

The attraction now is a new challenge that will allow me to use the skills that I have learned from Muay Thai and combine them with the new skills I have been learning.

Q: You're a fantastic striker, but what other elements of the sport have you enjoyed learning?

A: There are many including higher levels of confidence, self esteem, feeling fit. Basically an overall sense of just feeling good. On top of this, although it is a personal choice, there is a deep spiritual side to Muay Thai. It is steeped in mythology, with many traditions going back thousands of years. I have visited Thailand numerous times now and love to see the temples, sample the traditional food, and even attempted to speak the language!

Q: With all the facets of MMA, such as the grappling, did you find it strange transitioning
into the sport?

A: Strange, no not at all. Muay Thai has a huge element of clinch when you study it properly, which is easily transferrable to grappling for MMA, so that was fine. The ground element was of course new to me, but I always train with an open mind and learn quickly. I've got good coaches too!. I learn in a way I can understand. My coaches know my style and how to teach me correctly.

Q: You're incredibly experienced when it comes to winning fights, but are there any nerves now that you're having your debut fight in MMA?

A: I will be nervous, of course, but they will be good nerves, I just want to do well, perform to my best. I am used to the pre fight adrenaline rush, all the mixed emotions, this fight will be no different, being MMA and not Thai will not effect me.

Q: You're sharing your debut with a fighter who is very similar to yourself as she has a striking background? Had you heard of Anna Zucchelli before the fight due to you both being in same sport beforehand?

A: Anna has obviously done very well. However, I just focus on my training and leave most of the research to my coaches and management. She seems to be a very accomplished fighter and highly ranked, but I was unaware of her until now.

Q: You and Anna are both in a unique position where there isn't any tape on either of you. How difficult is it to create a game-plan when you're not sure what your opponent's weaknesses are?

A: I just train very hard, and try to work on all my strengths and weaknesses. I train to be able to deal with any situation that is presented to me. So regarding my thoughts on game plans, I generally keep that to myself and within the team. Of course we do research on anyone we fight, but I just train to be the best that I can be, and bring that confidence to the ring or cage on the day of the fight.

Q: What is your take on the state of women's MMA as a newcomer coming into the sport and how difficult is it to find a fight?

A: Women's MMA is growing slowly but surely. The main thing is that as women we demonstrate the skill and professionalism that is required to be an MMA athlete. This way we can grow the sport and have it taken seriously.

There are some very good girls out there, and promoters and events are starting to take notice of the female athletes. There is not the depth of talent and available opponents as there is in the men's divisions, but there are girls out there in my weight category so I hope it will not be too difficult to find opponents in the future.

Q: Lastly, how do you see the fight finishing on August 6th?

A: With me winning of course! I am not however, one of those fighters who says I am going to knock you out in the first round, or submit you in seconds or anything like that. I see my hand being raised by the referee as the winner, when or how is not important at this time, but my thoughts and emotions remain positive of a victorious outcome.

Q: Thanks for your time Karen. Is there anyone you'd like to thank?

A: I would like to thank my trainer and partner Howard, for helping and putting up with me, to Mark Tucker, who Howard has brought in to enhance my ground game, he has been a great help. To Matt Walton, good friend and manager for all his hard work in promoting me as a professional athlete, all my students and friends for their continued support throughout my career.

One last thing. My new website is now being launched so please checkout www.getspiked.co.uk/karenousey


To watch Warrior Creed Alex Reid V Jason Barrett live on Primetime call 0871 200 4444 or go online to www.primetimelive.co.uk

Buy tickets from: http://bit.ly/h8XK0S

Follow: @CageRageUK, @CageRageDave

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Cage Rage-UK/Ultimate Challenge MMA
UCMMA 22: "Warrior's Creed"
August 6, 2011
The Troxy,
London, England

Alex Reid vs. Jason Barrett
Tom Watson vs. Luke Sines
Karl Lawrence vs. Iain Martell
Andy McEwan vs. Spencer Hewitt
Karen Ousey vs. Anna Zucchelli
Valentino Petrescu vs. Jamie Hearn
Darren Towler vs. Tomasz Czerwinski
Miguel Bernard vs. Jack Mason
Ricky Cambell vs. Przemyslaw Misiek
Celine Haga vs. Michelle Tyler
Adam Grew vs. Louis King
Kane Evans vs. Charlie Francis

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