Gladstone's 'Tiger' packing a punch
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: A Gladstone Martial Arts Academy product has declared war against a respected opponent in this Friday's XCF Atom Weight Title in Brisbane.
Kaela 'Tiger' Banney will take on Brooke Kenrick.
"You can expect an absolute war between Brooke and I and both us girls are hungry for the win," Banney said. "We have been training hard and have a lot of gas in the tank. It is a very good match up and I know we will put on a great show for everyone."
Banney has fought Kenrick previously, but in a different format. "I have versed Brooke a couple times in Jiu Jitsu matches, but never before in the cage," she said. "I have been watching her journey and waiting for the opportunity to finally be able to set up a fight with her, so I am very excited that the day has come."
'Tiger' said she has not felt better ahead of the big fight and has had a brilliant support network.
"I have an amazing team of coaches who have really looked after me in this preparation ensuring I am strong, fit and healthy," she said.
"I could not be more grateful for the time and effort they have put in to getting me to where I am right now.
"The biggest change in my current preparation for this fight compared to others is actually my recovery and how I am looking after my body to ensure I can get the most out of every training session and give per cent."
Banney moved to the Gold Coast two years ago, but she said GMMA head coach Rob McIntyre has had a massive influence on her since she was seven years old. "Without a doubt I would not be where I am today if it was not for Rob McIntyre," she said.
"I would not be the fighter I am today and I would not have the opportunities I do if it was not for him and he gave me the foundation and skills I have today. I will be forever grateful for what he has done for me." MMA is a cage fight, combining stand up, grappling and Jiu Jitsu into one and the winning decision is made by either knock-out, technical knock-out TKO submission or overall points at the end of the round if the fight has gone the distance. "Judges will score each round, looking mostly for which fighter has landed the most strikes, has cage control, defence, is dominating, take downs and most damage etcetera," Banney explained.
After Friday, Banney's next challenge will be Nationals, Pan Pacifics and possibly returning to Worlds. "I will definitely be fighting again for XFC, but there is nothing set and finalised as yet. So until another date comes for a MMA fight I will continue to train and compete and enjoy some down time as well," she said.