Just ahead of the IMMAF World Championships, UK fighter Joanne Doyle sat down with Five Round MMA to answer a few questions about her training and more! Doyle goes in depth about the growth of MMA in the UK, who her favorite fighters are, the path that lead her to MMA, and how her family has influeced her career.
1. You recently fought in September and it turned out to be your first loss on the amateur scene. What went wrong in the fight and what did you learn from it?
I believe I did enough to win that fight unfortunately it went the other way, so I definitely learnt not to leave it to the judges! I would say I didn’t play to my strengths because I didn’t feel threatened at any point. I want to improve with every fight so it was straight back in the gym and into camp.
2. When will we see you fight again?
I am flying to Bahrain for the IMMAF World Championships between 12th and 19th of November.
3. Where do you train out of and explain how your fight camp has prepared you so far in you MMA career?
I train out of Team Fulinkazan based in Bradford UK. It’s one of the longest running MMA gyms in the north of England. I have never entered a fight unprepared as my coaches Mark Spencer and James Doyle wouldn’t allow it. They break down my opponent and devise a game plan which we build on throughout an 8-week fight camp.
4. What is your athletic background? Did you play all types of sports growing up or did you mainly focus on martial arts?
I played a lot of sports at school but I never excelled at anything. I didn’t start any form of martial arts until 3 1/2 years ago, I started with BJJ, mainly no-gi, and some pad work for fitness. After a few years of BJJ competition,s in early 2016 I started MMA as a natural progression.
5. How would you explain your fighting style?
I train at a well-rounded team and I train all disciplines however grappling was my original base.
6. Who were some of your favorite fighters to watch before you started training mixed martial arts?
Joe Lauzon and Jim Miller due to their fighting styles and always bringing the fight. Miesha Tate has always been a favourite of mine, how she carries herself and her attitude around winning and losing.
7. How has MMA grown in the UK and Europe over the years in popularity?
In the last few years MMA has grown massively, domestic shows are becoming more polished and ran professionally. Cage Warriors is one of the longest running shows which has produced many UFC champions.
8. How much has women’s mixed martial arts grown in that time?
I think women’s MMA in the UK is still catching up, from day one I’ve struggled to get matches and had a lot [opponents] of pull out. With women’s MMA becoming more popular and mainstream I hope this helps it to improve.
9. What life lessons have can be learned from fighting?
It teaches you a lot about yourself and how strong and resilient you can be. Fighters are always learning and face constant adversity on the mats which helps build and reveal character.
10. Who are some of your biggest inspirations in you life and how did they affect your decision to enter mixed martial arts?
I am lucky to have such a supportive husband and family. My brother has always inspired me, not necessarily in martial arts however he has made me believe that if you want something you work hard and go get it. My husband started in traditional martial arts and transitioned to MMA many years ago, I’m in awe of his knowledge in all aspects of MMA. For years I watched him train and as soon as I decided to give it a go he supported me ever step of the way. If I can be half the athlete he is I will be very happy.
11. What can we expect from Joanne Doyle in the future?
Keep training hard, keep improving and fight tough girls.
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