One of the many pro debuters is Shauna Carew, who only started in MMA last year. She won her first and only amateur bout by rear naked choke. She will take on another pro debuter in Gina Cardillo on the BFW card, which will stream live on the Brace for War website.
We talked to Carew about her upcoming fight and her aspirations as an atomweight fighter.
Wombat Sports: How did you get started in MMA?
Shauna Carew: I started training at the start of 2011 after spending a couple of months doing private Muay Thai sessions. My passion for the sport grew from watching it on tv, to going to events and realizing I wanted in! The start of my training was delayed almost 18 months due to having surgery – so the whole time i wanted it and couldn’t do it – just made me want it even more! Since then i have been training constantly.
Wombat: You are a 105er. How is it training with some of the bigger fighters at your gym?
Carew: I am definitely the smallest person at my gym! Initially I found it really frustrating constantly being out muscled. But it gets easier and easier with my technique improving all the time. I am lucky to have amazing training partners who generally know how to use their weight with me and are awesome to roll with. I figure if i can train with the big guys who have anywhere from 40 lbs on me – bring me someone my weight and ill be just fine!
W.S.: This is a great time for an atomweight fighter to get started in the sport. What do you know about the division and what are your thoughts?
Its a huge time for WMMA in general, here in Australia and around the world. My division is pretty much non – existent here in Australia. Since my amateur fight in march where I gave away 16 pounds, I have had promoters looking Australia wide for further opponents for me, with no luck. My upcoming opponent Gina Cardillo has been the first one to come out of the woodwork.
On the world scene the atomweight division is obviously much bigger, and hopefully more females in Australia at this weight will get involved. With the recent atomweight title being held for Invicta, its my dream to be able to fight other girls my weight, and I know my opportunities here in Australia are going to be limited.
W.S.: Japan and India seem to have a lot of opportunities as well as the U.S. Is that something you are looking forward to?
S.C.: Of course! Both India and Japan have decent numbers in the atom weight division, and some girls that compete at 100 lb. Promoters here in Australia have spoken with me about what the future may hold for me here and to have the chance to fight overseas or to fight an international opponent here would be amazing. I am in a difficult situation, I understand the $$ behind promotions and that I need to be worthy of an international match up, but to get a record that makes me worthy of that – i need to fight, and here there has been literally no one at my weight – a bit of a viscous cycle unfortunately. If I had the $$$ I would pay for opponents to come out myself!
W.S.: Seeing that MMA is growing worldwide, what does it mean to you to be apart of the Brace all female card?
S.C.: I am hugely grateful to Brace for this opportunity! What they are doing for WMMA here in Australia is huge and to be a part of the first all female card here is amazing. I am indebted to them for finding me someone my weight! We have been looking for opponents my weight for so long and to finally find someone is great!
W.S.: What do you know about your opponent?
S.C.: I am fighting Gina Cardillo from Black Dragon Kempo in NSW. Apparently she is a black belt in Kempo Karate. As far as I am aware she hasn’t had an MMA fight before. All that matters to me is that she is my weight! And I thank her stepping up and giving me an opportunity to fight!
W.S.: Anyone you’d like to thank?
S.C.: All my trainers, Mal Vanderaar, Dean Wall and Mark Brady and my family at Impact MMA – without all of them I wouldn’t be the fighter I am today. The support and friendship from my team is second to none and i love them all so much!
My sponsor Kellie Rose Designs for creating me some awesome gear for this fight. Everyone who has played a big part in getting me ready for this fight, both physically and mentally. And all my friends and supporters who are constantly there for me and who’s support and friendship is unconditional.