Throughout the next few days, we will be previewing the upcoming Storm Damage MMA one night featherweight tournament. The event is set for Saturday in Camberra, Australia. The event won’t be streamed, but a DVD will be available three weeks after on Stormmma.com.au.
Originally from the island of Ngāpuhi in New Zealand, Faith Van Duin comes from a proud liniage of warriors from the native Maori tribe. This mother of two started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu to help lose weight, and found inspiration in UFC champ Ronda Rousey to start her MMA career. She also perused Muay Thai, gaining a kickboxing title.
She made her MMA debut earlier this year as she got a fourth round rear naked choke submission over Kelly Kinita to win the ETK featherweight title.
Wombat Sports: Tell us a little about yourself.
Faith Van Duin: I am an Ngapuhi woman of Maori descent and have a long line of strong women who have influenced my life. I have two beautiful children, Rangimarie who is 11 years old and Rererangi who is 7 years old and a very large whanau (family) support system.
Wombat: How did you get started?
FVD: My MMA career started about 18 months ago when I started to look at my health and fitness and how I was going to continue to keep up with two energetic growing girls.
My love for Jiu Jitsu gave me the incentive to keep my fitness up and when I saw Ronda Rousey fight I thought I could do that and I started to talk with my mum about what I wanted to achieve and that I wanted to be an MMA fighter.
W.S.: Who do you train with?
FVD: I am currently training out of GYM 101, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand with an all round MMA & Jiu Jitsu Trainer Alan Orr. I also train with WARRIOR MUAY THAI out of GYM 101 with Regy Yamat & Trevor Salang. I do Strengthening and Conditioning out of GYM 101 with Rob Binns.
W.S.: What are your goals in fighting?
Van Duin: My mind was set (has been) to fight in the cage and become a New Zealand woman MMA title holder and then the World MMA champion holder and take on Ronda Rousey. My first goal has been achieved as I currently hold the WKBF Junior Welterweight Champion Title.
W.S.: This is a one night tournament. How are you prepping for possibly three fights in one night?
FVD: To train for any fight night is a 12 week training camp for me, where you trust in your training and management team to recognize what is needed and that all the training, preparation and me listening would show on fight night.
W.S.: Anyone you’d like to thanks?
FVD: Arriving at this time in my MMA career has been a battle out of the cage also both financially and physically and I would like to extend my appreciation to my trainers and Gym101 family.
I am also very privileged in securing a special lady for my manager who has been in the fighting circles for over 30 years, Lucy Tui Sassen.
Finally, want to thank my sponsor Bedlam Fightwear and especially my Awesome Family, LOVE YOU ALL.
W.S.: Anything else you want to add?
FVD: Because I have a very strong Training & Management support team, and strong family support I have the confidence to move forward and am moving toward my second goal (Ronda Rousey) to go all the way to the top and bring that world title HOME, to Honour those who have worked hard to get me where I want to go and Honour the WARRIOR WOMEN genes in my WHAKAPAPA.
“Whāia te iti kahurangi. Ki te tūohu koe, me he maunga teitei”
(Pursue excellence – should you stumble, let it be to a lofty mountain)