The semi-finals will be April 11 in Vegas and can be seen online at GoFightLive.tv for $10.
A nominee of “Amateur Fighter of the Year”, Texas’s Jianna Denizard is a favorite to win the Tuff-n-uff tournament. Going 4-2 in 2013, Denizard will take on Jamie Moyle in the semi-finals.
Wombat Sports: How did you get started in MMA?
Jianna Denizard: I started out doing Muay Thai. My dad had done it for years and traveled the world doing it. During my sophomore year in high school I was invited by my dad’s close friend and coach to try out a class. 6 months later I had my first fight and couldn’t get enough of the sport. As time progressed women’s Mma became more popular so more opportunities opened up for me to fight Mma. It was a natural transition.
Wombat: Can you tell us something about your gym and training partners and how they have been helpful in training?
Denizard: I train out of Dominion Gym in Plano, TX under EshChadar Brown. When I came to Dominion about 3 or 4 years ago, I knew nothing about Muay Thai or Mma. It was my coach, Eshchadar that taught me everything I know and pushed me to be the fighter that I am today. This training camp has been one of the most intense training camps I have ever had. My teammates have helped me strengthen my weaknesses and make my strong points even stronger.
W.S.: Texas has become a proving ground of strawweight talent. How has it been fighting there?
J.D.: I think that because Texas is so big, there is a diverse group of strawweight women to choose from. That being said, every time I fought I always had to be ready for anything. I couldn’t just rely on what I was comfortable with but I had to be willing to go wherever the fight took me. I believe that in order to be successful in Texas, you have to be an well rounded fighter.
J.D.: I definitely think it is. Because I fought so much in such a short time it became easier for me to fight, recover, and then be shape and ready to fight again. I could only do this because the way my coach trains us is to always be fight ready. Being that I am already used to that, it won’t be a problem for me to be at my optimum for the next round in June.
W.S.: These are going to be shorter two minute rounds versus the usual 3 minutes. How are you preparing and is it something you are looking forward to?
J.D.: The round time isn’t that big of a deal to me. If anything, I may have to be prepared to push the pace but i have experienced different round times so I don’t see that as a huge factor.
W.S.: What would it mean to you to win this tournament and fight for Invicta?
J.D.: It would be a dream come true! Ever since I heard of Invicta a few years ago, my coach and I have been pushing for me to get there. It would be a privilege to be signed to the biggest promotion in women’s Mma. I am greatful to TuffNuff for the opportunity to have a chance to get there. Its just another reason to fight harder.
W.S.: Anything you want to add/thank?
J.D.: I have to give all the glory and honor to my Lord and Savior for waking me up each day and giving me the strength to go out and do what I do. He is the one who gives me the strength and He is why I do this. I’d also like to thank my coach Eshchadar for teaching me everything I know about this sport and helping me both physically and mentally. Thanks to my teammates at Dominion Gym. lastly thanks to my family and friends who believe in me and support my journey in this sport.