it`s hard to ignore the display of heart and skill that proved Mayra Conde to be a true warrior and the best of what women`s MMA has to offer.
Of the seven all-women bouts offered by the HooknShoot Revolution event held April 13, 2002 in Evansville, Indiana, the battle between Mayra Conde (Beverly Hills Jiu Jitsu) and Angela Restad (PBBA Martial Arts), which went the distance and ended in a draw, is the match that had the crowd on their feet, and the MMA community sitting up and taking notice. While Angela Restad came away from the HooknShoot event with the Fighter of the Night award, it`s hard to ignore the display of heart and skill that proved Mayra Conde to be a true warrior and the best of what women`s MMA has to offer. I had a chance to talk to Mayra about her career and the HooknShoot event.
OTM: Mayra, tell me a little about yourself.
MC: First of all I`d like to thank you for interviewing me. I was born in Guatemala City Jan. 28, 1969. Soon after my little brother was born I was moved to Toronto, Canada. I didn`t know how to speak English and being a tomboy made me a perfect target to get picked on in school. I learned to survive by fighting by all the time. This led me to want to be bigger and stronger to be respected. At the age of 16 I started to lift weights and continued bodybuilding throughout my life. I gained the confidence, strength, and respect I was yearning for.
OTM: How did you get into fighting? How did you end up at Beverly Hills JJ?
MC: One day I walked into the Beverly Hills Jiu Jitsu Club as I heard it had great instructors. I was impressed with the fighting styles of NHB/MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. That day I met Mark Kerr and was very impressed by him. The most fun and exciting class that caught my attention was Bas Rutten`s. I seem to pick up quickly and don`t mind sparring hard with the guys. I have found fighting to very challenging and I love it.
OTM: Tell me a little about your career and some of the titles you have.
MC: Almost immediately after I started learning from Bas, I decided to do my first NHB fight, and I won. Bas turned me over to BJJ so my ground game could get tighter and where I could go to classes more often. I compete in any BJJ or fighting tournaments wherever I can. So far I have lost only to one fight, and that one put me in 3rd place at the World`s in Brazil last year. Doing the CA State Championships or the US Open is not exciting anymore for me, as I have won them two years in a row. At the last US Open I won my weight category and in the Open Division
I am now looking forward to the Worlds in Brazil, and to many NHB/MMA pro fights. The biggest challenge I have ever had to face so far was to fight on the Hook n Shoot card below 152lbs. I weighed in at a light 146lbs, and had to fight in a very dehydrated state. I managed however to continue fighting the full distance. The crowd loved it and that in itself was worth doing it for. I feel if the people paid for a good show, they should get a great show.
OTM: Tell me about your training for the Women`s HooknShoot.
MC: I trained very hard for this fight, but in the end it is the fighter`s stamina and nutrition that will affect the fight. I came in so weak that I could hardly perform any techniques I had been practicing in the last month. Next time I will fight at 160lbs, that`s it.
OTM: How do you feel about the Women`s HnS event? Will it change MMA in the United States?
MC: I know for a fact everyone was impressed how Angela Restad and I fought that night. I know I fought with all my heart that night, and Angela did a great job as well. If all the women do the same, women`s MMA will be well respected.
OTM: Talk a little about your opponent and how you expected the fight to go as opposed to how it went.
MC: I expected to fight a good fight whether it went to the ground or it stayed standing. After about a minute or so I became light headed and I had trouble concentrating on anything. I felt so out of it I hardly felt her knee strikes to my face. Overall I think it was a great experience. Next time I expect to fight a strong fight. I would like to say thank you to Angela Restad for coming out to fight me in the HnS event. She is a great sport and a great fighter.
OTM: Are there any sponsors you`d like to thank?
MC: Oh yes. I would love to thank:
1. Dr. Patrick Fowler at The Premiere Clinic for helping me with my rotator cuff injury just before my fight.
2. Krugans gi and Goddess Wear
3. Crunch Gym in L.A
4. Chronic Industries Active Wear
6. Beverly Hills Jiu Jitsu Club
7. Taimak from Crunch Gym
OTM: Thanks for talking to On the Mat
MC: Thank you once again for taking the time to interview me.