Combat Vision MMA spoke to Team Fulinkazan fighter Joanne Doyle as she prepares for her first amateur championship fight against Louise Hiller at Almighty Fighting Championship 6 on September 9th 2017. Joanne is the 2016 IMMAF European Champion and heads into AFC 6 with a six fight winning streak with two of her last fights being won inside the first round.
Thank you for talking to Combat Vision MMA, Joanne. Could you tell us about your background in combat sports and how you got into MMA.
“I got into martial arts when I met my Husband and coach, James Doyle. I started going to shows around 7 years ago to support James and Team Fulinkazan. Even though I didn’t really know the rules, I really enjoyed the atmosphere. Then just over 3 years ago, I began training in Jiu Jitsu and I fell in love with it. Natural progression took me into striking and MMA and I started competing at interclubs shortly after”
You train out of Team Fulinkazan. Could you tell us about the coaches and fighters you train with on a daily basis.
“I am so lucky to train at Team Fulinkazan with such great coaches in Mark Spencer and James Doyle. Both very knowledgeable in all aspects of MMA and push everyone in the team to achieve their goals. I believe, I train with some of the best amateur fighters in the country, who hold multiple titles for different promotions. They push me everyday on the mats”
“Team Fulinkazan is under Combat Base for Jiu Jitsu and I regularly train with Darren and Helen Currie and the rest of their team”
“At Team Fulinkazan we have Jimmy Hawthorne who works with us on our freestyle wrestling. I also train my wrestling with Ian Jones, a catch wrestler and BJJ black belt. I have recently started working with Rob Stevenson at Camp Detox in Leeds for my boxing and with David Hudson who is my strength and conditioning coach”
You are a European champion at the 2016 IMMAF championships. Could you tell us about this experience and how much has it developed your amateur career.
“I initially went to the UK team trials for experience and to see if I could make the team as it was early in my amateur career. As soon as I made the team, I was determined to get to the finals. I decided to go to the featherweight division, as there was no allowance for weight and a daily weigh in. Even though I was well under the limit all week, it allowed me to focus solely on my training and the fights themselves”
“I gained so much confidence from fighting high level European athletes and I would recommend the tournament to amateurs wanting to develop their game”
It has been announced that you will be fighting Louise Hiller for your first amateur MMA belt. What is your thoughts on the announcement and how confident are you that you will be crowned champion.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to fight on a big show and for the first time it’s local. I am confident I will be crowned champion. I believe in my training, coaches and teammates. That being said, I know this will be a tough fight against a high level opponent. As always, I welcomed the challenge and I jumped at the opportunity to face a tough competitor and one that I respect”
How much do you know about Louise Hiller and and how will you go about picking holes in her game plan come fight night.
“I know Louise is a well rounded fighter which will make a cracking fight. My coaches always make sure our team are well prepared to fight. I train to their game plan”
Lastly, what are your thoughts on womens MMA in the UK. Do you think it is on the rise but there is still work that needs to be done to promote it more.
“I think women’s MMA is on the rise in the UK. However, I think girls need to be jumping at the chance to fight, rather than just calling themselves a fighter. I have had numerous pullouts in such a short time of competing, compared to what male fighters have to deal with. This has forced me to take my last 2 fights on a week’s notice again at featherweight”
Watch Joanne Doyle knockout Celine Provost at British Challenge MMA 18: