Combat Vision MMA conducted a post fight interview with Kate Jackson after her Bellator debut win against Colleen Schneider at Bellator 182. Kate was also a semi-finalist on The Ultimate Fighter 23 and her professional record (9-2-1)
Thank you for taking the time to speak to Combat Vision MMA, Kate, Congratulations on your Bellator 182 victory against Colleen Schneider. The finish was set up by a beautifully placed teep and followed up by ground and pound. How much of your performance was down to executing the game plan set by your coaches.
“Most of it to be honest. I knew Colleen was taller than me but I wasn’t really aware she had a 5-inch reach advantage until after the fight. I don’t personally look into my opponents in much detail. My coach spent quite a bit of time studying her and apparently she fought in much the same way in her last few fights. I knew that I would be able to get at her legs and hopefully slow her down a bit to open up strikes later on and I landed quite a few kicks and stomps.”
“I am happy with the teep that basically finished the fight, it was well timed and well placed. Ideally, I would have finished it on the ground but Colleen is dangerous. I had to be careful not to leave too much space and so I didn’t really get a chance to open up properly until the very end”
There is a comment on Facebook that having watched the fight again on replay. You felt you needed to relax more to let the strikes flow a bit more. How do you plan on incorporating this in your next fight.
“A lot of it for next time is simply having had a chance to experience fighting for Bellator and knowing how they operate, so it’s removed some of the unknowns. A slight cock up with the flights meant that I flew out a day later than I should have done, so the jet lag didn’t really help. I will go over it with my mind coach in the run up to my next fight and work out any little kinks really”
How did the opportunity to fight with Bellator come about and are you able to tell our readers how many fights you have signed up with the promotion for.
“Sure. I have a 4 fight contract with Bellator, which I think is their current standard. One of my coaches had been in touch with one of the guys at Duello Sports (my management company) for a while and they had a found a couple of potential fights that didn’t work out for various reasons (I’m not keen on Pancrase’s yellow/red card system and a couple of other contract points for example. Although fighting in Japan would have been a cool experience) But, when they offered me a potential fight on Bellator 182 it was too good an opportunity to pass up”
In your professional career, you have had some amazing experiences fighting in both The Ultimate Fighter and now Bellator. How do you feel these experiences have shaped you as a fighter and what self-improvements have you made to your skill set.
“The Ultimate Fighter was a really interesting experience and a bit of a whirlwind, as it was less than two months between finding out about the show and being in the house. I only found out I was flying out to America 3 days before it actually happened, so dieting and training for something so uncertain was really hard, especially over Christmas! The hardest part was definitely not having any outside contact or access to books, TV, phones or social media and the women on our team closed out the semi finals, so living and training with potential opponents (and friends) was difficult”
“It took all the resilience I had to get through the isolation that comes with having very few distractions outside of training for 2/4 hours a day, especially as strawweight was a tough cut and I couldn’t even distract myself with food. Getting an idea of how other people trained and getting to do MMA with other women was helpful. But, at the end of the day, there’s no magic bullet and it’s just a case of putting the time in day after day. I am confident that my game is better now than it was 18 months ago and that’s all I can ask for really”
Heading into your 3rd fight with the Ultimate Fighter you were on a five fight win streak to then lose against Tatiana Suarez. You’re second in your professional career. What have you learned about yourself as a fighter from these losses and how did you mentally prepare yourself to bounce back.
“Losing is obviously always really hard. If it doesn’t mean enough to hurt, then I think it is possibly time to take a step back and re-evaluate your reasons for doing MMA and fighting. It is a sport that demands everything and sometimes seems to give very little back. I love what I do and there is such a limited timeframe for doing it. So, after a loss, it’s “simply” about learning what you can from it and trying to make sure you fix your mistakes. It is the feeling of letting myself, my team and my family down that is the worst and not doing that is part of what drives me to keep training and improving”
When would can the fans expect to see you back in the cage and what type of fighter in terms of body type or skill-set would you like to compete against.
“I am very much hoping to fight again before the end of the year. It is early days yet and I can’t say much more than that, so fingers crossed it all works out! I want one of the best in the division, I am in this sport to challenge myself, so I will see what comes of it”