Kirstie Gannaway: The Hot Chick that Packs a Punch

By Chelza Chong

Who ever said females couldn't be great fighters because Kirstie Gannaway proves you wrong! Being the 2nd female MMA fighter to receive an invitation to join the Evolve Fight Team, Gannaway is not only proficient in boxing, but also, Muay Thai, BJJ and MMA itself. Besides being one of the few local MMA fighters, Gannaway is also a self- taught graphic designer who has done many fantastic pieces of art.

The SportSanity team managed to catch up with Gannaway ahead of her One FC debut where she takes on Malaysia's Adek Omar in the Atomweight category to find out how she is getting ready for the fight and why she choose to pursue a career in MMA.

 

1) I understand that your older brother was the one that inspired you to take up boxing when you were young, is he still in the sport and do you guys still train together? 

Unfortunately, my brother was not able to keep up with the training due to his job commitments, in fact he is currently overseas. I do bring him to the gym to sort of play around together whenever he comes to visit me.

 

2) Being a lady MMA fighter must be tough, are you parents supportive of you guys being so involved in martial arts?

My parents were always a bit nervous about us because we got so involved in martial arts. I mean that's what every parent would be worried about. They worry in terms of the physical aspect but they are happier to see that I am doing what I want and what I am passionate about.

 

3) You started from boxing before moving on the BJJ then MMA. Did you face any hardships during the transition from one martial arts form to another? What are they?

I think one of the hardships is transitioning to a different style. The style (from another martial arts form) can be so different. I can do a lot of things in boxing that will work but (when it is being applied) to MMA, it won’t work. I do in fact plan to learn more martial arts forms in the future.

 

4) How are your trainings like and how do you step up on it when competitions are near?

I train 2 to 3 times per day and 6 times a week. When it's the off-season, training is more focused on the technical aspect but when competitions are near, I generally focus more on cardio, strength training, executing everything carefully and drilling according to my game plan. It is a really harsh training (process). It can be mentally and physically tiring. Also, it takes a lot of energy to go in and be positive everyday. At the end of the day, I know this is what I love doing.

 

5) Is there any diet that you stick to?

Right now, I am cutting down my weight so I am eating clean. I don’t take in processed food and I try to cook at home. I eat wholesome stuffs and I have been avoiding sugar and salt. My sugar intake comes from fruits now.

 

6) How do you feel about being one of Singapore’s few MMA fighters and are there any stereotypes you face as a female MMA fighter?

I think there are always going to be people out there who will stereotype female MMA fighters but at the end of the day, we are doing this (MMA) for ourselves and not to be out there to prove to anybody. It can be frustrating but I am doing it because I want to do it. It is also an honour to be one of the first few Singapore’s female fighters.

 

7) Leandro's match is the main highlight of the event with him fighting in the Middleweight World Championship. Knowing you have trained with Leandro before, do you have any comments on his upcoming battle against Igor Svirid?

Leandro is awesome! He is the most hardworking guy in the whole gym. He deserves the belt more than anyone else. I really hope he gets it and I know he can. He is a smart fighters and he works really hard. He is the most positive guy in the gym and is always doing more rounds than the others.

 

8) We know that career in sports often come with many difficulties in terms of financial, support and so on. How did you overcome them and who has been your greatest support and motivation all the time?

My boyfriend- Herbert Burns, has been helping me a lot. He trains with me and he is always making sure that I am doing better than what I think I can do. He takes care of me and makes sure I have the rest that I need. Not to forget, I trust my BJJ gang a lot too. I am working at Evolve so financially, I am okay but I do lack in sponsorship. I am always up for sponsorships. We pretty much get all our support from Evolve and they provide us with almost everything we need. They kind of manage our lifestyle. They do a lot for us than what other gyms do and I am really thankful for them.

 

9) Chancing upon your blog, we know that you are a freelance graphic designer too. Is that your interest since young? I also noted you choose a unicorn for your logo, may I ask why so?

I love graphic designing. During my free time, I draw and do digital painting. I don’t take classes for them. It requires a lot of trials and error.Horses are my favourite animals. Moreover, it is also my zodiac sign. My mum believes in star signs and Fengshui and I guess, she puts a lot of that on me. In fact, unicorns are magical creatures too!

 

10) What is your life motto?

It will be this quote form the movie Gladiator- "Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back." It is a really great quote. This quote can mean a lot of things but to me, it means you can live with your fear, go pass it and do what you want to do. If there is a challenge in your way, go pass it and do not stop. I want to do my best in the fight and hope to grab the belt for the atomweight championship. It is always my drive at the back of my mind.

 

 

The SportSanity Team would like to thank Kirstie for the opportunity and we are definitely behind her all the way for her upcoming match #LetsGoSingapore. If you are interested to get in the thick of action, Grab your tickets at www.sportshub.com.sg/onefc before they run out soon! The event will be at Singapore Indoor Stadium on the 7th of November 2014, 7pm.

Now, watch out for my next article that will feature the superstar who's battling for the Middleweight World Championship title.

 

Written by Chelza Chong

 

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