The third and final, of the talented teenagers in this series of interviews is Sineadh Ni Nuallain. Apologies in advance for my continued inability to figure out how the fada works on a keyboard Sineadh.
Sineadh is 17 and is training and fighting out of SBG Ballina in Co.Mayo. Sineadh started on her path to MMA in kickboxing at around 13 years of age. Like many sports mad teenagers Sineadh was good at more than one sport. The two sports in question vying for her attention would have been Gaelic Football and Kickboxing.
At a certain point she had to make a decision between the two and she chose kickboxing. This would point to an unusual single mindedness in one so young as County Mayo is probably the most Gaelic Football orientated county in Ireland for both Men and Women. It could be argued the chances of success in the sport she set aside are far greater than the one she chose. However if champions across any sphere share one trait, I would venture it is a single minded approach to what they do.
Before moving into K1 and now MMA, Sineadh’s has been hugely successful as a point and light contact kickboxer. Titles and wins galore. She feels that this route to K1 has been hugely helpful.
” I have been able to adapt my point fighting into K1, it helps me in a major way”
To date having made the transition to full contact and K1 she has had two fights. 1 win and 1 draw. To say she is eager to make the step into MMA is probably an understatement.
To that end Sineadh was schedule to make her debut in MMA at the Darren Sonik and Declan Kenna run promotion Cage Legacy 10. Unfortunately her opponent suffered a broken jaw 8 days out and she had to switch to a K1 appearance on the card.
She had prepared a full 10 week fight camp for that particular fight but she feels that those 10 weeks will stand to her when she does step into the cage for the first time as an MMA competitor.
Sineadh, like the other girls, Indra has interviewed have issues getting fights once they are moving into the full contact arena. One of the battles girls and women have in Ireland is to actually get a fight. It is often the case of needing to look at opponents who might be 10KG plus or minus their own weight. Matchmaking is key here to ensure the maximum safety of the fighters.
Sineadh is the only female at SBG Ballina at the moment but one of benefits of being part of the SBG family is that she is able to go to SBG Swords to meet and get coaching from the legends like Aisling Daly. When asked about this general subject she is refreshingly honest
” There are no girls here at the moment just me and the lads! – It’s hard sometimes getting thrown around by the lads but it is definitely making me a better fighter overall”
The experience of having 100s of light contact and Point fights is also something she points to when Indra asks her about nerves before a fight. She has a very interesting take on the nerves which I agree with.
” I think that you should feel the nerves – you are putting yourself in a locked cage with someone!. It is not a normal situation you just need to use the nerves to help you”
Since committing to the decision to pursue MMA in particular, she has spent about a year diving into Jiu-jitsu and grappling. Her Dad is a traditional Jiu-jitsu Black belt so no and Blue belt in BJJ, so no doubt he is a great sounding board along with SBG in that department.
Her mother has been a big help on the dietary front and preparing the proper healthy nutrition. Indeed the whole family are behind her decision to pursue MMA. Like the parents throughout the whole series, they are rearing daughters who have the discipline to chase their dreams and they can all be rightly, very proud of that.
Interview with Indra Davis of Shaolin MMA Click here to see Info on their Women’s MMA classes.
Photos from Nicky Johnson click here to see more of Nicky’s work