Among her hectic schedule, amateur MMA fighter Katrina King is set to make the walk for the second time in her career at Rise and Conquer 11.
In April of this year Katrina made her amateur debut at Almighty Fighting Championship 24. Dubbed the best experience of her life, Katrina edged a split decision over Lauren Raey, and took a handful of lessons away from the event.
Looking to showcase her improvements, the TFT representative will clash with Megan Halliday on October 1st in the eleventh instalment of Rise and Conquer.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Katrina King pre-fight to get her thoughts on her scheduled contest. Read the full interview below.
Interview With Katrina King
We are just weeks out from your second fight. Talk me through your amateur MMA debut against Lauren Raey? How pleased were you to get in there and win your first fight? Sum up the whole experience if you can?
My first fight was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. It was quite surreal and dreamlike. I was nervous all through fight camp. However, from the second I got there and started warming up, I just had this overwhelming sense of joy. I felt so happy to be there. I was just so grateful to be doing what I loved, and I loved every second. In terms of my performance, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was disappointed in myself. I performed so much better in camp than I did in the cage. That is the learning experience of having a fight and being in that environment. I got the victory. That is all that matters first, one done and roll on to the next. I can start showing what I really can do now.
Dealing with Nerves
Making your debut was the nerves and pre-fight anxiety challenging to deal with as it’s a very daunting experience for the first time. Do you feel now you’ve done it once that you are in a much better place to manage your nerves as we head closer to October 1st?
I was much more nervous during camp than on the day. The nerves and the fear are the fuel to motivate you and make you perform and make you give that extra effort every single day, so you need them. I had a few sleepless nights etc., because I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for, but this camp, I have felt a lot more relaxed.
Fighting is just as much about the mind as it is your physical ability, and I invest a lot of time into my mindset and do a lot of preparation to make sure I am focused, working at an optimum and that I have complete self-belief. Your mind will always play tricks on you and try and protect you from risk and from personal growth. Before I get in the cage, I tell my mind, ‘I am going in there whether you like it or not. So, you either get with it now, or you get with it when I’m in there. I don’t really care.’
Katrina King Talks Having Andrew Fisher By Her Side
How beneficial do you feel it is having Andrew by your side to encourage and help you through it all? Fighting is always labelled as a selfish and lonely sport, but having someone like Andrew, who has been and still is fighting at the highest level, must fill you with confidence leading into fights?
I literally couldn’t do it without him. He is paramount to my success. He is a veteran with 20 years of MMA, and I am just downloading all that information from him every day. It is our lives. We live and breathe the sport every single day/ We run our gym together. We watch fights together, and we coach together. When you get into the cage, it’s just you and one other person, but all the hard work that can impact the result of the fight has already been done. Who you have with you in your fight camp and your corner makes all the difference, and I have one of the best fighters in the world in mine.
Competing alone and prepping for fights is a challenge in itself. How does one find the balance between being a parent, being a partner, coaching, and competing? How do you manage to ensure you get the most out of all of the above?
Honestly, mate, I have no idea how I do it. I have a daughter who is one-year ½ and three amazing stepkids from 3, 11 &14. I have a business to run and grow, and I have my partner to support who is fighting at a high level, and I am fighting and competing myself. If I have 20 minutes in the day to myself, it really is a miracle, but I would not live any other way. My family are my world, and my job is my passion. Who else really gets what they love to do every day for work? It’s actually a blessing. It’s a constant balancing act, but it just makes me hungrier, and it makes me want it more, and I have to work so much harder, which is good for me. But in essence, I have to plan my time and organise myself very well, as all of my time is accounted for.
Who was your biggest influence to get you inside the Octagon and compete? Was it something you always wanted to try at least once? Talk me through the thought process?
I had battled body image and eating disorders which had drawn me to fitness, but I decided to try MMA to see what it was about. I went to TFT, and I was hooked instantly, and I found it so addictive and meditative as when you train, you’re not concerned about anything else. MMA forced me to ditch all these issues I had with body image as I was now only concerned about being strong and capable and not what society wanted me to look like.
I met Fisher at the gym, fell in love, and we had a COVID surprise in the form of My daughter Theia. It wasn’t until after I gave birth, I told fisher I wanted to fight. His face was the same as when I told him I was pregnant. Shocked and very fearful, hahaha. But fighting was an urge that just wasn’t going away. I feel it has given such purpose to my life. Since then, he has been behind me 100%, and I can’t see a time when this won’t be my life. My biggest influence is Fisher. As for other fighters, I love Volkanovski, Peter Yan, Valentina Shevchenko, Manon Fiorot and Cheyanna Vlismas. I also find one of my training partners Lanchana Green a huge role model of mine. She really inspires me too.
Fight With Megan Halliday
Onto fight night, Rise and Conquer, you’ll face off with Megan Halliday. What do you know about your opponent, if anything, and do you feel it’s a matchup that suits you? Or is it a case of taking zero thought into your opponent and concentrating on your own skills and what you bring to the table?
As a female fighter, you have to take whatever you can get because there are not many fighters out there, and if they are, they are sometimes your sparring partners. Every opponent I get, I critically analyse. I watch their fights look at their strengths, their weaknesses, and break down what our strategy is and how we win the fight.
I respect any opponent I fight, as I know what it takes to get in the cage, and I am not one to bad mouth my opponents. It’s not in my nature.
In the case of Megan, I have to respect she has been doing this for a lot longer than I have. She has a lot more fights than me. She usually fights at a heavier weight than me. These are all factors you have to consider. However, I don’t see how she beats me in any area of the cage. On paper, I probably look like an easy fight to her. I have had one fight, I have been active a short amount of time. I am lighter, but I am a beast in the cage, and it is going to be three hard rounds if it goes all the way.
Rewind 5-months at Almighty FC, where you picked up your debut victory. However, 5-months is a short time in the grand scheme of things. Can we expect to see some new tools added to the Arsenal of Katrina King?
I have been exposing my flaws and getting rid of my weaknesses. I have been working on every area of my MMA. I’m not going to give too much away as I have the advantage of being fairly unknown and being a mystery. So, you will see on the night.
To finish, can you enlighten us with an official fight prediction? How do you see your hand getting raised on October 1st?
I am not Mystic Meg, but I know I can stop this fight, and if the opportunity presents itself, I will get the finish!
Featured image credits to DN4 Photography