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Australian Fighting Championship

I’m more excited than anything

Rhiannon Thompson will make her AFC debut on April 15 when she battles Arlene Blencowe in China. Rhiannon is well known around the Australian WMMA circuit for never backing down from a fight and generally being involved in highlight reel contests. In a career that has already include fights with Bec Rawlings, Jessy Jess and Kate Da Silva, it’s safe to say Rhiannon’s MMA journey thus far has been one of great accomplishment:

“My journey so far has been great; I have had the chance to fight some incredibly tough people. The highlights so far would be taking fights on short notice; I fought Jessy Jess on 24hrs notice and Kate Da Silva on 5 days notice, both crazy tough ladies. Working and training can sometimes be a challenge I do shift work so sometimes I have to sleep during the day which isn’t always easy”

More affectionately known as the ‘Tornado’, the nickname has been with Rhiannon for sometime now and it’s a name that she has really embraced. The ‘Tornado’ tag is one that is also reflective of Rhiannon’s fighting style:

“I got the nick name [Tornado] at my first MMA fight and I liked it so I just went with it, I’m pretty cruisy like that”

Rhiannon has recently taken some time away from the sport; in actual fact it’s been over two and a half years since Rhiannon last competed. During her time away, Rhiannon has been able to get her body right after some gruelling contests and has also taken the opportunity to change gyms. Now, Rhiannon is ready to strap the gloves back on and make a statement on the most historical card in Australian MMA history:

It was always my plan to step back in the cage I just wasn’t sure when. My fight with Kate Da Silva took its toll on me so I needed some time off for myself. Recently changing gyms has been a big reason why now is the best time for me to step back in the cage and it’s been the best decision I’ve made”

Rhiannon’s return to martial arts will coincide with the AFC’s first venture internationally. In what has been billed as a landmark moment in Australian MMA, Rhiannon will become part of history when she fights in China, and this is an accomplishment she is very proud of:

“I couldn’t be more proud or grateful for this incredible opportunity. I don’t feel any extra pressure I’ve never been one to let where I am competing affect me, I’m more excited than anything”

One of the big changes Rhiannon made whilst taking time away from the sport was to find a new home in which to train. This change has provided Rhiannon with a new perspective on the sport and has exposed her to a range of new coaches and training partners. The skills, knowledge and techniques she is learning every day has helped her to prepare for the mountain she’ll need to climb come AFC 18:

I am training at 360 Martial Arts and Fitness, my Coaches are Tracey Aldridge and Brent Duggan both who I have known for years. I have a great team of training partners with different experience and skills all who have helped me prepare in one way or another and I can’t thank them enough”

Come AFC 18, Rhiannon will face one of the most iconic female martial artists in the Country, that being Arlene Blencowe. Arlene is a formidable opponent who has international fight experience and an impressive arsenal of skills that she’ll look to display on April 15. However none of this is a concern for Rhiannon who will enter the AFC cage and look to add another impressive scalp to her resume:

“I know that she [Arlene] is a boxer, she has had a lot of international experience and was signed to Bellator, and she is also coming off a win against Janay Harding. I think our reception will be good and I think the Chinese crowd will be keen to see what two Aussie girls are made of”

So a fight on the biggest card in Australian MMA history against one of the most well known female martial artists in the Country… not a bad way to return to the sport and kick off 2017! And a victory… well Rhiannon knows a victory on this card against a fighter of this calibre will definitely open doors for her career:

“A victory at AFC 18 would be incredible and would open up so many opportunities for me. By the end of 2017 I would like to be signed to a major [International] promotion like Invicta FC, Bellator or even ONE Championship, any of those would be amazing”

Article by Josh Warner AFC

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