Aisling Daly (10-1) is the pink haired fighting sensation out of Ireland. She has been fighting professionally since 2007 and on April 24th she will take on Sheila Gaff at Cage Warriors 41 in London England and two months later on June 4th she will fight Jessica Eye at NAAFS: Fight in the Flats in Cleveland, Ohio. Aisling is a pretty well rounded fighter with five wins by knockout, 3 by submission and 2 by decision. Americans may remember Daly from her participation in Bellator's 115lbs tournament last year, in which she suffered her only loss to date by Lisa Ward-Ellis. Her last fight was back in November of 2010 when she defeated Molly Helsel via unanimous decision at CWFC 39 in Ireland. She is the number 5 top ranked 125lbs fighter in the world today and she still has a long career ahead of her. It was my great pleasure to interview Aisling and ask her about her training, her future, and her upcoming fights.
LN: How did you get your start in Mixed Martial Arts?
Aisling: I started off when I was about 10 years old doing Karate. Then my instructor at the time started doing some BJJ on the side. He started to show me some techniques and pretty soon after I was hooked on BJJ.In the meantime I'd seen some UFC & Pride video's which really excited me and I knew what I wanted to do. I checked it out online and realised there were girls competing all over the world already. I began adding Muay Thai & Wrestling to my BJJ to give me the skills needed to compete in MMA.
LN: What accomplishment in your MMA career are you most proud of?
Aisling: I'm most proud of myself for getting into and competing in MMA. It was such a new sport in the Ireland generally when I started and it was totally unheard of for a girl to want to take it seriously and compete professionally. For a small country with no background in combat sports such as wrestling or Judo I'm doing fantastically well on the international scene and it's all down to Brilliant coaching and a great team around me. We have world class training in SBG and I thinks some of my international opponents seem to forget this.
LN: What has been your biggest obstacle in your MMA career?
Aisling: The biggest obstacle in my MMA career has definitely just been getting fights. I had a good run at the very beginning of my Pro Career but soon after competition dried up and I found myself lucky to fight once a year. It's only very recently thanks to Bellator, Cage Warriors and the NAAFS that I'm finding I have fights lined up and places to show my skills. I really appreciate that and can't say how grateful I am.
LN: You have two big fights coming up, Which opponent do you see as a bigger threat?
Aisling: I see both of my opponents as being very dangerous, they both have skills in all areas and if I'm not completely on my game I could be caught. Cage Warriors 41 is the most important as it's next. I'll take each fight one at a time and worry about the next one when it's a little closer.
LN: What is your training regimen?
Aisling: I'm pretty much always in the gym training even without fights lined up but my training regime is pretty intense come camp time. 6 days a week twice a day and rest on Sundays. Mixing it up between Strength and Conditioning, BJJ, Boxing, Thai Boxing and Wrestling. I've been doing alot of MMA Sparring for this camp with some of Ireland's top bantam weights and I feel my game has really jumped up to a new level in the last few months so I'm really looking forward to showing off my new skills.
LN: What are your interests outside of MMA?
Aisling: It might sounds a bit cliched but there is very little time for other interests outside MMA when you're an active fighter. When I do have time I try to spend it with my friends and family, just hanging out and doing 'normal things' as best I can. I like shopping, eating, watching tv, I really enjoy stand up comedy and will try get to gigs as often as I can.
LN: What is going through your mind in the moments before a fight starts?
Aisling: A lot of the time just before a fight starts I remind myself of all the hard training I've done and how ready I am. Then finally I remind myself how much I want to win. When the bell goes it's like jumping off a diving board, I'm swimming and it just feels natural to me.
LN: Who is your favorite fighter(s)?
Aisling: There's alot of fighters I have alot of respect for and enjoy watching Anderson Silva, GSP, Fedor, Megumi Fujii, Tara LaRosa to name but a few
LN: Where (in your life) do you see yourself in 5 years?
Aisling: I see myself still training and fighting sitting at the top of my weight class. I'm only 23 I have lots of time to earn that position and keep it. I'll prob start branching out into the coaching side of things a little more as I know the human body can only cope with the stress of a fighters lifestyle for so long. I love this sport, I've had other options but there is nothing more I want to spend the rest of my life doing.
|Daly vs. Helsel back in Nov. of 2010|
Aisling: My favourite part of mixed martial arts is definitely competing. There is no better feeling in the world than the rush of Adrenaline you get when you fight. I also really enjoy the training but all the hard work, blood sweat and tears are put in to get the prize at the end.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Aisling! Best of luck on your upcoming fights!
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