Cindy Dandois is an MMA fighter out of Antwerpen, Belgium with a current professional record of 5-2 as of 7/9/2015. Cindy made a huge impression in the MMA world when she pulled a decision victory over Marloes Coenen in her MMA debut, with only 4 months of training under her belt. Cindy is currently signed to Invicta Fighting Championships, and is a member of Fresh Start Entertainment's MMA team. Let's take some time to learn about this incredible fighter, and all around amazing person!
Special Thanks to Paul Sluyts Photography for images of Cindy.
Photographer's information included at the end of Q&A
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up and what was life like growing up? (Family, school, friends)
I was born in Antwerpen, Belgium. I did grew up in Deurne. I was an active child, I talked a lot, with a big immagination. "If you can dream it, you can do it", was my way of thinking. I always loved animals and I always had an adorations for cats. I did some boyscouting in my younger years and my totem-animal was belouga, a white whale. I lived with my mother, father and brother. I also followed music classes. I still can't sing, but I can play the flute and the saxophone! My best friend Nico from school is still my best friend today.
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
I was an active child, so I started sports at a very young age. My mother tried to put me in ballet and gymnastics, but I hated that, so it ended up every day in a fight. I wanted to join the wrestling team with my big brother. At that time, girls werent allowed to wrestle, so I started judo when I was 5 years old. When I was 9, girls became approved on the wrestling team and I started freestyle-wrestling at that time.
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
That my brother woke me up at night to play WWE-wrestling on the Nintendo 8-bit, or to watch WWE wrestling on his television.
Any interesting child-hood stories and/or fun facts?
– My mother always called me "kattemie"… that means catlady, because of my crazy love for cats.
– When I had bad tests in school, my parents never saw them… I gave them to my Gerbils (little dessert rats) and they made a nest of it and splintered the paper in a few seconds…. My father never found out what happend with all my bad school results!
– When I was older I followed judo in school and I had to sleep at my school. My brother missed me and recorded a whole week of Simpson episodes on televison. When I came home on Friday after training, we watched all of the episodes together to catch up on time.
– When I was about 5 years old me and my brother played like we were WWE wrestling superstars. He was always Mister Perfect, The Ultimate Warrior, The British Bulldog or The Model Ric Martel… While I put on my blue bathing suit and played as Earthquake, Jake the Snake Roberts or Coco Beware. I was 5 years old and my brother was 12… He had a good immagination LOL
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
I had to lose (a lot of) pregnancy pounds!
What discipline did you begin with and care to share a bit about your early experiences learning the sport(s)?
I started judo and freestyle wrestling as a kid. I loved it. I always liked competition because it motivated me to train and I saw it made my father proud.
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
I didn't know. I just went in there to see what I was worth. To test myself.
When the cage locked behind you in your first fight, can you recall what went through your mind? How did your first fight turn out?
It was in a ring so I cant really tell about the cage locking. I won my first fight after 4 months of training against Marloes Coenen, so I think I did a good job. I remember me telling my brother what crazy shoes Marloes was wearing. He was totally stressing out, a big vain on his head! …I was relaxed. No thinking, no stressing…. just going to do what I like, what I am good at, with God watching over me.
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
1) You can't win them all. You win some and you lose some. What makes you a winner is how you handle it.
2) Weightcutting sucks, but you have to do it.
3) Never change a winning team. You have to know where you started, always have the right person in your corner.
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
Perfect Team MMA Belgium, Antwerpen-Berchem
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
I didn't do ammy.
Pro-record: 5-2-0 at 135lbs and 145lbs
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
Battlecat is my ring-name… to know why, you should ask my brother! He gave me this name!
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
I would like to improve my boxing and kicking, because there is a long road to go still there!
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
The time I went to Vegas to train a whole month with Miesha (Tate) for her fight against Rousey. I really loved it, even though it was hard to miss my kids! It was so worth it to meet Miesha and to find her as a friend. She is great!
Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
It is interesting how people know you and are your friend when it goes good, but backstab you when you lose a fight…
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
Do not forget where you started, and where you are from. The higher you climb, the deeper you can fall. Friends who you meet while climbing the top are rarely as prescious as friends who where there when you were down.
Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?
I want to say thanks to my friends and family and my fans for supporting me. I want to say thanks to LUBMMA for having my back. I want to say thanks to Jay (Fresh Start Entertainment/MMA) for coming out of nowhere to support me and put effort in me. Still don't know why I deserve that, but I am thankful! I want to say thanks to Miesha and Bryand, my brother Ben, and my Perfect Team for the support. Last but not least I want to say thank you God, for making me able to do what I do.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I think in 10 years I will not fight anymore myself. I hope to make my kids team bigger. I hope I can make one of my kids a pro fighter, or all of them …
I am a big cat lover and my favorite dog is a bull terrier. I am also a big disney movie lover. I need some disney magic on a regular basis!
Chocolate, cheese and French Fries!
Favorite type of Music:
I like all different kinds… But no house or very noisy music
Favorite TV Show:
"A king only bows down for his queen", "O'hana means family, family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.", "I have an awesome God."
Do you have any children? Do you plan on having any/more?:
I have 3 kids of my own and I am planning to have a lot more one day…
Best day of your life:
The birth of my kids
Interesting/Unknown Fact about yourself:
I cried for a week when my bull terrier died. I have some ashes of her arround my neck. She was my best friend. I had period where I even had not enough money to buy food, so I made a bowl soup, and we ate a little bit every day, together, for a week.
Spending time with my kids. Collecting Disney statues.
Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Wolverine… I think he is very funny!
Facebook Page/Fan Page: Cindy Dandois
Manager Contact: Jay General, Fresh Start Entertainment