Jumping across the pond to England, we meet Professional WMMA fighter, Kerry Hughes. Kerry is a 2-1 Bantamweight fighter fighting out of BKK Fighters in Colchester, England. Kerry plans to pursue her career as a Mixed Martial Artist with an immediate future goal to become World Champion at Cage Warriors. Show some love and support as we learn more about this English Fighter On The Rise!
Featured Image by Heff's Photography
All Image credits at Bottom of Q&A as well.
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up and what was life like growing up? (Family, school, friends)
I grew up in an area of North London called Wood Green, not the most salubrious area but it was home and there was a certain element of community about it. My mum had me when she was only 17 so we were close in age and more like sisters in some ways. My mum was a bit of a hippy and big on education, I spent most of my childhood with my nose stuffed in a book, playing with my pets or play fighting with my older cousin and the kid down the street. We never had a lot of money but we were happy enough as I remember it.
When I was 10 my mum was killed and I moved in with my aunt and uncle. That meant the need to grow up quickly and I think maybe had a bearing on my choice of both sports and career.
I'm a very socially awkward and almost pathologically shy and self conscious person so I didn't really have many friends at school until I hit secondary school. My cousin Liam was probably my childhood 'best friend'.
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
When I was younger I was a chubby kid and never much interested in sports but once I hit secondary school I discovered I had an aptitude for sports. I started to play netball, football and a couple of other games as well as getting involved in athletics. I think I was about 13 when I decided I wanted to try a martial art, I was looking into kickboxing when I was told about Muay Thai. I went along to KO gym in Tottenham and tried a class and immediately fell in love. I still participated in other sports but they mostly fell by the wayside to concentrate on that.
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
I think my favourite childhood memory is either the night I was given my dog, Sadie, a gorgeous brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrior who ignited my love of the breed. Or maybe playing on the busses when I went to meet my dad at work (he was a bus driver).
Any interesting child-hood stories and/or fun facts?
Ha ha loads. When I was about 13/14 I went through a goth phase, that was bad!
I suppose a fun fact is that I have a lazy eye, you don't really notice it these days but it was a lot worse when I was a kid!
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
Once I got a bit of fitness back I returned to Muay Thai, Stuart, the amazing coach at BKK got me a fight in December 2011. I won that and then Steve Byerley, the MMA Coach persuaded me to give it a try. It was difficult and I wasn't very good at it but I had some great support and persevered.
What discipline did you begin with and care to share a bit about your early experiences learning the sport(s)?
I started in Muay Thai when I was 13 and continued until about 20. I then got back to it when I was 26 after several years of doing very little!
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
Ha ha, I've never once felt ready, I just have to trust in my coaches to get me ready and tell me when I'm good to go.
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?
I won my first fight, against Kerry Masarati, by unanimous decision. It was a tough fight and I was terrified from the morning if the fight until the referee said go, then it suddenly became easy and good fun!
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
1) learn to wrap your hands properly, they are delicate and easily damaged.
2) the more you learn the less you know.
3) there will never be a day that is not laundry day again. Ever.
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
BKK Fighters, Colchester, England
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
2-1 pro – bantamweight
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
Rocksteady, I was named by one of my coaches who thinks I look like the fat rhinoceros from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It's kinda grown on me though!
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
Ha ha. Well now I'd be silly to answer that wouldn't I?!
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
Winning by KO at Cage Warriors Super Saturday against a Muay Thai world champion. I've never felt an adrenaline rush like it.
Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
I think the main thing I have learned since beginning fighting is to stay modest and never believe your own hype. That said don't believe your opponents either, mostly people who talk the talk aren't the ones you need to worry about.
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
Train as if you were fighting for whatever your goal is right from thd beginning. Training once or twice a week doesn't cut it in this sport. Also, train with people better, stronger, faster and more experienced than you, sometimes it's demoralising but you get so much from it!
Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?
My boyfriend, Ray, who supports me at home and keeps me sane but is also an incredible strength and conditioning coach.
My awesome MMA Coach Steve Byerley, he got me into the sport and has been with me every step of the way since.
The coaching team at BKK Fighters, Jack Mason, Stuart Barlegs, Russ Smith, Nick Albert, Lee Catling, Sean Carter, Arnold Allen and all the rest.
My amazing sponsors:
Lockdown Fightwear, for all the best in training kit and equipment.
British Fighter, for wonderful quality clothing.
EProtein, for top of the line sports supplements.
Octagon Fightwear, suppliers of gorgeous branded fightwear.
Karrina Howe, extraordinarily talented and knowledgeable nutritionist.
Potentia Performance, the number one training facility in Colchester.
What are your goals for the future in the sport?
I would like to be the Cage Warriors world champion.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?
If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
I would make it possible for professionals to earn a living income from the sport. It's bloody hard trying to balance training the hours needed to be successful with work and family life.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Ha ha, old! I hope to have moved away to Yorkshire with my other half, it's where he's from and it's beautiful, so relaxed and peaceful.
Oh god, I love food, there's too many to choose one. Maybe Ben & Jerry's peanut butter cup ice cream? I also love fresh Thai food.
Favorite type of Music:
I have quite eclectic tastes but I love hip hop and old school two step garage.
Wow… Big question. I love The Prestige, the Bucket List or Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Favorite TV Show:
A toss up between Sex and the City, the Inbetweeners and Fawlty Towers. I love to laugh!
Relative to sport:
'You can't fail if you don't quit'
Relative to life:
'A lot of bad things are going to happen to you. First off, you're going to die.
So, that said, there's not much to worry about…
No matter what else happens, you really only have two options:
You can either handle things well and be happy, or you can handle them poorly and be miserable'
Do you have any children? Do you plan on having any/more?:
We have two Staffordshire Bull Terriors and are planning a third!
Best day of your life:
I can honestly say nothing comes close to the day I met Ray, my other half. I was grouchy as it was just a few days after my Cage Warriors debut, I had two black eyes and a bruised ego and he saw straight past it all and we've been inseparable since.
Interesting/Unknown Fact about yourself:
Until about 3 years ago I was about 115kg.
Apart from face punching and picking up heavy stuff I reckon it would have to be writing about MMA for WhoaTV. Writing has always been something I enjoyed and writing about something I'm passionate about means I have the necessary inspiration.
Who is your favorite super hero and why?
My favourite superhero has to be Danger Mouse, cos he's the coolest!
Facebook Page/Fan Page: Kerry Hughes – I don't have a fan page.
Manager Contact (for sponsorship/fight inquiries): @jackstonemason
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image Courtesy of MMA FightFoto (Paul Regan)
Featured Image Courtesy of Heff's Photography (Ian Heffer)
Final Image Courtesy of Paul Regan @ MMA Fightfoto