I recently had the opportunity to speak with Caged Steel Ladies Amateur Bantamweight Amy Derwanz. With a current record of 1-1, Amy is scheduled to rematch her loss to Megan Johnson on August 22nd, 2020, at Caged Steel 25.
The 17-year-old trains at one of the biggest and most prestigious gyms in the country, AVT (Asylum Vale Tudo), under UFC veteran Danny Mitchell. A very knowledgeable and well-known athlete in the north of England. Athletes such as current UFC fighter Marc Diakiese are known to train there too. Amy Derwanz trains with some of the top athletes in the country.
How did you get started with MMA, what was it that interested you and was there a particular fighter that caught your eye?
Amy – “I started karate when I was about 4 because Spongebob did it. Then, growing up with my dad watching the UFC, I took an interest in Georges St. Pierre because of his karate gi he walked out in, and I wanted to start fighting so I began kickboxing at about 10. After watching Ronda Rousey take the bantamweight division by storm, I wanted to start learning ground work and do MMA.”
Currently, with a record of 1-1, you have a win via rear-naked choke after just 35 seconds in your debut. How did it feel to go through your debut and get a win, especially that convincing?
Amy – “It was very exciting because it was something I knew I always wanted to do. I loved every minute of it and was so happy I was fulfilling an ambition of mine. To win with such a victory was such a great feeling and made me realise how much I love the sport, but I also wanted a bigger challenge.”
Your second fight was a loss to Megan Johnson in a fight you appeared to be winning at Caged Steel 23. How did you cope with the loss and how important is it to you to right the wrongs in your rematch on August 22nd? What do you feel will be different this time?
Amy – “I took the loss as a learning curve, as I had little experience in the cage, especially with my first fight ending quite early. It’s made me realise a better way to approach a fight mentally but has also brought to my attention some of my weaker areas. Therefore, now, with all I’ve learnt, next time will be different. It’s been so long and I’ve had loads of time to critique myself”
You train at Asylum Vale Tudo, with the likes of Jack Grant and Adam Bramhald, both top level MMA fighters. How is it training in that sort of environment? How do you feel it has improved you as a fighter?
Amy – “When I started training at AVT, my skills excelled. I learnt so much so quickly with the quality of the coaching and great training partners. I’m proud to fight out of AVT, as I don’t believe I could be at a place better suited to me”
Both of your fights have come for Caged Steel. Why them? What is it about Caged Steel that attracted you, and what’s kept you there?
Amy – “Caged Steel is a relatively local show that’s closely associated with Danny Mitchell. They always put on well-organised and well-promoted events.”
What are you looking to achieve in MMA over the next few years, where are you planning on being, and have you set a specific target?
Amy – “My plan is in the next few years to turn pro. Then hopefully be able to progress to high-level MMA, such as the UFC. Just going to go as far as I can. I’d like to make a successful career out of it.”
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