Ben Heather: First of all, how has the camp gone for this fight and how excited are you to get back in to the cage on Saturday?
Wendy McKenna: At BKK we don’t really have a fight camp as we train hard all year round. I have taken some time out from competing to allow some old injuries to heal properly and have also introduced additional training to my usual routine which has helped in preparation for this fight, so I’m very excited to see the results.
Heather: Next weekend you are back fighting again and once again you are at a different weight class. Do you feel this is now your natural weight class or are you forced to move weights to get an opponent?
Mckenna: Being flexible within the weight classes certainly does make it easier to find opponents, however I do feel this is much closer to my natural weight and therefore I’m not prepared to go up to 125lb again.
Heather: You hold the BCMMA title at flyweight, have fought for the title at straw weight and now fight for the atomweight title. What would it mean to you to be able to say you are a two weight champion if you win next weekend?
McKenna: It means a lot to me to hold one belt on such an amazing show as Bcmma. It was an excellent fight against Bryony Tyrell when she won the strawweight title, so I am very grateful for the opportunity to go for the atomweight title, it would be a very proud achievement to hold both titles.
Heather: You are fighting Jemma Thomas, what do you know about her and how do you see your skill set matching up to hers?
Mckenna: I was cage side when Jemma fought Bryony so it was good for me to see how she did against someone I have fought. I know Jemma has a strong judo back ground and is always prepared for a good fight but I am very well rounded and confident wherever the fight may go – having previously been recognised for my strong boxing, I have now also achieved my blue belt and so am very comfortable in all aspects.
Heather: BCMMA have quite a few women’s fights on this card. Is it pleasing for you to see that the women are being given the platform to perform by one of the best promotions in the country?
Mckenna: Women’s MMA is growing fast and you see more women’s fights on all the MMA shows. BCMMA has always promoted women’s MMA and it is an honour for me to be given the opportunity to compete again on one of the top shows in the country.
Heather: You were part of Team UK for the IMMAF European Championships last year. Although the the results didn’t go your way how did you feel the whole experience was for you?
Mckenna: It was amazing to be part of the team not only for the competing aspect but being there and support the others. It was a great experience but it did make me realise I shouldn’t be competing at flyweight anymore as I struggled to put the weight on and ended up weighing in 5lb under.
Heather: As well as your fight, your daughter Cory will also be fighting on the same day but on a different show. How good has it been to be able to time your camp with hers? Do you feel this will benefit both of you on fight night?
Mckenna: As said before, we don’t really have a fight ‘camp’ as such but I love being able to train and prepare for a fight with Cory. She pushes me really hard and it is great to have each other to work with any time day or night, there is never a quiet moment in our house.
Heather: Do you think the fact Cory is fighting the same night but not on the same show could impact your mental preparation going in to this fight? Or will you have to be a bit selfish and focus on your fight and check on hers after?
Mckenna: It is very unfortunate that we cannot fight on the same show but Jack tried every woman he could and still couldn’t get her matched for BCMMA. When a short notice opportunity arose on uk fighting championships, I told her she couldn’t pass it, despite being a catch weight. She will be on fairly early so my husband will keep me posted and then she will be tuning in for the live stream.
Heather: How do you see the fight going next weekend and how do you envisage you getting the win?
Mckenna: I do think this will be my most exciting fight to date, I am both mentally and physically ready for this one. I am ready to show case all my skills, both new and old – I will be looking for an early finish in this fight.