Running the table as an amateur over in Las Vegas leading up to her pro debut for the title at Aftershock 31 would be a perfect scenario for any athlete. But due to a number of factors, Danielle Hayes did not perform up to her abilities and was submitted by the opposition. Learning from that experience, she is ready to get back on track by taking on the biggest challenges out there.
Hayes will face Chelsea Hackett in her second trip to the cage at Eternal MMA 46 on July 27 at Southport Sharks in Gold Coast.
John Hyon Ko of Kumite TV spoke with “Donnybrook” about the hype surrounding Chelsea Hackett, fight week routine, the adjustments made after making her professional debut late last year, rock climbing benefiting mentally and more.
Full video interview down below.
JHK: “After that successful amateur career that you had, you made your pro debut late last year at Aftershock 31. You fought for the flyweight title. It did not go your way. Take me through that fight and what you took away to move on with your career.”
Danielle Hayes: “Mentally I did not prepare myself for war. I probably went into that fight a little bit too relaxed. And my training camp was a little bit all over the place. I don’t really have a solid team. I don’t’ have that one gym I go and you got five different guys and three different girls to play around with. There are no excuses. At the end of the day, she put me in a nice tight armbar, she did really well. I wasn’t really ready, I wasn’t focused, I wasn’t ready for war and I did not have the nerves to make me on edge. I was kind of asleep almost so I learned from that. I learned that never take someone lightly and always make sure the person you are going in against is going to be the best.”
JHK: “What are your thoughts on [Chelsea Hackett] and the hype around her? Seems like she has a lot of hype.”
Danielle Hayes: “Yeah, she did a really good job in Muay Thai but that is one martial arts skill and it is very different to MMA. Her stand up, striking has evolved and that’s awesome because that is what she needed. I respect her striking but at the same time, I am definitely very, very aware that my striking is on par with hers. And I am going to bring it to her and it is going to be a war.”
JHK: “What aspect of your striking will excel against Chelsea [Hackett]?”
Danielle Hayes: “In Muay Thai, you haven’t learned how to cut angles very well and understand space and be a bit tricky. And so Muay Thai is very linear. Like I said before she has evolved, just not enough. Not enough as me.”
John Hyon Ko is a South Korean combat sports journalist living the dream of bantering with some of the most dangerous men and women walking the face of the planet.