Starting off with two straight losses does not look promising in the eyes of any individual. Yet Casey O’Neill battled back and built a skill set that allowed her to finish off her amateur career with five straight finishes. The Scottish transplant then turned pro earlier this year and snatched up the Eternal MMA strawweight title with a tough win over ONE Championship veteran Amira Hafizovic.
O’Neill will now make her first title defense against Jada Ketley in the main event of Eternal MMA 46 on July 27 in Gold Coast, Australia.
John Hyon Ko of Kumite TV spoke with “King” via Skype about Jada Ketley, overcoming a rough start to her amateur career, having a difficult time finding opponents, looking for a future clash with UFC veteran Alex Chambers and more.
Full video interview down below.
JHK: “In the beginning of your amateur career back in 2014, you lost the first two fights you had. And a lot of people would of quit, a lot of people gave it up. What kept you pushing forward and eventually knocking off five in a row?”
Casey O’Neill: “I definitely thought about giving up after those two losses, for sure. There was like a really dark place that I got into for a minute there but I think my love for the sport and for fighting just never went away. So I thought you can’t give up now, you gotta keep going and eventually you’ll make it. That’s what I did and took two years off to get better and I came back and won ever since so it’s been good.”
JHK: “Jada Ketley, is that a name you have heard before?”
Casey O’Neill: “I wasn’t sure who she was until they told me, obviously, the name. Looked her up and seen that she had a couple of Muay Thai fights. She has been living and training out of South Africa so she has not really been a name in the Australian scene.”
JHK: “Are there any women out there in Australia that you would want to fight?”
Casey O’Neill: “At the moment I am chasing Alex Chambers. I know she just got cut from the UFC so if that fight would come, that would be great. We’ve messaged a couple of times looking for that fight. I definitely would like to beat some of the girls with the big names. Her and there is obviously Nadia Kassem, who fights in the UFC. Anyone who is better than me in the rankings I’d love to fight.”
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.