On Saturday two of Australia's best MuayThai fighters Caley Reece and Heather O' Donnell square off again. The Domination event features some great fights but this is the one I'd love to see. I had a cyber-meet with Caley - thanks for making the time!
Her fight record record stands at 31 wins from 36 fights, and the trophy cupboard holds the WMC 57kg Western Australia title,WMC 57kg Australian title, WMC 57kg 2x Intercontinental title and 56kg WPMF world title ... so far.
You were lined up for a world title fight against Alla Ivashkevich from Belarus recently, what happened there?
Yes, it was all a bit of a whirlwind couple of weeks. Darren got the call from Thailand -- Alla and I were the top two contenders to fight off for the WMC vacant title at 57kg. This of course was exciting news for us but Alla's trainer emailed about nine days before the show and said she was injured and also having trouble with 57kg so she would not be coming to fight. I was disappointed of course as I was training hard and also training around some injuries I got from a car accident three weeks before the fight. But the title will be up for grabs on our show (in Perth) on June 25th.
The promoters got Nong Tran Detract from Thailand as a replacement. That looked like a tough fight, how did you feel it went?
She represents Thailand in the IFMA World Games and won at the Asian Championships so she was good. Nong Tran's had about 60 fights so it was good fight someone with that experience. The fight was a good Thai style fight, she had nice hard kicks and was strong in the grapple as most Thais are!
|Caley Reece vs Nong Tran Detract pic Into the Zone|
You've had some nasty injuries over the years, how do you cope with being side-lined?
Yeah, I've had my fair share of injuries but we all do. The shoulder has been the worst (dislocated in 2002, it often pops during training) and I've got arthritis in the joint on the top of my foot . I've had that now for about two years. It sometimes plays up quite badly but it's usually your bumps and shin-bruising after fights that linger round for a few days.
When you started fighting you were manager of a Health Clinic as well, but I hear it's all about Riddler's Gym now?
I'm full time at the gym now doing all the office side of things. It's great as it allows me to train at different times. We have just started doing the EPIC shows together which is a new form of stress I haven’t experienced yet!! Fighting on and promoting a show….eeeekkk not for the faint hearted!!
|Caley and Darren Reece|
And you got married earlier this year ... to your trainer Darren Reece. Is it strange doing everything together?
Umm, this is a hard question actually. The hardest part of being married to my trainer and also working together is the fact that it's Muay Thai 24/7. We have to learn to switch off from it and still do the normal things in life! As for in the gym, we work well together 99% of the time…. There's always that 1% though! hahaha
|Caley Reece doing Ram Muay before a fight|
I have had some really good tough fights since we spoke last so yes, it's changed a little. I've had some really good close high paced fights with Nicole Brolan. Our fights were always so close and fast paced from round one.
Another hard fight was Valentina Schevchenko from Peru (originally fighting for Kyrgyzstan) in the Sport Accord Games in Beijing.
Valentina is super experienced with over 300 fights and was the first southpaw I had faced so I had a lot to work out in my fight with her. I lost the fight but it was a good fight which I'm happy with. I've seen her absolutely demolish people so I was proud to have held my own against her, that’s for sure!
Wishing Caley and Heather O' Donnell the best of luck - should be the highlight of the night down in Perth.