Featherweight (66kg) fighter, Kerry Hughes, fights out of BKK Fighters and has a semi-pro MMA record of 2-0. She has a background in Muay Thai and has a record of 1-0 in that style.
I first saw Kerry back at the Women Fight Back show where she displayed good Muay Thai skills. Recently she fought, to a win, on BCMMA 2 in Felixstowe as well, so she is keeping busy and is very focussed on the goals which she has set. A very determined woman who likes kicking people in the face!
Check out what Kerry had to say when I fired some questions her way;
You train out of BKK with some top coaches like Jack Mason, what’s it like training with those guys?
Seriously though, training with the team at BKK Fighters is truly fantastic, our coaches – Jack Mason and Steve ‘Bearman’ Byerley are two of the most dedicated, committed and talented coaches I’ve ever had the pleasure of training with. The support they provide to all of us fighters is invaluable and consistent. On top of such high calibre MMA coaching we are lucky to have expert coaches for individual disciplines – BJJ, boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling and no-gi grappling.
BKK has an awesome stable of fighters from Amateur to professional, there is a truly exceptional work ethic fostered at the gym and watching the work rate and commitment of fighters like Arnie Allen, Sean ‘Sexy Curls’ Carter, Jason ‘The Animal’ Cooledge, Dean ‘Gonzo’ Simmonds to name but a few it’s impossible not to be inspired.
I am at BKK pretty much every day but training is never a chore, there’s a real family atmosphere and constant piss taking – all good natured. I’m incredibly glad that I found the right gym on my first try!”
What is your background? You wear Thai shorts, are you from a striking background?
“I am indeed from a striking background – well noticed! I studied Muay Thai at Tottenham KO (now Muay Thai Masters Acadamy) when I was a teenager before having a lengthy break. I then spent several years eating my way to morbid obesity before deciding to get fit again in December 2010 – once I’d lost the first few stone I decided to return to Muay Thai. I joined BKK in June 2011 where Stuart Barlegs, our very talented Thai Boxing trainer, got me back up and running! Although I’ve now made the transition to MMA the Thai shorts will be staying!”
You recently won your fight against Emma Delaney at BCMMA2, would you say it went to plan?
“My fight against Emma Delaney was really enjoyable and challenging, I knew she had a strong judo background but I try not to worry too much about my opponent and to focus on the game plan from my coaches. I had drilled my arm bar defences a lot prior to the fight and I’m glad I did! I’ve watched the video back and there are always going to be things that you would change or would have done better but overall I am happy with my performance.”
There has been some stuff I have seen about a rematch, would you consider it? I think her shoulder popped, did you know anything about that?
“Emma did sustain a dislocated and fractured left shoulder from my heavy overhook during my attempt at defending her takedown. I was aware that it was hurting her but not the extent of the damage – all credit to her; it must have been bloody painful!
There have been many musings about a rematch but not by me or Emma as far as I’m aware! Whilst I’d never rule it out for the future, at the moment I don’t feel it would benefit either of us – we are both early in our careers and I’m sure that, like me, Emma has plenty of others she wants to take on and challenge herself against. I look forward to seeing Emma’s next fight though and hope to see her fit and back in the cage as soon as. I’m sure she has a great future in MMA, she’s certainly tough!”
What was it like fighting on BCMMA, did you watch any of the other fights?
“Fighting on BCMMA was a real experience and Chris and Ryan made me very welcome – I was overawed to have won fight of the night too. I really enjoyed the watching Corin Eaton and Ian Skivington – both put on solid performances! I didn’t get to see a lot of the fights unfortunately as I was preparing for my own but I gather from those who were spectating that it was a lively night!”
You are a semi pro fighter, what is life like for a semi pro, juggling training with work etc?
“Trying to balance work, training and a social life isn’t always easy – hence I no longer have a social life! Realistically speaking between working a minimum 40 hour week and doing at least 2-3 hours in the gym per day there’s time for very little else. Sometimes as a semi-pro that’s especially hard to deal with because the remuneration does not come close to covering even your most basic of training expenses.
That said, I am a great believer in the theory of acting ‘as if’. I know that my ultimate aim is to turn professional, to my mind the best way to achieve that is to train as closely as I can to how I would if I were a pro and hope that I’m able to become what I aspire to by mimicking that work ethic and effort.”
On the topic of going pro, that is definately what you’re aiming for?
“Yes, that’s where I am directing all of my efforts. Hopefully with amazing shows like Invicta promoting WMMA that’s a realistic aspiration for the medium term.”
Do you know what’s next for you?
“Short term I have a couple of K1 bouts lined up, including my pro debut against Katie Sendall on 23rd Feb in Cheltenham and a 63kg match on UCF against Nicole Commerford on 8th December. I am also looking to match for more MMA fights over the coming year.
Longer term I really hope that I can continue performing well enough to earn an invitation to some of the larger shows and continue to test myself and develop my skills!”
This week we got news that a women’s division will be in the UFC, who are some fighters you look up to?
“I certainly welcome the news that women’s MMA will now feature in the UFC but really hope that it isn’t just 135lb fighters as there are some fantastic Mixed Martial Artists across the weight divisions. Female fighters that I have really enjoyed watching include Cris Cyborg, Julia Budd, Rosi Sexton and Joanne Calderwood. If I’m honest I prefer to watch MMA live – the UK Middleweight division has some great fighters at the minute – the likes of Luke Barnatt and Leeroy Barnes always put on a good show! I love to watch fighters who are unorthodox!”
Why do you fight? What motivates you?
“That’s an interesting question! I’m a naturally competitive person and I never really took to team sports because I could never handle my success or failure being in the hands of others. I suppose if you’re looking to test yourself physically and mentally there are very few things that even come close to MMA.
That aside, I mainly do it because I love it, everything from the training, conditioning, preparations… Fight night is a constant adrenaline buzz and I get to share the ups and downs with a team of exceptional fighters and coaches.
Why would anyone not?!”
Any people you would like to thank?
“Definitely! First and foremost the amazing team at BKK, there’s too many to name everyone and I’d be worried about missing people but honestly I would never have set foot in an MMA gym, and certainly never a cage without them and I’m glad to be beaten up by some of the best in the business.
Secondly, I’ve just been taken on as a sponsored fighter by Octagon Fightwear, an up and coming MMA clothing brand who I’m really looking forward to working with, thanks for being the first to offer me your endorsement.
Thirdly, thank you to those gyms where I have trained or been invited to train as a guest – especially Ministry of Martial Arts in Rayleigh, for making me feel welcome and sharing your wealth of knowledge.
On from there thanks to you and the other MMA media who have given me column inches and are starting to do more and more toward promoting WMMA in the UK.”