Although most casual fight fans watch some of the major UFC pay per view and FOX shows and the occasional Bellator event on SPIKE, there is a whole other world of fighters out there. These are young scrappers fighting their way towards the big time, they are ‘Chasing The Dream’.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fighting out of the blue corner, weighing in at one hundred and five pounds and fighting out of Gastonia, North Carolina she is….. “The Anvil” Nicole Hunt.
Nicole is an atomweight prospect who trains at Checkmat/Real American Grappling. She won four out of five of her amateur fights and recently won her pro debut.
So Nicole, how did you get involved in the fight game?
“Unlike most people I started in this sport, I didn’t grow up doing any kind of martial arts. The only sport I ever competed in was soccer in middle and high school… but about 5 years ago I had a friend that boxed, so that got me interested. Then I saw an ad for a local gym on Facebook, so I decided to give it a shot. It started as a hobby and I couldn’t fathom ever competing. I could barely bring myself to punch people in the gym! Then about 6 months later, I found myself in a cage making my debut. I’ve been hooked since.”
Coming in with no background can be challenging, but from a coaches stand point it can be a blessing. You have no bad habits that need to be broken. So growing up which fighters inspired you?
“As I stated before, I had zero background in martial arts and was completely oblivious to the sport for the most part before I started competing in it. Since coming into the scene, I obviously look up to Rousey for paving the way for women in the UFC. Her attitude isn’t exactly my style, but no one can deny what she has done for WMMA. Other favorites of mine include Forest Griffin, Anderson Silva, female boxer Lucia Rijker, and of course I have to include some of my favorite local fighters and former training partners: Ricky Rainey for his constant positive attitude, and Hannah Cifers for the unrelenting beatings she puts on me and everyone else she comes in contact with.”
After being a successful four year amateur and now going pro, what are some of your career goals?
“I recently turned pro, so I’m just trying to take it one fight at a time. I want to keep building myself as a fighter, and I’m hoping to find myself on the big stage within a year.”
If you keep winning I’m sure Invicta will give you the call. So how do you feel after turning pro and winning your first fight?
“I was insanely nervous about making that step from amateur to professional. I don’t think my nerves went away until after the first round was over, and I realised I was making myself out of breath – not from lack of cardio, but from not calming down. I am elated to have made that step though, and winning that fight means more to me than I could put into words.”
What is next for “The Anvil”?
“Since my debut, I have been preparing for the IBJJF tournament in Charlotte on October 8th. It will be my first major tournament since I was promoted to purple belt last year, so I wanted to take some time to focus on that. After I get through that tournament, I will be looking to book another fight.”
Who do you train with regularly?
“When I am preparing for an MMA fight I usually travel around to several places to get different types of work in. Some teammates at my home gym, Checkmat/Real American Grappling, are Kenny Romero and Derek Hyatt – and I will also travel to Kyle Harrell’s gym, Boxing WK, to get work in with Ashley Sciscente – Then to Keith Richardson’s gym, Modern Warrior, to work with Tiffany Lee. Occasionally, my coach talks Hannah Cifers into traveling all the way from Oxford to Charlotte to lay hands on me as well.”
A few shout outs?
“I want to take every chance I can get to thank my coach, Michael Allen, for everything he does. I know I am a total pain in the ass, but he always makes sure I have every opportunity available to be successful in MMA and BJJ. Also, to every single person that trains with me, for always pushing me to improve. I would like to thank Inner Armour supplements for keeping my body in peak performance, as well as my friend James Summey, at James Summey Custom Hair Design, for keeping me looking as presentable as he can.”
After weigh ins what do you like to eat and do you have any rituals?
“I don’t actually go crazy with my meal after weigh-ins, I don’t want to wreck my body before the fight, so I stick to grilled chicken. After the fight however, I eat anything that I can get my hands on!! Not really a lot of rituals, but I do have to purchase a “celebratory Kit-Kat” before the fight to consume after I get out of the cage.”
Some parting words from Nicole:
“I am a competitor. I have always wanted to be the best at everything I do. My competitive nature drives me to become better in every aspect of my life. Some might see being overly competitive as a bad thing , but not only does it drive me to excel at MMA, it also drives me to become an improved person in general. It drives me to learn things, to understand the problems of others and to be a great friend, etc. Of course, I want to be known as a great athlete… but above all, I want the people who took the time to get to know me to say I had a positive impact on their life.”
This woman is going places, you should check her out at a live fight if you ever get the chance. For more Info about “The Anvil” Nicole Hunt You can find her on Instagram and Twitter . Below you can see her final amateur fight before turning pro.
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