Celine McGee will make what she considers her “debut” tomorrow night, June 11, at the Celtic Gladiators Clash of the Titans at the Heritage Hotel in Port Laoise.
With a striking background in Karate and kick-boxing, the Donegal mother of two has relocated her training from Letterkenny MMA in Donegal to the dominant force of SBGi in Dublin—with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt John Kavanagh keeping a watchful eye over the dedicated scrappers training.
“From my school days I was training in Karate, this is the next level...a wider variety of fighting altogether, I’m ready to go wherever the fight takes me," she said.
“It’s hard to describe the difference in training down here, I feel completely transformed as a fighter. John has a way he approaches the training that makes it a lot easier to grasp. Every time I come in here there are new belts on the wall, so I’m starting to feel the pressure," laughed SBGi’s new aspiring contender.
McGee has shown ridiculous determination in her preparation for this fight, making the trip from Donegal and back everyday—a four-hour drive each way. This determination in itself is a true testament to the fighter, and it proves that she has one of the key elements to compete in her unwavering drive.
McGee highlighted why she is considering this bout her debut, noting the lack of preparation and focus she had going into her last bout.
“Last time out I didn't have the mentally focus like now or the skill set. I wasn't really aware of what I was getting myself into," said McGee in relation to her 2008 loss to Anna Mayne in Warriors Quest.
Celine is facing Rachel Ryan tomorrow on her opponent's stomping ground. She will be travelling with one of Ireland’s most exciting fighters, Conor McGregor, and to add to that, Ireland’s most successful fighter in MMA History, “Ais the Bash” Daly. McGregor will be headlining the card, but Daly will be going solely to support her teammates, especially Celine.
“After winning the NAAF championship last week, I should really be celebrating, but it wouldn’t feel right while Celine is still putting the work in for her fight," said Daly.
“At least on Saturday we can all celebrate together."
Celine explained the importance of Daly. The champion’s efforts have been an inspiration to the blossoming talent and she is very grateful to have a fighter of Daly’s calibre in her corner.
“Aisling has been my rock, she’s such a strong character to have in your corner and her success speaks for itself," said McGee.
As far as her fighter is concerned, McGee has not busied herself with research, but rather focused on her own game in the build up to the fight.
“It’s not bothering me that it’s on her home turf. It’s her debut too, so we’re going out on a level playing field once the bell goes," explained McGee.
As far as the result is concerned, McGee kept her answer short and to the point.
“There’ll be only one winner on the night, and it’s not going to be her," she concluded.