Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Aisling Daly Interview
Aisling Daly came into Cleveland, Ohio to take on local favorite Jessica Eye. Flying half was around the world, to take on someone of Jessica's skill can not be easy. But aisling did it and walked away with a victory. In the process she made some new fans. People like Aisling are really good for the sport. So here's hoping we get to see more of Aisling Daly around here.
Q: First, Aisling I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Hey no problem :) It's always nice to get the opportunity to have people get to know me a little better.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I'm 23 years old, I'm was born in Dublin Ireland and have lived here my whole life, I love MMA and outside of MMA, I'd say comedy is one of my hobbies, love watching comedy and have been told I'm quite funny myself but have no plans to go into stand up at least until my MMA career flops! haha
Q: Were you especially athletic growing up? Play any sports?
A: I was always a bit of a tom boy growing up I played all sorts of sports in school from basketball to gymnastics. I was always very competitive too, there was never really any athletic competition for me with the girls so I'd always try keep up and compete with the boys.
Q: What initially got you started training for MMA?
A: I started off when I was about 10 years old doing Karate. Then my instructor at the time started doing some BJJ on the side. He started to show me some techniques and pretty soon after I was hooked on BJJ.
In the meantime I'd seen some UFC & Pride video's which really excited me and I knew what I wanted to do. I checked it out online and realised there were girls competing all over the world already. I began adding Muay Thai & Wrestling to my BJJ to give me the skills needed to compete in MMA.
Q: Was the training something you picked up fairly easy?
A: I really enjoyed the training so I found it very easy to pick up. It never felt like work to me to be in the gym in fact it's all I wanted to do. Friends and family found it hard to understand why I didn't want to be out doing 'fun stuff' and wanted to be in the gym. Training and competing was the most fun I could find.
Q: How long did you train before your first fight?
A: I honestly don't know how Long I had been training specifically MMA before I had my first fight. I had been doing different styles and competing in Karate since I was a kid and then BJJ from when I was about 15 or so. I had been in Straight Blast Gym with John Kavanagh for maybe one year before he felt like I was ready to fight but I had a BJJ blue belt and a solid base to start off with then.
Q: Was fighting something your family and friends supported?
A: MMA is such a new sport now and it was even more unknown when I started. I don't think my friend and family really understood what I was doing. I think they thought it was some new type of Karate I'd taken up and was competing in, by the time I fought it was too late for them to have any reservations about it. I was already in deep loving it and never going back! They always supported me from the beginning and still do. My parents supported me when I dropped out of college to train full time. They're happy as long as I'm happy and right now looking at 'my precious' belt, I'm very happy!
Q: Where do you train at now?
A: I am and have always trained MMA at Straight Blast Gym Ireland under my awesome coach John Kavanagh.
Q: Can you give your overall record so far.
A: I'm 11-2 in Pro MMA, I've had BJJ, Boxing Muay Thai and amateur MMA fights but they were all Just experience to get where I want to get in MMA so I haven't kept numbers
Q: You just came to Ohio to fight Jessica Eye. How was the experience?
A: The experience of fighting in Ohio was amazing for me as a fighter and as a person. I met some really great people during my time there. I learned alot about myself as a person. I faced alot of adversity before and during the fight. It's not easy to be taken completely out of your comfort zone and flown halfway around the world to fight the favourite in her home town. I enjoyed it all and have taken so much from it, I wouldn't change anything about the experience even if I could. I arrived to the cage to a chorus of boos but I think by the end of it I had made some new fans. I can't wait to come back to Ohio and defend my title, I'm very fond of the place now.
Q: What was your game plan going into the fight?
A: I've always a similar game plan going into a fight my clinch work and my ground work are definitely my strongest points but my stand up is ever improving and I'm quite comfortable there. I always play to my strengths, it is often a case of people knowing exactly what I'm going to do but can you stop me from doing it!
Q: Did Jessica fight as you expected?
A: Jessica fought as I expected she came out strong and looked to finish me quickly, with all the Hype and publicity surrounding the fight and then thousands of people cheering you on it's hard not to let that effect you, maybe make you a little over eager. I think my experience stood to me in that fight and let me keep cool even if the first round didn't go my way. I know myself well as a figther and I knew what I could do and just waited for her to make a mistake.
Q: Would you say Jessica has been your toughest opponent?
A: No I don't think Jessica is my toughest opponent to date. I definitely think Molly Helsel was my toughest, I'm still so proud of that fight and often look at it to remind me of how much I am capable of.
Q: Obviously she was the home town favorite. Did the people all rooting for her affect you?
A: I expected to have a negative reaction so I was prepared for the worst case scenario. I had worked alot with My Sports Psychologist and we had a plan in place. I very much fed off the crowds negativity and used it to spur me on in performing well.
Q: Did you enjoy working with the NAAFS?
A: I had a great time working with the NAAFS, I met some really awesome people who looked after me so well and showed me great hospitality. I really look forward to coming back and defending my title.
Q: Now that you are a champion for them, would you like to come back here and fight again?
A: I'm sure Jessica feels like she would like to rematch me and I'd be very happy to come back and fight for the NAAFS. I was happy with the win but very disappointed in my performance and would love to come back and show everyone what I can really do.
Q: Was it hard to adjust to the time difference?
A: The time difference was a little bit difficult to adjust to, I found my sleep pattern was messed up but I had mostly adjusted come fight time. The biggest factor for me was the heat, we just don't have weather anything like that in Ireland so it was unusual for me. I was very happy I'd arrived a week in advance to try and adjust to the conditions. I had trained 3 or 4 evenings in the heat during the weak previous to the fight so I had somewhat adjusted but apparently the weather conditions on the night were unusually hot even for the local Cleveland residents.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to train for the sport, whats the biggest piece of advice you would give her?
A: The best advice I could give would be to find a good gym, one with a good atmosphere, with supportive people who will help you grow and mature as a fighter and a person. The technical ability of your coach is important but without a support network you will be fighting an uphill battle. I am very fortunate that I have an MMA coach with great technical ability who supports me as well as various coaches with a similar view point and a great team of guys in the gym who I feel are a second family to me.
Q: Outside of training and fighting, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Outside of training and fighting I don't really have too much time for anything else, I like eating, hanging out with my friends, going to comedy gigs and supporting my team mates away when they fight, I'm almost always busy with something MMA related.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Aisling Daly.
A:A typical day in my life is pretty boring. I wake up I eat then I go training, after training I might go eat with the guys from the gym and hang out for a bit. I head home go on the internet for a bit, check facebook,watch funny videos on youtube. I might eat again depending on how my weight is and then I'll go train again. I come home and sleep then repeat the next day. I don't do 'training camps' as such I'm just constantly in the gym and constantly training so I'm ready to go no matter what opportunity comes up.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: My favourite colour is actually blue not pink!
Q: Describe Aisling Daly in five words.
A: Genuine, Caring, Funny, Smart and Happy
Q: So whats next for you? Any idea when you will be fighting again?
A: I'm not really sure what is next for me in terms of coming back to the US but I should be fighting again on August 27th in Cork, Ireland for CageWarriors Fighting Championship. I have no opponent yet but they are a great promotion and have looked after me well, I look forward to being back there!
Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I'd like to Thank my coach John Kavanagh, Eoin Lacey of the Irish Strenght Institute, David Mullins of Conquer Mental Skills Training, All the guys at SBG, Pro Gum Custom Gumshields Tussle Fight Gear, Rival Europe, BigShots Nutrition,The NAAFS & Nichole Long for having me over all my friends, family and fans for the love and support, I really appreciate it
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they reach you and what are they getting in Aisling Daly the fighter and person?
A: It would be great to get some sponsorship I work very hard at this sport and it would be great to have some help with my training. Ais the Bash is a tough & determined, always comes to fight, She brings tempo and intensity to a fight like no one else and is always looking for the finish.
Aisling Daly as a person is an all round nice girl, she's hard working, genuine, honest and fun to be around.
You can contact either of my alter egos here firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd be interested in Sponsoring me I'd be delighted to have the support.
Q: Aisling, I want to thank you for doing this. Any last words before you go?
A: I don't think I have any last words really, I'm just enjoying the whole experience of being a fighter and watching myself grow as a person. I'm a pioneer of the sport in my country and at 23 years old I'm known as a veteran.I'm very happy with what I've achieved and look forward to everything I will achieve in the future. I'd like to share a Jon Jones quote with you that really meant something to me before the fight with Jessica.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? "
Thanks for the opportunity to let people get to know me