Friday, July 8, 2011

Ashley Hawkins Interview

Q: For those not familiar or who didn't see my first interview with you, can you talk about how you got involved in the sport?
A: I always wanted to box when I was little, but you know, protective mothers, "You don't wanna do that, you don't wanna get hurt, you don't wanna get hit in your pretty face". But I've always been athletic, I played softball my whole life. Traveled in summers, basically had no life in summer except softball. That's how fighting is, you have to give it your life. Is tarted working out all the time and bought a heavy bag and started training on that and doing jump roping and MMA exercises. I finally started training at Team Bundy and got my first fight last September and been fighting ever since.

Q: Before we go to your next fight, let's talk about the last one. You lost a majority decision to Trisha Barr. But overall how did you feel you did?
A: I felt I did really really well but I'm my biggest critic, and always feel I could have done better, could have done other things. But you can't think that way, you just gotta leave it in the past and use it as motivation for the next fight. But I though I did really good. Sadly it didn't go my way, but I didn't lose that much out of it because she had more experience. I only had one fight and she had a lot more fights. But it's ok. Next fight I just cant leave it in the judges hands.

Q: Looking back is there anything you wish you had done different?
A: I wish I would have used my striking and kicking more. She came out wild and I clinched with her. After I clinched, instead of staying in the clinch I should have pushed off, threw some punches, threw some kicks, kept the distance.. Other than that, I had a takedown, it was stood up but I felt like I was trying to situate myself and break her guard and posture up. The ref stood us up and I cant control that. Other than that I wish I sued my striking more instead of clinching.

Q: The saying is, you learn more from a loss than a win. Is that accurate?
A: Basically going into that fight I was originally supposed to fight someone else. But a few days before I got a new opponent, Trisha. But I went into it just saying I wanted to fight, I don't care who it was. Even though I lost, I felt I gained more experience fighting with her because she has fought a lot more than I have.

Q: What did you think of Trisha?
A: She was really good. I read her interview with you where she was a kempo black belt or something. She was a really good fighter. She had a good clinch. She was pretty strong.

Q: I asked you this before, but you are fighting Emily Easton, what do you know about her?
A: I know that she is a little shorter than me so I will try and use that to my advantage and use my reach. I know she is a blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu. I know she lost her first fight to I think it was a guillotine. That's all I know about her.

Q: She was supposed to be your last opponent. Does her backing out so close make you want to fight her more?
A: Sort of. I was trying to study her school a little bit cause she comes from a Jiu-Jitsu school and I was trying to see what kind of style they are known for. I had a game plan going in and figure she would try and use her Jiu-Jitsu s lot. Its hard to have your mind set on fighting one person and they back out and it's like "wow I have to have to a totally new game plan". So I guess it kind of does since I had my mind set on fighting her.

Q: What do you have to do to win this fight?
A: I just have to keep it standing and use my striking. I feel that's my biggest strength. I hit pretty hard, I use good technique. If she tries to shoot on me I am just gonna sprawl, if I get her down I am gonna try and pass her guard get mount and use ground and pound. If she give me an opportunity to submit her, I'll submit her. It's hard to say cause you can have your mind made up on how you want it to be, but once you get in there it goes out the door. I just wanna fight my fight and keep it that way, not fight someone else's fight.

Q: How does the fight end?
A: I'm just gonna try and fight my fight. I'm not gonna fall into her game plan, I'm gonna keep it my game plan. Hopefully leave it standing or take her down and ground and pound. If I can get a submission, get a submission. As long as I win, it doesn't matter really.

Q: Your teammate Rebecca Gruitza fights the same night. Does that make it easier when a teammate is going through training camp with you?
A: Yeah cause we're training Monday through Saturday with each other. She has the same feelings I have, making sure we stay on weight, giving each other motivation. It's like someone is in the same mindset, same emotions and feelings as you. It's cool to have someone to talk to about the fight and how we're feeling. Its good cause we both wanna train good and win. It gives you a support system.

Q: Going back to the fight with Trisha, a lot of people said it was one of the better fights of the night and they see potential in you. How does that make you feel?
A: It gives me motivation definitely. I am a highly motivational person and it makes me feel good. Its kind of like fan cheering you on. Its nice people think you are good and see and realize your hard work. Makes me want to continue training and working hard so more people will think I have potential.

Q: I told you before I can see you fighting for an amateur title at next years Night Of Champions. Do you see that as a possibility?
A: Yeah definitely. I train really hard and have my mind set on training. Every day I am in the gym, even when I don't have a fight. I train and know every day there will be improvement. I wanna train hard and get as many fights as I can and keep doing better.

Q: There have been some people give opinions on your weight.I think 135 is perfect for you. You agree?
A: Yeah I am happy at 135. My very first fight I fought 145 and I weighed in at 138. Even though I won against a bigger and taller fighter I just thought if I fought at 145 and weighed 138, why not fight at 135. The lowest I would go is 130 but there is really not a class at that weight. I don't wanna lose the strength I have. A lot of people go down and cut weight and lose strength. I don't wanna do that. I feel I am good where I am now. I'm just trying to work out and get as strong as I can at 135. That's all I can do.

Q: After this fight, would your hope be Eve of Destruction?
A: Yeah definitely. My first fight was Eve of Destruction and it was amazing to see an all girls card which is rare. Usually there's just 1 or 2 girl fights on a card. It makes me feel good people want to promote women's MMA and see women fight. Makes me feel good about the future for women's MMA that people want to have all female cards.

Q: You just got your first sponsor. Want to talk about that?
A: Yeah, makes me feel good someone sees talent in me. I definitely want to thank Foundation Fight Company and Kody Tuttle. He made me a mouth guard and is providing my walk out shirts and putting the logo on clothes. Make me feel good that someone sees talent in me and wants to put my name out there.

Q: Before we finish anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: Yeah. Like always I thank you for everything. You always give me words of motivation and give me a chance to do interviews, that's always awesome. Everyone at Team Bundy, Coach Bundy, Coach Micah, my teammates that help me train and cheer me on. it helps having good teammates who push you. I wanna thank everyone that supports me, my family, thank you everyone. And anyone I don't know who likes to support me.

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