Gympie-bred MMA contender Arlene Blencowe (right) spars with Australian Olympic boxer Kaye Scott (L) in February 2020. (AAP IMAGE / Troy Snook)
Gympie-bred MMA contender Arlene Blencowe (right) spars with Australian Olympic boxer Kaye Scott (L) in February 2020. (AAP IMAGE / Troy Snook)

Gympie MMA queen reveals top tips for isolation workouts

THE fight of her life is on hold indefinitely, but Gympie-bred mixed martial arts contender Arlene Blencowe isn’t letting the coronavirus pandemic give her the blues.

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The 37-year-old known as “Angerfist” established herself as the next in line for a Bellator MMA title shot last year with impressive victories over Amanda Bell (KO) and ex-UFC star Leslie Smith (unanimous decision).

Those wins took her professional record to 13-7 and paved the way for a crack at new women’s featherweight champ, former UFC titleholder Cris Cyborg.

Gympie-bred Bellator MMA fighter Arlene Blencowe connects with a right hand in her unanimous decision victory over Leslie Smith last year.
Gympie-bred Bellator MMA fighter Arlene Blencowe connects with a right hand in her unanimous decision victory over Leslie Smith last year.

But the pandemic has created an uncertain future for both Blencowe’s dazzling career and the world of combat sports, leaving the former Amamoor local with no option but to bide her time.

Blencowe said the reality of the situation hit home when she had to scramble for a flight home from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she was training at the famous Jackson Wink MMA Academy alongside former UFC bantamweight queen Holly Holm and strawweight contender Michelle Waterson.

“I only got in three days of team training before the team closed public classes, and from there I was doing one-on-one stuff with Holly or pad sessions with Coach Wink (Mike Winkeljohn),” Blencowe said.

“Last Friday I finished my two-week isolation after returning home, my family had to go and stay at my mother-in-law’s house.

“I was extremely lucky because the following day they started doing quarantines in hotels, so I was lucky to dodge a bullet on that one. I made it home just in time.

“I already had cancelled flights leaving Albuquerque, my original flight home got completely cancelled.

“It was a bit of a nightmare but I was lucky to get home when I did, and I finished quarantine on Good Friday so I was able to spend Easter with my family.”

Gympie-bred Bellator MMA fighter Arlene Blencowe has put her hand up to fight Cris Cyborg.
Gympie-bred Bellator MMA fighter Arlene Blencowe has put her hand up to fight Cris Cyborg.

Since returning home Blencowe has gone back to the basics, often completing solo training sessions and trying to keep a positive mindset while the pandemic drags on.

While there are no guarantees on when her next fight will be, and whether or not it will be against Cyborg, Blencowe said she was focusing on the things she could control.

She encouraged others to employ the “just do it” mindset for tackling training regimens from home.

“At the moment I’m just training in general and trying to let the days go by, being healthy and active is obviously one of the most beneficial things to get through times like this,” she said.

“As a role model I think it’s important to lead by example, if we all do what we’re supposed to do we can get through this sooner rather than later.

“Sometimes it’s a bit hard to get motivated, I don’t have my coach or my training partners there to push me, but the little voices inside your head are what you’ve got to conquer first.

“It all comes down to your mindset … a lot of people have used excuses in the past of not having enough time, it’s about changing your mindset around those things and having a ‘just do it’ attitude.

“Whether it’s for training or all the little things you might not want to do, there’s a lot of things I don’t want to do but you just get up and do it.

“It’s that whole 21 day rule, you do something consecutively for 21 days and it becomes a habit.”

Gympie Times


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