When people from around the world think of Australia, the first things to often come to mind are the picturesque visions of hot weather, board shorts and beaches. Like most places, however, Australia has its fair share of colder climates. That is something that Orange, New South Wales local Ginny Connors plans to have as her advantage going into her professional debut on Aug. 31 in the Storm Damage women’s featherweight title eliminator gauntlet.

“It’s been so cold over the past few weeks, and I think that being able to train in the colder weather is going to help me a lot with the fight,” Connors admitted in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “Both Orange and Canberra [where Storm Damage takes place] are colder climates, and I’ve been told that it gets pretty cold in the venue because of that. I think that it might be a little bit of an edge for me, especially with a couple of the girls coming in from much warmer parts of the country.”

Although Storm Damage marks the first time that Connors is going to compete professionally in mixed martial arts, she is no stranger to the various aspects of professional combat sports.

“I’ve had a few Muay Thai fights and a boxing fight, and I also competed in the Storm Warning day [a novice competition consisting of modified MMA, grappling and no-gi] a couple of times,” she said. “I’ve competed in a few grappling tournaments and stuff as well. I’ve been training BJJ for about three years and I am a brown belt in karate. I just love all forms of martial arts—Muay Thai was certainly my favorite and competing in Thailand was an awesome experience. I really wanted to challenge myself, that’s why I decided to get into MMA as well. I just wanted to combine everything that I know together and see how I go.”

With the featherweight tournament taking place on a single night, Connors has the potential to see the cage a further two times on the same night as her professional debut.

“I know that I will need to get the quick finish in the first fight,” she admitted. “I’m certainly not looking to go three rounds first up. That would make things really hard if I made it through to the next stage. In my training, the boys in the gym have been working me hard to get my fitness up in case I do have to fight a full fight, but the plan is to get the early finish.”

There is no doubt that Connors is nervous leading into her debut fight. It’s not often that in one night a fighter has the potential to go from debutant to having three fights under their belt.

“I am pretty nervous going into this one,” she admitted. “I’ve always been nervous before I have a fight though, so it’s no different for me in that aspect. I have had fantastic trainers leading into the fight, and they have really helped to build my confidence up. I know that my first opponent [Belinda Sedgwick] has a boxing background, so I have been working a lot on that, but I also have my ground work that I have been really focusing on too. Being confident is the key to any successful fight, and I’m thinking I have that.”

With women’s mixed martial arts bouts making more regular appearances in Australian events, there are certainly more opportunities for fighters to compete. When they do, it’s not that uncommon for them to put on what will often be the “Fight of the Night.” Connors is not only looking for a successful debut, but also a creating a foundation that she can expand on.

“I’m pumped for the event,” she said. “I have been training hard ever since I even found out that it was going to happen. I know that having a fight inside that cage is definitely going to be the highlight of my sporting career, so I plan to make the most of it. I want to see how far I can take this.”

Although it may be her first night fighting professionally inside the cage, on Aug. 31 Connors is going to feel right at home in the cold Tuggeranong Basketball Stadium that houses Storm Damage. And you know what they say: home is where the heart is. So there is no doubt that should she find herself successful under the Storm Damage banner, her heart will certainly stay with mixed martial arts as she continues to build on her career in combat sports.

Ginny would like to thank Raven Fightwear, 2800 Gym, MMA United Gym and she would also like to extend a special thanks to Storm Oshyer for giving her the opportunity to fight. Follow Storm Damage on Facebook and on Twitter: @StormDamageMMA

Photo: Storm Damage MMA Logo

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.