There aren’t too many things that can strike fear into the eyes of even the toughest men and women. One thing that can, however, is a deadly snake.

The Black Mamba is the longest of the venomous snakes in Africa. It has a reputation for being very aggressive, and without immediate treatment a bite from the snake is almost always fatal.

Not only is the Black Mamba a dangerous and at times unpredictable snake, it is also the nickname by which Melbourne-based fighter Lana Kate is known.

“The name was given to me back when I first started fighting in [Muay] Thai, because I was such a fast striker,” she revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “Also, one of my trainers thought that my eyes were really green and that I looked like a bit of a reptile.”

Kate (Facebook)

An ideal way of life for any fighter is that their day job can keep them active and fit between bouts. When you can’t fight for a big purse every few months, it is vital that you are able to earn money to continue chasing your dream. Kate lives in the ideal scenario.

“I work at a gym doing some MMA classes, Thai instructing and some self-defense classes,” Kate explained. “I get to work for about 20 hours a week and then train for the rest. Even when I am working it’s like I am training anyway, so it’s been great for my fight preparation.”

Kate splits her training up between multiple locations. Something of note is where she practices her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Coming from such an acclaimed BJJ gym could easily intensify the nerves before a fight, but for Kate, it’s all about the learning curve.

“When I first started, I didn’t really know about 10th Planet,” she admitted. “I started there about 13 months ago. It’s all No-Gi, which required a bit of adjusting, but it’s been great learning there.”

Kate’s next fight sees her square off with Sydney-based Amy Adam in a rematch from their razor-thin split-decision fight at Brace For War 18. The fight took place in Canberra in December 2012, and Kate managed to out-point Adam to take home the win.

With Kate learning from her past experience, it is doubtful that the upcoming bout will be a “wash, rinse, repeat” type of affair.

“I am sure we have both trained hard going into the fight,” she explained. “We will be both eager to win. I have worked on parts of my game plan that were a little weak last time, and I have a totally new game plan going into the fight. We are both going in there to win, so who knows where [the fight] is going to end up?”

Kate (Facebook)

Australian Fighting Championship 5 is set to be streamed through on May 10. The event can be accessed worldwide, but it’s not the thought of being watched by matchmakers and fans around the globe that makes Kate a little more nervous than usual.

“I am more concerned about [the fight] being in Melbourne,” she laughed. “Being from here, I have a lot of friends, family, sponsors and people from the gym coming to watch me fight, so I have to win for not only me, but for them too.”

Due to legislation in the state of Victoria, the AFC event has to take place inside a ring instead of the cage. This will mark the first time in her MMA career that Kate will fight inside the ring and she embraces the change.

“We are both stand-up fighters, so it changes a little,” she said. “In the last fight, [Adam] tried to dominate against the cage, which obviously won’t happen this time. It’s just about going in there and trying to adjust. You can still use the ropes to your advantage in the ring, and coming from a Thai fighting background, I am confident with fighting inside the ring.”

Whilst Adam has tangled with “The Black Mamba” before, so many things can change over the course of a four-month period. This time Kate plans for things to go a little differently and wants to leave no doubt in the mind of the judges or the fans that a “bite” from her leads to nothing but a decisive win.

Lana would like to thank her sponsors: Advanced Fight Gear, Nutrition Superstore, CNP Professional, Energizone, DNR Clothing Australia and FTP Australia. Follow Kate on Twitter: @LanaKateMMA

Top Photo: Lana Kate (Facebook)