BCMMA 18 preview: Kerry Hughes is ready for a physical test in title defence

Kerry Hughes fights on Saturday at BCMMA 18

Kerry Hughes fights on Saturday at BCMMA 18

Power puncher Kerry Hughes defends her BCMMA bantamweight title for the first time on Saturday – and knows that, for a change, she may not be the most physically-imposing female in the cage.

Kerry Hughes sparring at BKK Fighters

Kerry Hughes sparring at BKK Fighters

Power puncher Kerry Hughes defends her BCMMA bantamweight title for the first time on Saturday – and knows that, for a change, she may not be the most physically-imposing female in the cage.

Hughes, from Colchester, won the 135lbs title in a fantastic fight against Clemence Schreiber at BCMMMA 16 last July.

Now she’ll trade leather with France’s Zarah Fairn Dos Santos in the main event of BCMMA 18 this Saturday at the Charter Hall, and is expecting a physical test.

Dos Santos (3-2) usually fights at featherweight (145lbs) and stands 5ft 10ins tall, four inches taller than the heavy-handed Hughes (3-1).


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“She’s a big old girl, a unit,” said Hughes, an Inspector in the Met Police. “I don’t think she’s fought lower than 145lbs before, so she’s big.

“I’m used to being the more imposing woman in there, so that will be really interesting for me.

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“Beyond that, I don’t really like to make predictions. Hopefully, when I go out there on Saturday everyone is going to see a totally different fighter, an evolution and all of that.

“I’m confident now on the ground and happy wherever it goes.

Kerry Hughes is one of the best 135lb fighters in the country

Kerry Hughes is one of the best 135lb fighters in the country

“I never plan to do three rounds, but I train as if it’s going to go five. Of course I would like to finish it early, but you just never know – everyone has got a puncher’s chance.”

If she wins the fight, as a belt holder for one of Europe’s biggest promotions, and boasting a fan-friendly style, it is entirely feasible she could end up fighting in the UFC in the near future.

But Hughes, who is heading off for a month’s training at the famed Jackson Wink Gym in New Mexico soon after the fight, is not getting caught up looking too far ahead.

“It’s so hard to say about the future,” she said. “It’s not just the UFC, you’ve got Bellator, Invicta and ACB too – there’s all sorts of really great promotions out there. At the moment I’m just doing what I’m told by my coaches, I’m really enjoying it.”

One fight which would have great appeal to the MMA fanbase would be a dust-up with Irish star Sinead Kavanagh, who boasts a 4-0 record, fights out of Conor McGregor’s Straight Blast Gym and is getting a push from Bellator.

The pair were due to clash at BAMMA 24 last February, but the fight was scrapped. Since then, the pair have often traded barbs on Twitter.

“She’s unnecessarily mouthy,” said Hughes. “I don’t really like her and realistically I’d love to punch her in the face, I could only improve things.

“It’s up to my coaches as to whether they feel it’s worth the effort - I’ll fight whoever is put in front of me.

“I really would thoroughly enjoy helping her improve her looks though.”

- BCMMA 18 will be held at the Charter Hall in Colchester on Saturday night, and features a host of local talent on the card. Visit www.bcmma.co.uk for tickets.

- For more on Kerry Hughes’ remarkable rise up the MMA ranks, click here.

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