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Kerry Hughes on Danish MMA Night fight with Pannie Kianzad: “I know she’s good, but so am I!”

Kerry Hughes training at Jackson Wink in America. She fights Pannie Kianzad at Danish MMA Night this Saturday in Copenhagen. Picture: SAL GOMEZ

Kerry Hughes training at Jackson Wink in America. She fights Pannie Kianzad at Danish MMA Night this Saturday in Copenhagen. Picture: SAL GOMEZ

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Last time she set foot in the cage, Kerry Hughes was the victim of one of the worst stoppages seen in the sport in recent times – but rather than be bitter about it, the heavy-handed bantamweight says she’s learned from the experience.

Kerry Hughes training at altitude in the USA. Picture: SAL GOMEZKerry Hughes training at altitude in the USA. Picture: SAL GOMEZ

Hughes, who trains at BKK Fighters Gym in Colchester, travelled to Belgium to lock horns with home favourite and UFC veteran Cindy Dandois at Cage Warriors 89 last November.

Tussling with ground specialist Dandois, Hughes was taken down and was working to improve her position when the fight was bizarrely halted – despite the fact she was in no imminent danger of being submitted or hurt by strikes.

That farce dropped her pro record to 3-3, and Hughes once more enters hostile territory this Saturday determined to move on.

She faces Invicta FC alumni Pannie Kianzad (9-3) at Danish MMA Night in Copenhagen – but this time her mindset is different.

“I’ve learned a lot from the last fight,” said Hughes, 33. “It should never have been stopped, but the main thing I’ve taken away from it is that I shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place.

“I was too worried about what she was doing, instead of punching her in the face. So this time I’m going in there knowing that she’s good in all areas, but so am I!

Kerry Hughes is 3-3 as a pro. Picture: STEVE ARGENTKerry Hughes is 3-3 as a pro. Picture: STEVE ARGENT

MORE: From 18-stone to fighting phenomenon - Kerry Hughes’ incredible journey

“The last fight I forgot that. This time, I don’t care where it goes, I’m happy wherever.”

Of Kianzad, who has mixed with big names including Sarah Kauffman, Tonya Evinger and Jessica-Rose Clark, Hughes added: “She’s a purple belt in BJJ with a decent bit of wrestling, but predominantly she’s a boxer.

“She’s going to be wanting to put on the very best show she can, but I’m just looking forward to getting back in there – I feel so different this time around.

“It’s almost sort of freeing, the fact that my record is down to 3-3, it means that I can relax and enjoy the fight – it feels like a weight has been taken off my shoulders.”

As is now customary, Hughes spent her training camp at the famed Jackson Wink Gym in Albuquerque, and emerged nourished by the experience, which saw her training alongside UFC stars under the tutelage of renowned coach Greg Jackson.

Kerry Hughes sparring with head coach Jack Mason at BKK Fighters in Colchester. Picture: STEVE ARGENTKerry Hughes sparring with head coach Jack Mason at BKK Fighters in Colchester. Picture: STEVE ARGENT

“It was amazing,” she enthused. “Every time I go to the States I rediscover my love for the sport. It makes the UFC seem more attainable too.

“You realise that most of the fighters at that top level aren’t superhuman – you do get phenoms like Arnold Allen and Jon Jones of course, who are next level, but a lot of people who are in the UFC are just pretty good at what they do and work hard.”

As for her more immediate goals, Hughes added: “My only goal at the moment is to try and get two fights in this year and just keep improving.”

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Andre Dozzell has revealed his frustration as his return to action stalled earlier in the season but the teenager is now hungry for minutes on the field after returning to the first-team picture.

ANDY WARREN spoke to Ipswich Town No.2 Stuart Taylor about his journey from cleaning Paul Lambert’s boots at St Mirren to assisting him at Portman Road.

In past columns I have talked about a divide between athletes that earn large amounts of money, and those that do not, and how there is a movement in Ipswich to bring this sporting diversity together.

Striker Kayden Jackson scored a hat-trick as Ipswich Town defeated QPR 5-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Playford Road this afternoon.

Trevoh Chalobah has been training with the full England squad today ahead of the Three Lions’ clash with the United States tomorrow night.

Jordan Graham is training with Oxford United after being given permission to move on by Ipswich Town.

Teenager Jack Lankester hopes to be involved with the Ipswich Town first team for the remainder of the season but would be prepared to spend time out on loan if it aides his development.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert has been impressing the players with his skills on the training pitch. STUART WATSON looks back on his playing career.

Tristan Nydam is keen to make the most of his loan stay in Scotland but is still keeping a firm eye on parent club Ipswich Town.

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