Cindy Dandois Interview

Feb 23, 2010
(PRESS RELEASE) -- Cindy Dandois defeated Maria Hougaard by GNP under two minutes in the first round at M-1 Selection 2010: Western Europe Round 1.

What is you fightingbackground and how long do you train MMA?
My base is Judo, I have done Judo for many years on European highest level in the Belgian national youth teams. I was a student of Belgiums best Judo trainer Johan Laats. I am training MMA now for 1,5 year, I originally started doing mma to lose some pregnancy weight! When I started training I set a goal for myself and that is to fight Gina Carano one day...

What do you do besides fighting?
I am a teacher on an elementary school here in Belgium and when I am not teaching I am spending time with my family. I have two kids of 2 and 3 years so they take a lot of time as well.

You made your debut against Marloes Coenen, how did this fight happen? Marloes was already on top of woman's MMA, so she is not the first opponent which comes to mind for a MMA debutfight...
Fighting was a logical next step after training. I can not motivate myself to train if I don't have the chance to compete against others.I easily became Belgians Grappling champion -70 kilo when I just started training, I even grappled against a lot of guys because there weren't enough good girls to fight. When my brother and coach Ben Dandois started looking for amateurfights we found out this wasn't easy. Several opponents refused or cancelled the fight on the last moment. Then suddenly I was asked to fight Marloes Coenen on Beast of the East in Holland. I so desperately wanted to fight that I accepted the fight. I knew I had nothing to lose and after several good talks with my trainer, who believed in me we decide3d to go for it. You know the result!!

Last friday you fought on the M-1 selection against Maria Hougaarde from Denmark, please walk us through this fight. What went good, what can be improved?
If I remember correctly I took her arm after a short punching combination and made a Soto make komi (a judo throw). Once we were on the ground I worked for a stable position, and started to ground 'n pound. I know the referee ended the fight pretty quick but he was asking Maria to make a move to better her position. She couldn't make any progression in her position and I kept hitting her in her head so I understand why the ref. stopped the fight to control the damage.

Do you know who you be fighting next?
Not yet, but M-1 promised it won't be that long! I don't have any injuries and hope to fight as soon as possible, I am ready!

Are there any specific fighters you would like to fight?
There are mass of woman I would like to fight. Kelly Kobold, Jaimie Seaton, Erin Toughill, Emilie Thompson, Christiane Cyborg...But my ultimate dream is a fight against Gina Carano! She is my favourite female MMA fighter so fighting her would be a big honour. I will do everything I can to reach this goal and fight her.

Did you see the Coenen vs Cyborg fight?
Yes, of course I saw the fight! I even stayed awake all night to see it live! I think Cyborg is very very strong. Marloes did all she could but against such a powerhouse she couldn't win and to be honest, I think me and my trainers would follow another gameplan against Cyborg. I would have liked to see Marloes take Cyborg down early in the fight and in a slightly different position. But of course I have to admit it's easy to say when you are not in the cage....

Two weeks ago you also performed as a ringgirl. What do you like more fighting or being a ringgirl?
Of course I chose fighting! but eventually I like the whole fightingbusiness. When my brother Ben promotes some fights I just like to help him where I can. When you're a ringgirl you get to see the fights up close and that's the best there is!
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