By: Nick Portella
What’s up fight fans. Today I got the opportunity to speak with Bellator WMMA fighter Brooke “The Bully” Mayo. Brooke has already made her first appearance in the cage for this monster promotion and is waiting her next fight. Let’s sit down with Brooke and get to know her a little bit better.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Brooke: It means more than just fighting. It’s about being a Martial Artist. It’s about respect, discipline, and dedication. It’s like being a samurai. You have to fight with honor and be prepared to leave your life in the cage. You’re fighting not only for yourself, but you family, team, and legacy.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Brooke: I began training 10 days after my 21st birthday.
Nick: What belts do you have and in what disciplines?
Brooke: I am a purple belt in BJJ under Kurt Osiander.
Nick: With an amateur fight record of 8-2, what made you decide to go to the professional level?
Brooke: Besides my amateur record I also had a 4-0 record in Muay Thai. Honestly, it was time because I was having a really hard time getting fights in my weight class. A lot of opponents were dropping out in both MMA and Muay Thai so it was getting harder and harder to get experience.
Nick: While the doctor stopped your pro debut fight under the Bellator promotion with a minute left in the round, some people think that you should have been able to continue. Did you feel like it was a good stoppage or premature?
Brooke: After going to the ER and getting results back it definitely confirmed that it was a bad stoppage. My eye was bruised. I also got a CT scan and I didn’t even have a concussion so I was more disappointed when I found all that information out. I had no vision problems and my bruising went away in a week.
Nick: What would you say your biggest strengths are as a fighter?
Brooke: I would say my grappling is my biggest technical strength but my overall toughness physically and mentally is another strength of mine. I’ve been told that I have a good “chin”.
Nick: People talk about the next generation of fighters a lot. Do you feel that you represent that in some ways? Do you feel any pressure to represent that next generation?
Brooke: Yes I do. I think that I represent the next generation of WMMA. I do feel some pressure because I want to be a good role model for women and kids everywhere. I want to set a good example and show people that MMA is more than just fighting. It’s about being a martial artist and respecting everyone (including your opponent) and having discipline in and out of the gym.
Nick: With cutting weight and fighter safety always being a priority. What methods of cutting weight do you use? How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight? Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?
Brooke: I usually cut between 15-20 pounds. I have a really strict diet when I’m cutting weight. I have to weigh and portion my food the whole weight cut. The week of I cut out water 24 hours out from weigh ins and usually use a sauna or hot bath to cut my water weight. I have had success with my weight cuts so I don’t think my strength/stamina is impacted too much.
Nick: Bellator is one of the biggest names in the fight game. Will your next fight be with them? Do you have plans to one day move to the UFC or Invicta?
Brooke: Yes.My next fight will be with Bellator. I do not have plans to go anywhere else. I truly feel great being a Bellator MMA fighter and I really appreciate how they are building the flyweight division.
Nick: Your nickname is The Bully? Who gave it to you? Why?
Brooke: My nickname came from my friend Anthony DeMatteo. I was always the smallest at Jiu Jitsu class so when I would roll I would be extra aggressive to overcompensate for my lack of size. The bigger guys would tease me and say Jeez you’re such a bully! To top it off I am obsessed with Bulldogs and I have my own baby English bulldog baby at home so it all just stuck.
Nick: You understand that marketing is important in the sport. What tips would you give young up and coming fighters on the balance of presenting yourself based on beauty vs. brawn or skill alone?
Brooke: I would say that the most important thing is to stay true to yourself and be REAL when it comes to marketing. As a fighter, the main focus should be your skill and after that the rest is based on your own personal beliefs, morals, and values. When you are marketing yourself, try not to let anyone pressure you into being something you’re not. You are in control of building your own brand and you know you best.
Nick: WMMA has come a long way in a short amount of time. Since you have recently made this journey what one piece of advice could you give to fighters working their way to the professional level?
Brooke: Don’t rush it. Everyone is going to tell you to go pro after you have 2-3 Amateur fights, but experience is valuable. Try to get as much experience as you can as possible before you go pro. You’ll feel much more comfortable and confident when you go pro if you get cage/ring time.
Nick: Who is your favorite MMA or WMMA fighter past or present?
Brooke: I really enjoy watching the Diaz brothers.
Nick: If you could pick your next fight who would it be against? Why?
Brooke: I would like to fight Anastasia Yankova because I think it would be entertaining for the fans.
Nick: Brooke have you submitted to the takeover?
Brooke: This is Brooke “The Bully” Mayo and I have submitted to the takeover.
Brooke made it very clear that she would like to thank her coaches, training staff, team, family, and friends. She would also like to give a big shout out to all of her fans that have and continue to support her.
I have to say that I truly enjoyed speaking with Brooke. I can not wait to see her fight again and I know she is eager to get back in there as well. I wish her all the best.
Signing off for themmatakeover.com this is Nick Portella.