‘This is my time’: Manchester’s Rosi Sexton in confident mood ahead of Europe’s first female UFC bout

By Paddy Dinham

Britain’s first female UFC fighter, Rosi Sexton, is confident of making more history this month when she competes in Europe’s first female UFC fight in Manchester.

Sexton told MM that she was confident of victory ahead of the fight which will be part of UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Munoz at the Phones 4U Arena on October 26.

The 36-year-old spoke to MM after honing her skills with Team GB’s taekwondo heroes on Wednesday ahead of the bout with Jessica Andrade.

“This is a dream come true for me,” she told MM.

“I’ve got the edge in terms of experience, I’ve been around in this sport a lot longer than she has and I think that’s going to come into play.

“She’s young, she’s talented, she’s got a couple of good wins on her record and she’s definitely going to have her time in the spotlight, but this is my time.”

Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones was amongst those putting Sexton through her paces in preparation for the fight.

The chance to train with the likes of Jones and exchange ideas with other disciplines would increase the chances of winning her first fight in front of a hometown crowd.

Gold medallist Jones took the session lightly as she recovers from a back injury which threatens her place at taekwondo’s inaugural Grand Prix starting on December 13 at Manchester Central.

The event is crucial to those taking part as it is the first chance for competitors to get some rankings points on the board to decide places for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Despite receiving an MBE in May, this year has been somewhat of an anti-climax for Jones following her magical win at London 2012.

She believes the lows of missing out on a medal at July’s World Championships were just the sort of inspiration she need to rediscover some lost motivation.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and beat some people up,” she said.

“I forgot why I’m here and was loving the Olympic glory and just having fun like any other 20 year-old would do.

“But I’m back to training now and back remembering why I’m here, I love the sport and I want to become a legend.”

Also at the session was taekwondo European Champion Lutalo Muhammad, who won bronze at London’s games after controversially being picked ahead of world number one Aaron Cook.

The 22-year-old Muhammad also missed out on a World Championship medal but says the Grand Prix contains the same fighters and is almost an exact repeat.

“I see it as a chance to get my sweet revenge,” he said.

“I feel like winning the Grand Prix will be very similar to the feeling of becoming World Champion because all the best in the world will be there all fighting for that Olympic spot.”

“The Olympics were very special because of the fantastic, tremendous support that we had, so was the European Championships so I’m really hoping to get the same sort of thing.

“The support makes the difference.”

Tickets to see Rosi Sexton take part in Europe’s first female UFC bout as part of Fight Night 30 on October 26 are £75 and available from Ticketmaster.

Tickets for the Taekwondo Grand Prix cost between £6.99 and £26.99 and are also available from Ticketmaster.

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