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MMA UK Interview with Jade Barker

On Top Promotions announced their sixth fight for “March Madness” at The ON-X Leisure Centre in Linwood on Saturday, March 10th, 2018. Fee Chrystall (Griphouse) will face Jade Barker (Gym01) in a professional strawweight fight. MMA UK spoke with Jade Barker leading up to her bout.

MMA UK: You have a purple belt in BJJ and Taekwondo 4th degree black belt, how long have you been training in martial arts?
Jade Barker: I’ve been training in Martial Arts for around 21 years. I started Taekwondo at the age of 5 and eventually reached my 4th degree black belt. I started getting into MMA at about 14 and knew it was something I really wanted to do! At 17 I started training at a local MMA class which wasn’t great and eventually shut but thankfully managed a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club up the road and was hooked! I’m now a Purple belt in BJJ.
MMA UK: What drives you to compete/fight at this point in your life?
Jade Barker: Martial Arts has been with me for the majority of my life and I absolutely love all aspects of training! I train hard and strive to keep improving and enjoy putting my skills to the test!
MMA UK: On Top, have you fought for them before? 
Jade Barker: I haven’t fought for On Top before however a few of my teammates have! They all speak very highly of the show so I’m looking forward to experiencing it.
MMA UK: You mentioned your opponent is very skilled, how have you been preparing for her?
Jade Barker: I’ve seen my opponent compete before and know she is very skilled and athletic. Funny enough she reminds me a lot of myself. I’ve been training incredibly hard and making sure I’m preparing for all possibilities of the fight.
MMA UK: Can you talk to us about Gym01 and how long you’ve trained there?
Jade Barker: I’ve been training at Gym 01 since it opened in 2011! We have a really solid team not just MMA but BJJ, Kickboxing and boxing. Regardless of what you are training in everyone is on the same level and there’s a large amount of respect between the students. Teamwork makes the dream work!
MMA UK: How do you feel about promotions like Bellator and UFC creating more divisions for women? How important is it for women to have added weight classes to avoid dangerous weight cutting? do you/have you struggled with scary weight cutting in the past?
Jade Barker: I’m very happy that several organisations have added more weight divisions for women, our bodies are very different compared to men’s and it’s important we’re not doing these extreme weight cuts. I’m quite in tune with my body and know what I can and cannot do so thankfully have never had a bad weight cut.
MMA UK: You’ve mentioned you like to put on entertaining fights, whats your favourite finish? any that you love drilling that looks fancy?
Jade Barker: My favourite finish of all time was Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz 1, so would love to finish that way. And of course everyone would like a walk off KO which would be amazing but I just enjoy putting on a show which makes people talk and remember you and your performance!
MMA UK: Your dad was a big part of your MMA journey, taking you to “power ranger classes” and showing you your first UFC bout. What does he say about how far you’ve come along? will he be at your next fight with On Top? 
Jade Barker: I know my entire family are very proud of what I have done and am very thankful they have always supported me. When I wanted to sit indoors and watch t.v after school my parents would always make sure I went to my Taekwondo classes and I’m very glad they did! I’m sure my family will all be watching and supporting from home!
MMA UK: How have you been tested already in the MMA game, and how have you been able to push through?
Jade Barker: Every fight in the female division is a test! There are no ‘easy fights’! You always know that your opponent must be a tough girl for wanting to get in there in the first place. All I can do is continue to improve physically and mentally so on fight day it all comes together!
MMA UK: Any shout outs to your team or sponsors?
Jade Barker: Huge shout out to my husband Sean and my BB8, my friends and family. Thank you to the entire team at Gym 01 and SC Vital Fitness! I’m looking forward to putting on a show!
You can follow Jade on Twitter @jade_barker01.