Charlie Burke 1-5-0 is an English amateur Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Bantamweight division, representing Trojan Free Fighters Gloucester. She has competed for UKFC, Evolution of Combat, Meltdown Fighting Championships, and is set to make history in the UK’s first Women’s Professional Submission Only Jiu Jitsu Invitational on August 20th in Southampton for Enyo.
I’d like to start things off by thanking you for taking the time to speak to me today Charlie, and also to congratulate you on your recent addition to the Enyo submission-only grappling invitational.
I hope training has been going well in the build-up to this highly anticipated event?
“Training has been going well! I train all the time and have some great teammates and coaches helping me grow as a martial artist. I have other comps coming up before Enyo so I’m already preparing. I will also be training with other females from other gyms as well as my own to make sure I am ready.”
Enyo has put together one of the most stand out events to date on August 20th. This being the UK’s first women’s professional submission-only grappling event, the ladies of Combat sports will get to showcase their prolific arsenal’s.
What does it mean to you to be a part of this phenomenal card in Southampton?
“I was actually shocked to receive a message! I was so excited and of course, jumped at the chance. First UK women’s professional sub only comp? Yes please! I know the show has received a lot of interest so to be able to compete on their first ever show is incredible. It means a lot to me and thank you to the team behind Enyo for giving me this opportunity to showcase my skills.”
Each and every athlete in the fight game has a story to tell on how they entered combat sports. To give the fans a bit of insight leading up to August 20th, what first attracted you to the brutal yet exhilarating world of mixed martial arts?
“I kind of fell into BJJ and MMA. I’ve always been sporty since being a kid, so I knew I would have a sporting hobby growing up. I always had an interest in kickboxing and wanted to find a gym. I walked into a gym and saw people rolling on the floor and I was so confused. I stuck with it despite being a bit dubious and 6 years later I am still here and loving it! I think I’ve stuck with it because I get to challenge myself every day and I am continuously learning new skills. I use mixed martial arts as my way of meditating almost! I switch off from everything else in the world and just train. The BJJ and MMA community is incredible and I have made so many friends and been given so many awesome opportunities. I’d be nuts to give it up!”
You are set to go head to head against fellow blue belt Tiia Barkham, with the BJJ scene being such a tight-knit community, fellow competitors have had opportunities to witness each other in action at opens and invitationals across the country.
Have you had the opportunity to do some research on Tiia before you face off against each other, what do you make of your opponent for August 20th?
“I’ll be honest I don’t know Tiia and I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to roll with her or see her in action. I don’t research any opponent, my coaches do that for me. I always like to concentrate on my skill set, and this time won’t be any different. Plus, people change and improve all the time so she won’t be the same athlete that she was months ago. I’ll just be doing me and bringing the best possible version that night, and I am sure she will do the same.”
Without giving too much away what steps have you been taking to make sure you walk out with your arm raised on the night?
“The hard work will show. I know my capabilities and strengths. That’s all I’m saying for now!”
No stranger to the MMA scene, fans have had the opportunity to witness you in action against some of the best the amateur scene has to offer. Charlotte Cooper, Lauren Bellis and Kate Bacik just to name a few.
Looking back on your time in the cage for some of the best shows the UK has to offer. Is there a particular moment that will always stand out for you?
“There are so many times that have stood out. My win is an obvious choice and I will always remember that feeling. One other time that stood out was when I fought on Meltdown Fighting Championships against Shauna Bannon. I lost the fight and I remember feeling low but when I looked up and saw all my family and friends shouting that they were proud of me, I suddenly felt proud of myself and blessed. I had just fought a girl who went on shortly after to win the IMMAFs at the World Championships. I should be proud! I also formed a friendship with Shauna after the fight which was a bonus!”
Last in MMA action back in October 2021 at the absolutely stacked Battle Arena Gloucester card, your fans will be wondering whether they’ll have the opportunity to witness you back in action in the proverbial lion’s den.
Is it a probability that one day this will come to fruition?
“I am looking at October for my next MMA fight. I am waiting for a match to be confirmed. I was meant to fight in April at Meltdown Fighting Championships but I, unfortunately, suffered an injury 2 weeks before fight night. In the meantime, I will be keeping busy with BJJ comps, Enyo in August, and just training my backside off.”
Looking forward to your sub-only grappling match, many phenomenal athletes are set to take centre stage at Central Hall. Other than your inclusion on the night are there any matchups or competitors you are looking forward to witnessing out there?
“I’m actually looking forward to watching the purple belt matchups. That’s because that colour belt is my next goal. Looking forward to watching Violet Bennett. She’s an absolute class act to watch and is a really nice person.”
I wish you all the best for August 20th Charlie and I look forward to witnessing you out there.
Last but not least do you have a message for the fans that will be in attendance and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?
“Just a shoutout to all of my coaches and teammates at Trojan Free Fighters, thank you for pushing me every single day! Big shoutout to my daughter Evelynn who is my biggest motivation. I can’t forget Emily Hughes (my biggest fan). Also, big thank you to my sponsors House of Envy, Ell Torres Tattoos and Kenny Tea Tattoos.”
Tickets are still up for grabs for this landmark of an event, it’s definitely one for the callender. Book tickets here