The MMA 2023 calendar has kicked off in explosive fashion, so many exceptional bouts have been laid before us to outdo 2022 and the violence is set to continue.
ARES has already laid the foundations for one of its biggest years to date, which could see one of the UK’s most explosive talents Melissa Dixon claim Bantamweight gold with the promotion.
I caught up with Melissa as she prepares for quite possibly her biggest test to date this year at the Dome de Paris.
Melissa ‘No Mess Mullins’ Dixon (5-0-0) is an English professional Mixed Martial Artist currently competing in the Bantamweight division, representing Lion’s Gym Coventry. Melissa has competed for Golden Ticket Fight Promotions and ARES Fighting Championship.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today Melissa and to congratulate you on your explosive entrance to the ARES FC roster.
You’re very welcome.
Currently, on a 2 fight-win streak with the French promotion, you have made your intentions known that you look to take the roster by storm.
You seem to have settled into your new promotion, how does it feel to be part of such a fast-growing organisation like ARES FC?
“To be fair, when I 1st entered the convention around the contract with ARES, I had no expectations. no knowledge of what I wanted to do or what was expected of me, or how far I’d go there, I was just happy to get into a fight. When I fought there I was just so excited, I kind of overlooked everything and the experience. It wasn’t until I managed to reflect on my first win of what I managed to experience as a professional fighter, the step into the leagues of the higher platform. It’s so different to the average UK show, shall we say, that unfortunately doesn’t have the funds behind it. The 2nd time stepping into the promotion was very different, I got to absorb everything and enjoy it a lot more, just because I knew what to expect. Going into the 3rd one, I’m gonna be a lot more relaxed.”
In such a short amount of time, they really have made waves on the MMA scene, with acquisitions such as yourself, to ex UFC fighters. It really must be a great place to be.
“Yeah, 100 percent.”
Nothing is set in stone as of yet, but the fans could be seeing you make it a hatrick of walks in the Dome de Paris in the coming months.
To my understanding, you’re waiting for a contract to be signed to hopefully fight once again in March?
“I don’t know if I’m allowed to announce anything on social media yet, but I have signed a contract for the April card, to fight for the vacant Bantamweight title. So I am now contracted into that fight, they actually put it on Tapology for the fight in March, but it will be in April. That was just an error. They’ve put me as the Co-Main-Event for March, so hopefully in turn, I’ll be the Co-Main-Event for the April show. The contract is signed and I’ll be hopefully, well, likely to be bringing the title home with me to the UK.”
Fight fans know, especially the UK circuit, that you have always pushed yourself to the limit to be fight ready at all times, training and coaching consistently awaiting the call to competition.
How have recent preparations been going for another trip to “The City Of Light?
“I don’t think my training ever slows down tk be honest, I think I’m quite consistent across the board. Work stays timetabled throughout the week before the fight, so in regards to preparation, I can’t say it’s been any more. All I can say to that comment is as a growing athlete and a developing athlete, I’m improving. I’m adding to my game and I’m adding to my dictionary of knowledge. Based on my opponent’s footage, she’s a 12-5 fighter and has a lot of footage out there, ao we will start working out a game plan that works in my best interests towards her. Saying that, gameplans don’t particularly work very well hahaha, as the story is told very differently on the night.”
Absolutely, it’s a completely different kettle of fish when you collide on the night.
If all goes to plan, you will be set to take on Gisele Moreira for Bantamweight gold, a vet on the professional scene with 17 fights on her record, and Quite possibly your biggest test to date. Was this the opponent you were hoping for when receiving the call from the ARES team?
“Against someone that is 12-5, 17 against someone that’s only had 5 fights, I wasn’t expecting to be paired up to someone that’s also competed on Dana White’s Contender Series. I think if this win comes my way, it’s gonna be a massive statement, so, of course, I’m gonna be jumping on the opportunity to beat somebody of such a calibre. I never know who I’m gonna fight because, for me, I’ve always been someone who says yes to any fight. To fight someone like this, that they believe I’m ready, it makes me excited, I’m fully game.”
As an undefeated fighter, many will believe, especially in the UK, that Gisele is the underdog.
Your future looks bright in the French capital, as you continue on your path on the pro circuit, remaining undefeated since starting your journey back in 2021 with Golden Ticket Fight Promotions.
Have you set out any personal goals as the MMA 2023 calendar year kicks off?
“So I’m 32 this year, which is, I believe, not a great age to be so new into your career. You’ve got all the younger girls coming through from the UK like Dakota Ditcheva, Megan and Levi, they’re all like a baby’s in the game you know. I started this game back in 2016, and with that, I’ve had 3 major injuries now, knee reconstruction, a broken hand and most recently a broken nose. Having time off has held me back, so in reality I’ve maybe had a year to 2 years off, so I’ve not actually been in the game too long, I also didn’t have a combat background. So not that I wanna rush, not that I feel that I’m not ready yet but obviously the UFC is where it’s at. I could step into other platforms, but at my age, after this, my career is coaching. So the noise to be heard is in the UFC, obviously, the fights are there as well. To just fight, I would go anywhere, but my age is a massive factor as to why I’d like to go to the UFC. Because with the UFC comes more noise around your name, and with that noise comes more money. So away from the fighting, sponsorships will help what I hope to build a better future for myself and life in the future. If it doesn’t come, it doesn’t come, it is what it is, I enjoy fighting anyway but just the bonus of money would be nice. To help build a bigger and brighter future, not only for myself but towards what my intentions are past retirement.”
All towards developing something of the up-and-coming animals you have coming through, they really are deadly nowadays.
“Haha, we’ve got quite a good lot coming through at the moment for such a small gym, I have to agree.”
It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today Melissa and I wish you all the best for your career in Paris.
“Thank you very much dude.”
My pleasure Melissa.
Last but not least do you have a message for the readers, and anybody you’d like to give a shout-out to?
“Anyone reading this, I appreciate you getting this far down into the interview and finding out a little more about Melissa Dixon, and what I’m about. If you’ve watched my fights you can see I’m an entertaining fighter, if you look at my Tapology all of my fights are via TKO/KO in the 1st round. If you are someone aspiring to step into the sport, it will only help grow the sport and make it bigger. I’d like to say thank you to Big Watch Bros, Cahill Contractors, Josh Merrit and LoLoLu’s Cupcakes for sponsoring me and helping me on my journey. Big thanks to Lion’s Gym Coventry and my coaches Rajinda, James and Brandon Carter Boxing. You guys are helping me be the person that everyone supports and what they aspire to be.”
Keep a lookout for upcoming announcements from ARES FC, and be a part of one of the UK’S most stand-out competitors’ journey in the French capital, Melissa is a true inspiration to aspiring fighters, no doubt about it.