Small in size, big in confidence
Standing at 165cm and weighing 48kg, mixed martial arts (MMA) competitor Kirstie Gannaway is not particularly big.
But the 24-year-old assistant instructor at Evolve MMA exudes confidence.
In her debut fight at One FC last November, she beat Malaysian Adek Omar in 2min 34sec with a submission, she says in a phone interview with The New Paper on Sunday.
Miss Gannaway, who is born in Singapore and has lived here most of her life, is gearing up for a second One FC match on March 13.
Besides training six days a week, she is cutting weight in order to be in her weight class (atomweight).
She says: "I try to get as much training as I can, although I respect my body and also try to rest. I continue to train four to six hours a day and we always try to progress in everything."
She adds that her coaches push her in areas that need work, be it wrestling, Brazilian jiujitsu or muay thai.
She is anticipating the upcoming match.
"I am glad I have a fight that is coming soon. I had time to take a break and get back to training - and come back strong. It is good, I am excited.
"I have been training hard for it, so I hope it goes as well as the first fight," Miss Gannaway says with conviction.
There is a growing interest among women in the sports of boxing and mixed martial arts.
MMA favourite Gina Carano is now a Hollywood star. And last month, a 14-second fight between Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano last month at UFC 184 grabbed headlines.
Miss Gannaway welcomes the idea of having more MMA female fighters, she believes more talent is good for the sport.
To women looking into taking up the sport, her advice is simple: "Do not care too much about your appearance. Everyone has a starting point. Just enjoy, have fun and learn from it."