By Caoilte de Barra
Flyweight prospect Dee Begley is looking to secure her first win as a professional MMA athlete and build upon the experience she learned as an IMMAF amateur.
Following her stint as an amateur, Begley opted to turn pro and found herself travelling to Montreal, Quebec for her debut. Across from her stood a 6-fight pro in Corinne Laframboise. Despite a valiant performance, the Irish fighter walked away with a loss to the Canadian.
Training out of SBG Ireland, Begley will compete in her 2nd pro bout on the Clan Wars 40 card on March 21st. Her fight against Indra Davis will historically serve as the promotion’s first-ever pro women’s bout.
She made her IMMAF debut as a Flyweight at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships, however, the Irish representative lucked out in the opening round to eventual gold medalist, Michele Oliveira (Brazil).
The loss did not discourage Begley as she went on to pick up a championship title on the national scene before entering the 2018 IMMAF-WMMAA Unified World Championships. Begley’s second World Championship bow saw her move up to the bantamweight division. The opening round saw Begley matched with 2017 IMMAF featherweight World champion, Fabiana Giampa (Italy).
Begley finished the Italian in the 2nd round via TKO/KO. The improvements made in the space of a year were evident. Riding the momentum of her opening-round victory, Begley drew 2017 bronze medalist Karoline Hulkko (Finland) next. A dominant display saw her advance to the semi-finals, securing a medal position.
The semi-final did not go to plan for Begley, losing to eventual winner LaNeisha Vinson (USA). Despite the result, she did not leave empty-handed, contributing to the Ireland medal tally alongside SBG and IMMAA teammates Ryan Spillane and Lee Hammond.
The experience of winning a medal in IMMAF and competing at that level was an important part of Begley’s development and transition from amateur to pro.
“The IMMAFs are the highest level of competition for an amateur in MMA and to be able to test myself at that level and medal was a big achievement for me,” Begley told IMMAF.org.
“I really believe every amateur MMA fighter who’s thinking about turning pro should test themselves at the IMMAFs first, the experience you get from fighting people with such different styles is invaluable!”
She is now preparing to fight on the Emerald Isle for the first time as a pro. This time around Begley will be hoping to return to the success she tasted like an amateur and create more promotional history at Clan Wars 40.
Image credit: Gym+Coffee