Christina Tatnell: The newest face of Australian WMMA

With the recent rapid growth of women’s mixed martial arts around the world, it is interesting to see the new rising stars of the sport. When you look at Australia, Tasmania specifically, Christina Tatnell will be the first name that comes up.

Tatnell is a 4-1 professional flyweight who is a veteran of VALOR. Her only loss came to INVICTA veteran Bec Rawlings who was known as Bec Hyatt at the time. Tatnell took that fight on a day’s notice. Ever since then she has been on fire, putting together a four fight win streak. She finished three of those four fights by TKO/KO or submission.

Remember her name; You very well could be seeing her on the next INVICTA FC fight card! Follow Christina on twitter @DaCreepyOne

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You already have four professional wins at such a young age, what got you started in the sport and what do you attribute your early success to?

I think the way I approach training is the key to my success. I want to learn everything I can and get better at everything that I learn. When I first started training, I did it because I was always at home bored and I wanted to prove family and friends wrong. I didn’t start training because I wanted to fight and I still carry that mindset today. I train for the journey and it’s not about making money or being famous to me. I enjoy the social side of fighting a lot and I have fun at training, even when it’s time to be serious.

 

The only blemish on your record is to Bec Rawlings. What made you decide to make your pro debut on such short notice?

I took that fight on literally 24 hour notice when I was only 18 years old. I’d only been training BJJ for 6 months and I had absolutely zero striking experience at the time. I remember it being weigh in day for the event when my phone started ringing and to my surprise and ironically enough, my current trainer Dan ‘Enson’ Hyatt was on the other end asking if I wanted to fight his wife Bec Hyatt the next day because her opponent couldn’t get past customs at the airport. I’d never even been on a plane before or even left the island I lived on at that point, so it was a lot to take in at first but I ended up taking the fight and I don’t regret doing it. I used to look up to Bec and think she was a good role model, so getting in the cage with her at the time was an experience in itself. I remember being petrified backstage, my body was shaking uncontrollably and the fight was over pretty quickly like many expected. I took a lot away from the experience though and I think its helped shape me into the fearless fighter that I am today.

 

Tell us a little about your relationship with Valor Fight Promotion?

VALOR is the only MMA promotion that does events in my home state of Tasmania and they’ve been a big support to me over the years, mainly I guess because I sell more tickets for them than most other fighters. VALOR also promotes WMMA fights regularly and some of the biggest names in Aussie WMMA have fought for them, I love it. I’ve spoken with lot of promoters about fighting elsewhere in the past but VALOR treats me much much better, so I’m always happy to fight for them.

 

What’s it like training with Dan Hyatt? Have there been any distractions due to the way the media has portrayed him in the past few months?

The only reason the media has portrayed Dan the way it has is because of a one sided story that has never been defended. He’s never responded to any allegations and because of that he’s considered guilty of everything! He’s pretty much been trialed by social media and hung out to dry by irresponsible media outlets looking for extra views. I’ve lived with him for 9 months now and he always finds the portrayals very funny. I support him 100% and so do the other female fighters that train under him. Dan is the best trainer and manager I’ve ever had and I will remain loyal to him, even if it costs me opportunities. I’ve received death threats and abusive messages for months now because I choose to train under him but now I just roll my eyes at it all.

 

You’re on a four fight win streak and with the growth of WMMA there are a lot more promotions that host women’s fights now then there were in the past. If you could choose one major promotion to fight in, what would it be and why?

Invicta Fighting Championship! I know they’re watching me at the moment and ultimately, that’s where I want to be. I believe that I can make it in their 125lbs division and as Invicta no longer has a marketable Australian face, I want to be the next Aussie girl to fly the flag! I’ve just turned 20 years old and I’m already running out of flyweights in my country to compete against…

 

Three of your four wins are by stoppage. Is that just your natural instinct to go for the finish or do you credit your training style?

I think it definitely comes down to my training style. I originally come from a gym that focuses on a lot of technique but not so much on the physical and competitive side of MMA. To anyone that has seen all five of my fights, I think the change in my approach would be really noticeable since I started training under Dan ‘Enson’ Hyatt. I now walk into the cage fearless and with the confidence that my opponent cannot do anything to me when compared to what I’ve had to endure during training.

 

When will we see you back in the cage again?

Who knows at this stage. I’m just being patient at the moment and waiting for a bigger opportunity to present itself. My main focus right now is working on my weaknesses and expanding my skills set. I want to be a complete fighter and if I can continue improving on each performance, bringing something new to the cage each time I fight, I think I’m on the right track!

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By: Spencer “PabloDiablo” Kirksey

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