Immortality has always fascinated people and the idea of surviving even the mildest life relatively unscathed is more of a notion than a strategy. My next guest is a quintessential kiwi – humble, hardworking and talented in many ways. She’s also the 1st (of many) Womens MMA fighters to grace the pages of The Ultimate Writer!
#TheUW – I’m very lucky to be talking to the 1st Invicta Fighting Championship fighter ever to come from Aotearoa, Faith “The Immortal” Van Duin!
#TheUW – Welcome Faith and thanks heaps for catching up with me!
I feel humbled and appreciate your interest in talking with me and thank you [smiles].
#TheUW – Tell us about the moment you were signed to InvictaFC, was it a call or a txt, or was it in a meeting? What was that moment like?
I had a few management teams who said they can get me oversea deals but all teams wanted me to sign with them before they secured a deal, except for one who actually got the deal with Invicta before I signed with him.
After all the contracts were signed and it was officially announced [that’s the moment] it all sunk in that my dream of aiming for the World Championship Belt was one step closer!
#TheUW – Tell everyone a little about yourself, before you were “The Immortal” who were you, and when you get home from the gym at night, who are you?
I am a mother of two beautiful girls before, during and after becoming “The Immortal” and they have always been my motivation. My passions besides MMA.. I love fishing, diving, 4X4 off-roading, cooking and being with family and friends.
#TheUW – You’ve recently changed camps and you’re training with Shuriken NZ Welter-Weight Champ Kelvin Joseph, what’s it like training with “Crazy Horse” and how do you think the change in camp has been a benefit to you heading into your InvictaFC 10 fight?
Changing camp before a debut in a major show like Invicta is madness and has been very challenging. As I have only changed camp in the last three weeks I believe the choices I have made thus far have secured my destiny and I know that Kelvin is a man to take my training to the next level along with my wrestling coach (Mark Greyling), Boxing Coach (Hemi Niha), Judo Coach (Kevin Kavanagh), Muay Thai Coach (Regy Yamat).
#TheUW – Definitely in good hands! Last time I checked there was no official opponent for your InvictaFC debut (there has been a rumour but Invicta are yet to confirm). It’s the fashion these days in MMA to call out opponents, so is there anyone on the roster there that you would like to take on?
At this level I don’t mind taking on anyone in the top ten but the opponent I want is the one that holds my World Championship belt.
#TheUW –Good thing for Cyborg she’s chasing Ronda Rousey down to 135!
#TheUW – Tell me a bit about your camp, what have you been working on and what do you think will be your strengths come fight-night?
My camp just started 2 weeks ago and what we are working on will win me the fight lol. Like I said before I know my new trainers are going to take my skills to the next level and come fight-night I will show what a Warrior Woman from Aotearoa can do.
#TheUW – Lately in MMA there’s been a lot of talk about weight-cutting and how good or bad it is for combatants. Obviously weight-cutting is not new, and it’s certainly not limited to the world of Mixed Martial Arts. What are your thoughts on the practise and what do you think are the pros and cons of weight-cutting and the road from the scale to the cage?
Personally my weight cuts have gone well and getting easier, as everyone has different methods and bodies. The pros and cons will obviously vary but it’s up to each individual and their team to do it safely.
#TheUW – Recently a lot of New Zealand MMA fighters have been getting a lot of exposure internationally with the likes of Dan “The Hangman” Hooker making his debut in the UFC and but Mark Hunt and Jamie Te Huna main-eventing cards that played to milllions of people via the UFCs digital streaming platform, Fight Pass. What’s it like to have your name in that conversation as the 1st WMMA fighter from New Zealand to be taking the next step internationally?
To be mentioned and noticed worldwide along with Dan, James and Mark is a great achievement but to be the first WMMA fighter from Aotearoa (to be signed by Invicta) is phenomenal and crazy!
#TheUW – Women’s MMA is huge right now internationally with the UFC having just started their new season of iconic reality show “The Ultimate Fighter – #TUF20 | Beauty and Strength” which features an all-female cast (except for Coaches – UFC Fighters Gilbert Melendez and Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis) for the first time in the history of the shows 20 seasons. What’s it like to know that MMA is a realistic and viable career for you (and potentially any woman) if you can be among the best in the world?
I think that this has opened the door for all WMMA fighters and it is about time! As for a career in this sport unless you’re the champion it is difficult financially as I am a single mother of two, work full time and it is hard to find any sponsors to help with the costs, especially being a woman (and) from New Zealand.
#TheUW – Obviously WMMA has made it to the mainstream overseas and you can’t help but see people like yourself as the pioneers of the sport becoming more main-stream in New Zealand. What do you see as role of the Women’s MMA fighter and champion?
The reason I got into MMA was to set a goal and show my daughters that with hard work and belief in yourself anything is possible as the saying goes “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the Stars” As I have had a few women and also men who have already said they have been following my journey and been inspired and motivated makes all the hard work worth it more.
#TheUW – Who are your role models? Both in the cage and out of the cage.
Trevor Salang for his aggressive Muay Thai style, Jon Jones for his fighting abilities especially those elbows, Joseph Parker because he is amazing in and out of the ring just so humble. Israel Adesanya because he is The MAN!
My gorgeous Nan Ihapera Tango for being a strong amazing Warrior Woman. My sister Sarah Van Duin for her unconditional support and love. My mum for leading me and showing me all things are possible. My uncle who I call dad, Stephan Tango just for always being there. My brothers Jo and Jay for being there for me and my girls. My sister Lavinia for being a secret passionate supporter and many more of my family and those who have gone on have shaped and molded me into the woman and mother I am today.
#TheUW – You train in Tauranga, what a beautiful place to put in hard work! What kind of edge do you think you have by training in a smaller coastal town? Other than all the hours of sun! 🙂
No doubt Tauranga is an awesome place and hill sprints up Drury overlooking the sea is a great start to a Sunday morning. I think the only edge I have is personal because I love the sea and I draw a lot of inspiration and power from it.
#TheUW – If people want to keep tabs on your training and career, where can they do that?
They can go to:
#TheUW – Any last words? 😀
First off I would like to thank you for your time.
A big thank you to my daughters for putting up with everything I do. I would like to thank my coaches Regy, Kelvin, Mark, Kevin and Hemi for all stepping up and helping with my journey and I appreciate everything you do.
I would like to thank my Manager Chris Vender for securing the Invicta contract and believing in me along with Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp.
Aunty Lucy Tui for helping to kick-start my MMA career and continued support.
My Warrior Muay Thai Team, Hybrid MMA Team, TKO Boxing Team, Mount Marlin Wrestling Team, Tauranga Judo Club, thank you all for helping me get ready and Scott Coburn for welcoming me into the Martial Arts Academy in Tauranga.
Special shout out to my latest sponsors GMP Guitars for coming on board!
Paul and Anna my supplement sponsors from Mass Nutrition for their continued support and friendship!
Colourworks Screen Printers my T-shirt sponsors and Lisa Newlands for her unconditional support.
To all my family and friends a big thank you for their continuous support and Love!
Last but not least all my followers thank you all for being on this amazing journey with me!