DEIRDRE Begley rounded off 2018 in style.
The Bantry woman is a member of West Cork Kickboxing Club and SBG martial arts in Dublin, and she displayed all her skills and talent to win gold at the Irish International Open Jiu Jitsu championships held in Dublin.
Approximately 500 fighters travelled to the championships which attract the top fighters from all over the world. It is a very intensive competition held over two days.
Begley fought in the lightweight category against Swiss, German and Irish opponents.
‘It was really intense,’ she said, ‘as it was one six-minute round, so you have to be quick but have a good strategy.
‘I am used to three three-minute rounds in kickboxing and MMA, so this was a bit of a change for me when I started, but you adapt and get used to it after a while.’
Begley was delighted with her performance overall, especially in the final, as she was a white belt going into the competition, but as she competes in MMA she had to fight as a blue belt.
After her success at the competition her coach John Kavanagh – also the coach to UFC superstar Conor McGregor – awarded Begley her blue belt.
Next for the Bantry woman is her professional debut in MMA in the early part of 2019.
She would like to thank her sponsors, Gym + Coffee and Exceed Fitness, whose continued support has been invaluable.