The Italy-Florida time zone doesn't scare us and therefore ...
Here we are with the interview with Mara Romero Borella, the only Italian fighter to compete in the UFC, the world's largest promotion in the MMA sector.
Mara writes to us from the American Top Team of Miami, where she trains to fight her encounters with her in a cage.
1 - How did you get into combat sports?
I approached combat sports at the age of 3, starting to practice judo. It was “a family thing”, in fact my brother and my sister started this wonderful sport with me.
2 - What was it like to switch from Judo to MMA? What did you have to change in your approach and training?
The transition was not easy, in judo we had the kimono, and the "purpose" was to throw the opponent to the ground or immobilize him. When I tried MMA the situation was completely different, there was a lot of standing striking that I didn't know, so I had to insert many new workouts and recover everything I was missing.
3 - Can you tell us about your typical training week at the American Top Team?
My typical week changes according to the period of the year, off competition or in camp. An example outside the camp is this:
Monday: Wrestling in the morning and Boxing in the afternoon.
Tuesday: Sparring in the morning and Athletic training in the afternoon.
Wednesday: Muay Thai / MMA in the morning and Jiu Jitsu in the afternoon.
Thursday: Sparring in the morning and Athletic training in the afternoon.
Friday: Jiu Jitsu in the morning and Muay Thai in the afternoon.
Saturday: Light Sparring.
4 - What are, in your opinion, the characteristics that reward a fighter of your level?
Consistency, resilience, and continuing to believe in your dreams.
5 - Do you remember your first meeting in the cage? How was it? What were you thinking about?
I remember it very well!
I was not yet used to punches and I wasn't very good at throwing them, I was just trying to grab the opponent to throw them, but doing so I took lots of blows.
6 - What is it that pushes you to fight and how do you keep your femininity in balance with the warrior spirit that you carry in a cage?
I have always had the warrior spirit, since I was a child and even more so after what I have been through in life. The feminine side has always been important, my mom gave me the desire to love and like each other. These two aspects coexist: during work, which is training, the warrior part prevails; outside the gym my feminine side is always alive.
7 - What is the best experience of your sporting life? Is it personal?
The two matches that have marked my career are the one against Lena Ovchynnicova in Ukraine, and my UFC debut with Kalindra Faria. In my personal life, the best experience was getting up after everything that happened to me.
8 - Imagine being in your favorite restaurant, away from training, what would you order?
If I were in a restaurant far from training I would like to eat: first 4 cheese dumplings and second course cutlet with fries :-) Sweet ... I miss tiramisu ... but also panna cotta!
9 - A classic question for you too. You told us your favorite Syform product is Thermo Xtreme: when do you use it? What sensations does it give you?
I always use Syform products, both in and out of camp. My favorite product is the Thermo Xtreme, I take it 30 minutes before training, it gives me energy and I feel that I have an extra charge than usual.
10 - What do you see in the future of Mara Romero Borella? Do you imagine yourself as a coach?
As my brother always says, I write my future. I would like to be an instructor in American Top Team, it would be a big dream, but I also have other dreams / projects. One is traveling around Italy, bringing my experience and organizing something on a female level, to bring female MMA to the top in Italy as well. Another is to go to Honduras and create social projects to train the children.
11 - Do you leave us with 3 tips for those who want to pursue a career as a fighter or MMA wrestler?
1. For girls: if you want to do this sport don't listen to those who say it's a sport for men. Here in America this does not exist but I know that in Italy they still often say it. If you like a sport and it makes you feel good, practice it and don't listen to anyone.
2. Don't give up when there are dark times, keep believing in yourself.
3. If you really want to pursue a career, look for a real team that allows you to get ready for pro.
There are now some good teams to start in Italy.
Mara, thank you for taking your time.
See you in the next cage!