Exclusive: Cory McKenna’s Journey To The UFC

Land of the Dragons Episode 1 – Cory McKenna

Wales’ first female MMA fighter to grace the octagon with her presence, Cory McKenna, recently took the time to sit down with The Scrap to deliver some insight into the journey she’s taken to get to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Having picked up Karate at the age of 10, McKenna quickly realized she had an aptitude for martial arts. This led her to begin expanding into Jiu-Jitsu, and then MMA.

From there, McKenna threw herself head-first into the sport. Her amateur debut came two years later, which she won emphatically by TKO. From there, an impressive 7 fight win streak in the amateur scene saw a Cage Warriors contract swiftly materialize. Mckenna’s Cage Warriors career started strong, with back-to-back wins. However, her third professional fight led to the first major speed bump in regards to her sporting career.

The loss clearly did motivate McKenna, who went on to finish her next two opponents in Cage Warriors. This got her the call up for Dana White’s Contender Series, where she faced off against then-LFA champion, Crystal Vanessa Demopoulos. A hard fought 3 rounds led to a unanimous decision for McKenna, and the UFC contract subsequently followed.

Kay Hansen was McKenna’s first opponent in the UFC. A fellow prospect, with a UFC win already under her belt. McKenna and Hansen went to war, in an incredibly close scrap. However, it was McKenna who walked away with her hand raised. Having now defeated a rising star, she is now focusing on taking down some established veterans.

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