Sponsor The Fighters' Fighter Feature: Nicola Barke
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from?
My name is Nicola the Burmese Python. I am a professional, well acclaimed combat athlete. I have achieved a World Title in Taekwondo, World Number 2 ranking in Lethwei (bare knuckle burmese boxing) and British Kickboxing Title. My fight name is representative of my heritage, my Mother being Burmese and my fight style aggressive and fearless as the Python.
2. Why do you fight?
I first started fighting at the age of 16 after transitioning from ballet. I practiced and competed in National ballet competitions for many years and performed at the Royal Ballet Dancing Academy. Despite this, I didn't feel ballet was my forte in life. When the opportunity came to change sport, I decided to choose the most opposite, hoping I'd have greater success -
which I continue to prove true today.
3. Do you have any hobbies outside of fighting? If so, what are they?
Outside of fighting, I work full-time in global digital banking and love trying new sports, whether they be on land, in the air or in water!
4. What is one piece of advice that has helped you in your fighting career and/or life?
One piece of advice I would give is - enjoy the journey and however big the struggle or challenge may seem, never lose hope.
5. Which brands would you want to work with?
Honestly, I would be happy to work with any brand that has a good, strong, positive message to share with others. I want to work with a brand I am genuinely invested in.
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years time I see myself with the Kickboxing and Lethwei World Titles.
7. What do you want to achieve through training and fighting?
I want to achieve the best for myself inside and outside the ring. To follow my dreams and live life to the fullest, enjoying every moment whilst making precious memories along the way.
8. Is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to?
I'd like to thank my Mum for travelling every continent and country to support my dreams and be the brightest smile in the crowd. I love you so much! I'd also like to thank all those who have supported my journey over the years: coaches, team mates, sponsors, friends, family and fans. It makes my journey all the more special and I am grateful for each and everyone of you.
9. What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is: boats are safe on shore, but that's not what they are made for.
10. Do you have any upcoming fights?
My next fight will be in 2021. I was involved in a life-threatening car crash at the beginning of the year and recently dislocated my knee. The road to recovery must not be rushed and I am incredibly fortunate to be alive. This year has been focused on rehab but I am confident I will come back stronger than ever before - watch this space.
That is the interview with Nicola! Please go follow and support her here on Instagram and here on Facebook!