From kickboxing champion to UFC fighter: Shauna Bannon’s journey to the Octagon. Learn about her transition to MMA and her upcoming debut at UFC London.
Nine years ago this week, a group of Irish fighters made their mark on the UFC. Led by the charismatic Conor McGregor, they took over the O2 Arena in Dublin and showcased their skills to the world. Among them was Shauna Bannon, a talented kickboxer who was oblivious to the MMA world at the time.
A Full Circle Moment
Fast forward to the present day, and Bannon is set to make her Octagon debut at UFC London. Coincidentally, the event falls on the day before the anniversary of the iconic UFC Dublin show in 2014, where McGregor famously declared, ‘We’re not here to take part; we’re here to take over.’ Bannon’s coach, Paddy Holohan, who was also part of the Irish takeover, will be in her corner for the fight. It’s a full circle moment for both of them, as Holohan becomes the first person from Ireland to coach a fighter in the UFC.
Kickboxing to MMA
Bannon’s journey to the UFC was not a straightforward one. As a decorated kickboxing champion, she had achieved success in the sport, winning multiple world and European championships. However, she realized that kickboxing didn’t offer the financial stability she needed to make a living. Despite her passion for the sport, Bannon decided to explore other options.
She briefly tried Olympic-style taekwondo but found it wasn’t the right fit for her. It was during this time that she crossed paths with Holohan, who introduced her to mixed martial arts. Initially hesitant, Bannon eventually embraced MMA and set her sights on the UFC.
A Long Road
Bannon’s journey to the UFC was far from easy. She embarked on a 12-fight amateur career, facing various challenges along the way. In addition to dealing with the pandemic, she also became a mother during this time. Despite these obstacles, Bannon remained determined to pursue her dream. She had her first amateur fight in 2019 and continued to compete while balancing motherhood.
After five fights in Invicta FC, Bannon made her professional debut in April 2022. With a perfect 5-0 record, she has proven herself as a rising star in the strawweight division. While some may question her readiness for the UFC, Bannon is confident in her abilities. She possesses a well-rounded skill set, comfortable in all aspects of the game, whether it be striking, grappling, or wrestling.
Shauna Bannon’s journey from kickboxing champion to UFC fighter is a testament to her determination and passion for the sport. As she steps into the Octagon for her debut, she is ready to make her mark and continue the legacy of Irish fighters in the UFC.
|Shauna Bannon, a former kickboxing champion, is set to make her UFC debut at UFC London.
|Her coach, Paddy Holohan, who was part of the Irish takeover of the UFC, will be in her corner.
|Bannon transitioned from kickboxing to MMA after realizing there wasn’t enough financial stability in the sport.
|She had a successful amateur career and made her professional debut in April 2022.
|Bannon is confident in her abilities and is comfortable in all aspects of the game.