Exclusive Interview: Julie Kedzie

By Percy Crawford


Exclusive Interview: Julie Kedzie

I love Showtime!

Boxingtalk recently caught up with Julie Kedzie who is preparing for her Elite XC debut against the popular Gina Carano. Kedzie discusses what she has to do to defeat Carano as well as the evolution of woman’s mixed martial arts. She also loves Showtime. Check it out!

PC: How has training gone for your fight against Gina?

JK: Training is going great except that I’m here now because of scheduling conflicts I’m here in Mississippi without my corner man or my trainer, but you know that will change I’m sure. I will find somebody to train with. I’m good at latching on to a group of people and fitting in a group.

PC: Do you feel like you’re being overlooked in this fight?

JK: I’m not sure. It’s kind of a split thing; like Gina is getting a lot of exposure and media attention and I honestly in my heart don’t think that’s a bad thing. She is a very beautiful girl and talented, so it’s good for somebody like that to kind of be a figure head and to bring attention. She’s brought a ton of attention to our sport with only 3 fights, but at the same time, I know a lot of women who have put their time in and maybe don’t get the attention. I honestly wonder if I should get any attention at all considering some of the talent in the sport that has been overlooked. I also don’t really like getting attention. I don’t mind being considered an underdog or anything. It’s really not a problem for me. I almost prefer it. It gives me something to work for.

PC: Who approached you with this fight and why did you choose to fight under Pro Elite?

JK: Debi Purcell contacted me about this fight and she’s actually a very good friend of mine; one of the first people I’ve known when I became a fighter. She contacted me and asked if I wanted to fight for them and I heard of Gina before and I thought she would be a really good fight for me. We were about the same weight, she’s a bit heavier, but she’s taller than me. I knew of her through mutual friends; thought we would be good training partners some day. I was like, that’s cool, I’m going to fight this chic; that would be fun. It turned out it was for Showtime and Elite XC. It was huge. It seemed to be a good opponent at first and now it’s a good opponent in this huge arena and huge show; that’s exposure, so I was like ok! Some people get intimidated by that, but it’s a blessing I think. Debbi was an extremely talented fighter. She was amazing. One of the top woman fighters. She’s now my manager.

PC: Gina is very good on her feet. What are some of the things you feel you have to do to defeat her?

JK: Probably get in close and get her to the ground. I want it to end fast. I would like to stand with her. I don’t think people are aware that I have some pretty tight hands, but I think she will have a reach on me. I don’t really want to get into a kicking fight with a Thai boxer. I have some pretty good hands. I’m not maybe the most technical fighter; I’ll be the first one to say it. I think I bring a lot of aggression and a lot of strength to the fight. I’m a very athletic fighter. My ground game is actually pretty good. It’s not the best, I’ve been tapped plenty of times to know that, but it’s a tight ground game. I’m not easy to finish on the ground anymore. I’ve gotten a lot tighter thanks to my new team I’m on.

PC: This fight is expected to be fought at close quarters. Do you think this fight can steal the entire show?

JK: Ah yeah! I think any MMA show where there’s a woman’s fight …yeah I think we could steal the show definitely. We both will fight our hearts out, I guarantee that. I think people underestimate us and kind of look at it like, it’s just chicks fighting and then they see it and its like, “They can fight, look at them hit!” Most people say they don’t want to see women get hit, but once we start in an ideal situation, we go out all the way. I just hope people see two really good fighters.

PC: A lot is made of Gina’s looks, but you are a very attractive girl as well. What made you want to fight for a living?

JK: Hey thanks! I can’t sing or dance. I was always involved with martial arts and I was in Taekwondo for a very long time. The school I was training at in Bloomington, In., which is a really great place, they emphasized cross training in Taekwondo, so we had to learn a ground game and Tae boxing. I felt the most comfortable and most uncomfortable because I was pushed; they were so hard on me. I loved it because they were hard on me. I think that fighting is one of the hardest things you can do. Anybody can get in the ring and say they’re a fighter, but to be a fighter is way different. That was my goal, to be considered a fighter. And now after what, 12 or 13 fights, I actually see myself as a fighter. It’s a step up. Do I see myself as the best fighter in the world? Hell no, but I see myself as a fighter now. That’s what counts. I have one goal accomplished, now I have to be the best, right?

PC: You have an English degree as well. How much longer do you see yourself fighting before you go into something maybe in that field?

JK: I think the advantage of being a fighter and being able to read and write is having that diversity. The advantages of having it is I think I can bring my background in the literary arts and stuff like that into what I do. One day it will be wonderful to write about fighters. I would even like to do like training manuals and things like that. It’s good to have an outlet, so when I can’t enter the ring with my fist, I can enter it with my word. I think I’ll be around this stuff forever. I can’t stay away from it.

PC: How far has woman’s martial arts come for you to be in a showcase fight on Showtime opposed to when you first started fighting?

JK: Oh my god, I have to say I love the first show I fought for and I will always love that company the Hook-N-Shoot company, but Showtime is an amazing accomplishment. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but this is huge. Look how far we’ve come. I mean look how far I’ve come personally, but that would be bragging (laughing).

PC: I’m really looking forward to this fight. Thank you for your time. Is there anything you want to say in closing?

JK: I would love to thank Showtime and Elite XC for their support. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say BoDog, but I would like to thank them because they did wonderful things for me. Jeff Osborne with Hook-N-Shoot, Debi Purcell and of course my trainer James Clingerman.


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