Team Alpha Male flyweight, Brooke Mayo, is looking to make her Sophomore appearance for Viacom’s brand of MMA, as she is scheduled to tangle with Kaytlin Neil at Bellator 183, on September 23, 2017. Mayo made her promotional, and professional, debut in an all out war with Veta Arteaga back in February, at Bellator 172, and after sustaining a huge hematoma over her left eye in the 3rd round, and despite her frantic pleas to continue, the doctor recommended that the fight be stopped. Before hopping back in the Bellator saddle, Mayo caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss whether or not a doctor stoppage was warranted, dishing out spankings in Combat Jiu-Jitsu at EBI 12, and how a fasciotomy indirectly sent her down the martial arts path.
Tune in to the Bellator 183 main card live on Spike TV, Saturday night at 9:00 P.M. ET with the prelims streaming online at 8:00 P.M. ET.
- Dropping pro/promotional debut, by 3rd round doctor stoppage, to Veta Arteaga at Bellator 172:
“From that fight, I learned a lot about myself, good and bad. There’s a lot of holes in my game that I needed to patch up. So, I took the opportunity to come move up here to Team Alpha Male and work on my wrestling, footwork, boxing, and all of the things I needed back home, but wasn’t getting.”
- After the fight, you publicly stated that you believe the fight wouldn’t have been stopped had you not been a female. Do you still feel the same way?
“The crazy person I am, I still stand behind what I first said. Everyone gets upset when I say this, but being a female, you are looked at differently. I don’t blame an individual for that, I think it’s natural for men to have this sensitivity, I feel like, towards women, which is good. It’s a good thing, but in those moments, when I’m like, ‘come on, let me fight,’ to me, I was like, ‘come on, 50 something seconds left. We were close to finishing the fight.”
- Did you sustain any serious damage to your eye?
“They were tying to say crazy stuff like there was possibly bone fragments in my eye, whatever. When I went to the doctor, they were like, ‘it’s a hematoma; you have no concussion; you have no broken bones.’ I was almost like more mad, like dang, I wish I actually had something wrong with me. It’s my job, as a fighter, to be equipped to handle any situation in the cage, and obviously I took more damage than I should have.”
- Silver lining:
“I just feel as if it was somebody else, they may have let it go. Maybe if it was someone who had some more professional fights in her career, maybe they’re looking at it like, ‘she’s only had 1 professional fight. Maybe we don’t her to screw herself up, or her career up, for this particular injury.’ So, I can see both sides of it. There’s definitely a lot of layers to the stoppage if you look at it.”
- What was the big takeaway from making your debut?
“As tough as it was to lose, and in the way I did, I think it shows that I’m game, and can take on fighters in the top 15. I bit off maybe a little more than I can chew, in my pro debut, being that it was on the main card against someone that was ranked in the Top-15 flyweights right now in the division. I really like the fact that I was that game to take on such a tough challenge, and it shows me where I’m at already, so early into my career. So, there were a lot of positives with what happened.”
- My mother, the most casual of casual MMA fans, happened to catch your bout with Arteaga, and after watching you plead with officials, urging them to not stop the fight, you became her favorite fighter. Now, when I scroll through social media, I see her liking your posts, and I must admit, it throws me off, haha. So, mom says hello, and wants to know how you discovered martial arts?
“Tell her I said hello; that’s awesome! What led me to martial arts was, long story short... One day, I was like, ‘ok, I’m going to go buy a bike.’ I went to the bike shop, and my friend, well now my friend, was there and he had cauliflower ear, his name is Derek, and he was like, ‘hey, you want to buy a bike?’ I was like, ‘yeah, do you wrestle?’ He was like, ‘no, I do Jiu-Jitsu.’ So, he gave me the address to Ralph Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Dublin [CA], and that’s when, I was hooked on Jiu-Jitsu. I just came up on 3 years of Jiu-Jitsu the other week in August. So, that’s kind of what led me to MMA.”
- Fasciotomy sidelining soccer scholarship:
“I played soccer since the age of 5, and got a scholarship to Saint Mary’s College. So, that was my primary sport before I ever trained martial arts. I didn’t know Karate, Tae Kwon Do, nothing, just soccer, basketball, and all those sports. Midway through my freshmen year in college, I realized I had compartment syndrome, where my muscle got too big for the fascia, so both of my lower legs, I had to get a fasciotomy. I had to have the fascia open up so my muscle could expand. After that surgery, I was still having problems, still stubbornly tried to fight through, and still tried to play, and it just wasn’t working out. I wasn’t able to keep up with the pace I was before, so after I quit soccer, I was on this search to find a workout, or just something to keep me busy because I was bored with all the free time I now had.”
- Competing in Combat Jiu-Jitsu against undefeated Bellator flyweight, Ilima Macfarlane, at the Eddie Bravo Invitational 12:
“OMG, I loved it! To be honest, I really, really like Combat Jiu-Jitsu! I think it’s more of a realistic take on grappling because stylistically, sport Jiu-Jitsu, guys like to play in their guard, they like to play off their back, but when you add strikes into the rule set, it definitely changes the game. There's not a lot of inversion and Berimboling, and that stuff going on. You’re putting yourself in more jeopardy, so. When Ilima-Lei and I competed, it was cool because it was a clash of styles in a sense. She’s very, obviously 10th Planet nogi, and I’m very traditional Jiu-Jitsu, like you wear you gi and all that stuff. I interpreted the rule set slightly differently, haha, and maybe more aggressively than some of the other competitors, and I just really let my hands fly at certain points in the match. For my style, I think it’s awesome. I want to get into more Combat Jiu-Jitsu in my off time, if I don’t have an MMA fight coming up.”
- Now, there were some spankings going on in that match; you were really whacking her. Do you think it did more damage to your hand than it did to her?
“I need to give Ilima-Lei credit. She’s the one that was saying in a previous interview, we were kind of talking about what we were going to do, we were trying to hype up the match, and I was like, ‘I’m going to knock you out with a palm strike.’ I was trying to be all tough guy with her, and she was like, ‘I’m just going to spank your ass.’ I was like, ‘what?’ I was confused. I was taken back like, ‘what are you talking about; that’s weird.’ I laughed; I thought it was funny, and then we go to the rules meeting and she brings it up again. She’s like, ‘booty bongo contest; winner gets whatever.’ So, we get to the match, and in the first minute, she spanks me. I don’t know if anyone saw it because it was discrete, so when she went for her toe hold, I was like, ‘I’m going to do it.’ On the first one I hit her, and everyone erupted, so that’s what kind of encouraged me to keep doing it. It was funny because she kept loosening her grip, so I was like, ‘if it’s working, it’s working.’ I saw a lot of funny memes and GIFs and all that stuff, so it was pretty hilarious, but it was her idea.”
- Brooke Mayo vs. Ilima-Lei MacFarlane in an MMA match?
“I think it would be a good matchup. I don’t know what Bellator’s plan is, or what they want to do, but hopefully down the road we can see something like that. If we put on that exciting of a Combat Jiu-Jitsu match, why not see an MMA fight?”
- What are your thoughts on your Bellator 183 opponent Kaytlin Neil?
“I think she’s really athletic, she’s definitely much taller and has more range. I actually had watched her fight, when I was as an amateur, against Brieta Carpenter, who I fought as an amateur. So, it’s kind of funny; I’ve been following her a little bit. I just want it to be an exciting all out war. I want it to be entertaining.”
- Training at Team Alpha Male
“It’s been awesome to have Cynthia [Calvillo] and Sara [McMann] help me with this training camp. They’re definitely some of the best training partners anyone can ask for. They’re both Top-10 ranked in the world in the UFC, so I’m super happy with how my training is going. I’m feeling super confident and just super happy to be here.”
Watch Brooke Mayo wage war with Kaytlin Neil at Bellator 183: Henderson vs. Pitbull, from San Jose, California on September 23, 2017. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your MMA event coverage including interviews, play-by-play, highlights, and more!