**Exclusive Interview with Cindy Dandois**

For those of you who haven't heard of Cindy Dandois as of yet you are truly missing out. I had the honor to do an interview with Cindy not too long ago and not only is she a up and coming Female MMA fighter from Belgium, but she is also an accomplished Judoka internationally. She has a great personality and was great to talk with during this interview. She is driven and continues to fight like a "Battlecat" every chance she gets. Cindy also has her sights set on one day fighting Gina Carano and Cyborg. So Gina or Cyborg if you are out there and you are reading this interview let me know what you think. Last but not least I just wanted to say Thank You one more time to Cindy for this great interview and for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this interview with me. So without further a due let's meet Cindy.

Chris: Where do you currently train?

Cindy: I train at two locations. I train in Amsterdam three times a week for the moment with Apy Echteld, Gegard Mousasi and Slamm and I train two times a week in the Gym of my brother in Belgium, Perfect Team.

Chris: What belts and titles do you hold?

Cindy: I haven’t got any belts yet but I was two times the Belgian judo champ under 70kg (154lbs) and I am also the champion of Belgium FILA grappling.

Chris: Give me a day in your life.

Cindy: I wake up at 6am in the morning, prepare myself and my kids. I bring my children to school and I go for work. I am a teacher (French). After my job I go to pick my children, bring them home, and I go to training. I come back about 11pm, I prepare my schoolwork for the next day and I go to bed about 2.00am then I do it all over the next day.

Chris: What is your training regimen like?


Monday - I do some fitness.
Tuesday - I go to Slamm in Amsterdam to train with Apy Echteld and the guys :-)
Wednesday - I stay in Belgium and I train MMA in the gym of my brother.
Thursday - I go to Slamm in Amsterdam to train with Apy Echteld and the guys :-) Most of the time it is boxing or whatever I need to work on.
Friday - I stay in Belgium and I train MMA in the gym of my brother.
Saturday - I go to train in Leiden with Apy Echteld in the gym of Gegard Mousasi. Most of the time I work on my ground skills.
Sunday - Is my day off :-)

During school holidays I drive to Brussels for some BJJ and grappling lessons.

Chris: If you could train with one person who would it be?

Cindy: With my manager and coach Apy Echteld. So I guess I am lucky :-)

Chris: How does it feel to have an undefeated record?

Cindy: It feels very nice but I do realize myself there will be a day I will meet a girl at the wrong place at the wrong time. Everybody will lose one someday, that isn’t such a big problem if you can raise your head up, learn from it and go on...

Chris: Tell me what your thoughts were when you made your MMA debut against Marloes Coenen and won?

Cindy: Of course I was very happy, I was surprised she didn’t knocked me out. I thought she was stronger and I was surprised I enjoyed it that much going in the ring. I didn’t realize before I could fight already on that high of a level. I saw the fight with Marloes rather like an opportunity to find other fights. The first time I made a judo drop I thought... this can’t be that easy???

Chris: So if you had the chance to fight for Strikeforce is that something you would be interested in doing?

Cindy: Regarding the fact that it is my dream to fight Gina Carano one day, it would be great if Strikeforce would let me fight for them. Knowing it is one step closer to my biggest goal!

Chris: You have said in other interviews that your goal is to fight Gina Carano, what are you going to do if she doesn't come back to MMA?

Cindy: I would be very disappointed because I always had the feeling Gina has fighting in her heart. But if she doesn’t come back, I will keep on training to one day get a shot at that nice SF-belt they have over there :-)

Chris: You have stated in your recent M-1 interview that you would like to fight Cris "Cyborg" Santos but that there isn’t a lot of women left in her. Does that concern you? how would you train for a fight with "Cyborg"?

Cindy: What I meant that time is that she does really look like a man, and she does hit as hard as a man. She has got no boobs, a lot of muscles and arms more strong then her husband’s arms. Nobody can deny that, I only wasn’t afraid to say it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t respect her. That’s just the truth!!! It doesn’t concern me at all however. I know she is very strong, she is at this point the number one in the sport that I love so very much, and it would be a challenge to fight her one day. If I get that opportunity, I guess I would talk with my coaches for a good strategy and game plan. I also think I would stop my job for a while to have more hours in the gym, knowing that it will be necessary.

Chris: Who has been your toughest fight to date and why?

Cindy: Marloes Coenen was my toughest, because she hit the hardest :-) Also it was my first fight so that is always a challenge!

Chris: Who do you look up to in Women's MMA and why?

Cindy: I look up to Gina Carano and what she has done for women MMA!!! I also look up to Fedor and Mousasi, my favorite male fighters :-)

Chris: What do you think about adding MMA to the Olympics? I know you are big into Judo and it is an Olympic sport so I would like to get your feel on this topic.

Cindy: That would be awesome!!! Look wrestling at the Olympics isn’t that hot anymore, I think a lot of people would like to see a new sport, a new challenge!!! Judo is a very nice sport, but to limited. MMA does have it all. Boxing, wrestling, karate, judo throws, grappling, submissions, It would open the people’s eyes that it isn’t just some barbarian sport to hit each other till someone bleeds etc... It would be clear for everybody you need hard training and technique to win in an MMA fight.

Chris: Who do you think has the best stand up in Women's MMA today? And why.

Cindy: Germaine de Randamie for sure. Look at her boxing record that's why :-). After Germaine I would say Erin Toughill, she hits really hard. She is one of my favorite fighters!!!

Chris: Who do you think has the best ground game in Women's MMA? And why.

Cindy: I think Shayna Baszler, I saw her already doing great ground stuff :-)

Chris: How did you get the nickname "Battlecat"?

Cindy: I always adored cats. My mother called me Kattemie when I was younger. Kattemie was a girl living on a boat with 40 cats :-) That was really something for me. Then my brother made battlecat from that when I started with MMA. I always give 100% for a win. I give everything in myself like cats do when they fight.

Chris: What advice would you give to other women who are just starting out in MMA and want to be a Pro Fighter one day?

Cindy: Stay yourself and search for a coach, manager who gives you the feeling that they support you. I am happy every day that I have my brother and Apy Echteld and M-1 to support me. I wouldn’t change my coaches for nothing in the world!

Chris: What is one motto you try to live your life by each day?

Cindy: If you want something, you have to put all your energy in it. A winner is made by hard work!

Chris: What do you like to do outside of fighting?

Cindy: I guess the things all girls like to do :-) Shopping, hanging around with my girls and kids, movies, my animals, and my job of course. Being a teacher at my school is fantastic!

Chris: What is the last book you read?

Cindy: Music in my head. That’s a book about loverboys :-) a real girl story

Chris: Any sponsors or people you would like to thank?

Cindy: I would like to thank m1-global for all the interests they show in me. I would like to thank my manager and coach Apy Echteld, for all his time and support and for believing in me.
I would like to thank my brother and my teams with whom I can train with every day. Also Semih, Kuku, Gegard, Ino, Milton, Dave, Chris, and the rest of the boys who are there every day :-)

Cindy: Thanks Chris for this interview.
Chris: The pleasure was all mine Cindy. Thank You for this great interview.

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