Normally when Julie “Fireball” Kedzie is attending an MMA event, it’s either to fight or to support her teammates at Jackson’s MMA, but this past Saturday night, she took on a new role, that of commentator for the inaugural Invicta FC show in Kansas City, Kan.
“At first I was a little bit scared to be a commentator because I had never done that before,” Kedzie told MMAWeekly.com. “I had guest commentated on a couple of fights before, but never got a chance to speak up. This time I kind of took the reins and ran with them.
“I was freaked out at first, but once the action started and the ladies started doing their thing, I felt completely comfortable and really happy. Mauro (Ranallo) and ‘King’ Mo (Lawal) went out of their way to make me feel welcome and feel comfortable as a commentator.”
According to Kedzie, the event was second to none, thanks to the involvement of people like Invicta co-founders Shannon Knapp and Janet Martin.
“I’ve been competing in MMA for over eight years now, and I’ve done a couple of all-women shows, and this is really the epitome of professionalism,” she said. “The women competed, represented, and showed a lot of heart. I was overall incredibly impressed with the production value as well. It was a very professional show.”
Of the evening’s fights that stood out most to Kedzie, “The Kaitlin Young/Leslie Smith fight was to me the Fight of the Night. I knew that coming in because I know both of those girls as fighters, and they just threw down non-stop in the pocket for three rounds, all 15 minutes of just absolute heart and technique.
“The Jessica Penne/Lisa Ellis-Ward fight stuck out to me because of the absolute beautiful technique on the ground and how they flowed from position to position. Those two women tried to finish each other the entire fight. Jessica got the nod on it, but definitely Lisa put on a brave performance and did a good job.”
As for the show’s main event, Kedzie feels it was Marloes Coenen’s veteran skills that trumped her up-and-coming opponent Romy Ruyssen, earning her a unanimous decision victory.
“It just wasn’t Romy’s night,” said Kedzie. “It appeared that her game plan wasn’t adapted to cage work, because she kept getting stuck on the cage. She kept trying to pull guard to get the fight to her comfort zone on the ground, but I think that Marloes had superior wrestling and clinch work and was able to dictate basically where it went.
“I know some people may not be able to see the beauty of it, but Marloes did a very good job in the clinch with very technical work; overall she had a very impressive performance.”
As for her own career, Kedzie feels her options are as open as ever thanks to her experience at Invicta.
“As a fighter, I’m still signed with Strikeforce and am waiting on a call from them,” she said. “I do have an open contract and am able to fight on other shows with some restrictions.
“I do train other girls at the gym and help them out. I’d like to get some more commentary gigs. If people liked the way I spoke, I hope to do some more events in the future as well.”