by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Recently women’s MMA has found itself center stage once again with the up and down rollercoaster ride the AFL has gone on, EliteXC’s recent additions, and the return of mainstream sensation Gina Carano to the scene for her most recent fight.
One well-known name has been absent from much of the recent media swell has been BodogFight and EliteXC veteran Julie Kedzie.
Since making her last appearance at Battlequest in April, Kedzie has remained off the radar, and she’s eager to change that before the end of the year.
“I was helping Michelle (Waterson) get ready,” she said of the bulk of her summer activity. “She’s had three fights this summer; but I’ve mostly been training and waiting for offers.”
Originally it had been announced that Kedzie was one of the plethora of female signings the AFL had made for its fall push, but with the rollercoaster status of the promotion, it is unclear whether or not she’ll actually get a chance to fulfill that obligation.
“I don’t really know what’s going on with the AFL,” she admitted. “They had been in contact not with me directly, but with my manager Gary, and as far as that’s concerned, he hasn’t really talked to them in a while.
“My contract with them we made sure is open-ended so I can fight in other places. If they offer me a fight first, great; if someone else offers us a fight first, great.”
Kedzie admits that sitting out the remainder of the year is not an option.
“I’m used to fighting four or five times a year, and this year I’ve only fought twice, so I’d like to fight again before 2009,” she stated.
“You train around all these people who are always preparing for fights, and you really want to get yours in too.”
Watching not only her own teammates succeed, but also other female fighters get press for their recent activates, could possibly be upsetting for fan favorite Kedzie, but in truth she has a more positive outlook on all the attention women’s MMA has been getting.
“From the point of view of wanting to fight, it’s frustrating, but I feel that any gain for any female fighter is all of our gain,” she admitted. “I think that the more girls who get out there and get their faces out there, the better for all of us, including myself.”
When she does finally get a chance to step back into action, Kedzie says the time off she’s had will shine through in her game.
“You’ll see a tighter game from me,” she stated. “I think I’ll look more like a (Greg) Jackson-prototype fighter; with better defense, offense and ring generalship.
“(The time off has) been good for my growth and development. Now I’m fixing all the little things in my game that I would have put aside to just to focus on one fight in particular.”
With goals including becoming one of the top 135-pound female fighters in the world, as well as building up the Jackson’s women’s team, the coming year looks to be Kedzie’s time to cash in on all the recent publicity and make a more prominent place for herself on the worldwide stage.
“Don’t forget about me, people,” she closed out. I’m still out there and training my ass off.
“I want to say everybody should definitely tune in to the WEC to see my teammates fight; it’s going to be amazing. And thank you to Tapout and everybody at Jackson’s.”