“I never feared strikes”.
Coming from grip sports, Eva Dourthe has made a successful transition to MMA. And after years on the European circuit, she’s stepping forward galvanized by the prospect of her first home challenge.
Eva Dourthe could have dedicated her life to judo. She was even on her way to become very good at it. When she was 21 years old, the young soldier had already spent 17 years on the tatami. But neither a black belt or successes at French championships were able to satisfy her passion to fight.
“It was hard because I thought it was the only thing I knew how to do”, she remembers today, at 35 years old. “I loved what I was doing, but I felt like something was missing.”
The missing ingredient? Strikes.
“I needed a little challenge. I wanted to punch. I was never afraid of striking.”
So it began for Eva, after being in the French Navy, practising rugby for several years as well as English boxing and jiu-jitsu. This proved a perfect platform on which to start training in mixed martial arts.
“Then, when I went to live in Paris. I met Johnny Frachey, and that’s how I ended up at NR Fight to practice MMA. We have a nice group of girls there.”
Her judo background proved very useful for mastering the “body shapes, grips and imbalances” needed for MMA and Eva quickly rose to become European Beatdown champion.
“I’m just missing a fight in France”.
An experienced athlete after several years of practice, Eva Dourthe now considers herself a complete fighter, despite a slight “deficit in boxing”: “I can successfully challenge a lot of girls standing up, but my boxing is not particularly technical.”
However, MMA is now fully part of her lifestyle, as in addition to her daily workouts, the former judoka teaches martial arts in the military. “When I was in the navy, I used to go on missions for several months. I toured all of East Africa and all of the Eastern Mediterranean. But now I’m a teacher, specializing in combat sports. There are only two women doing this in France. With all of the terrorism attacks that the country has experienced, self-defense training has become really popular.”
On January 22nd, Dourthe be more at home than ever, a prospect that delights her. “I’ve been on the circuit for a few years now, but I’ve always fought abroad. Fighting in France is what was missing.”