Nora Cornolle: the punch and the ambition
A fighter of the future with a strong character, Nora Cornolle sees far and assumes her ambitions. Forged by Thai boxing, the young woman comes to fight as much as to make a name for herself.
“My friends will say that I have my ‘Cornolle touch’. I am not someone who can be forgotten easily. Whether it’s in a good or bad way, people talk about me. I think I’m destined for great things, and I say that without pretension. But everyone should say that about themselves. And I hope I inspire that in others.”
Attitude, ambition, determination. Nora Cornolle knows what she wants and doesn’t ask for directions. Her sights are set on one destination – “the UFC”: “I’m sure I have the potential to go pretty far. If I’m in the right place, there’s no reason I can’t do it. I have all the attributes, in and out of the cage.”
Far from being feigned, the 33-year-old striker holds a deep confidence built through her accumulation of sports titles and personal experience. As a high-level Thai boxing fighter, she was first-of-all crowned European champion, before winning silver in 2022 at the World Games, an international competition for non-Olympic disciplines. This proved a consecration for the athlete who had by chance started practicing Muay Thai during a gap year in Thailand ten years earlier, while studying for her masters in communications.
“You won’t be able to resume your life as an athlete”.
Ultimately, it is mixed martial arts that she’s now dedicated herself to, and many observers predict that she has a bright future ahead. “Originally, I was just looking for new sparring opportunities, so I joined Cyrille Diabaté’s Snake Team. But once I got there, I was exposed to MMA training. I was doing a little bit of wrestling here, a little bit of ground work there. But I wasn’t ready to give up my sport.”
The turning point came in 2019. Due to serious health problems, Nora Cornolle took a long break and eventually resumed training … but with MMA. “I think what kept me going was the fact of having doctors telling me ‘you’re not going to be able to go back to your life as an athlete’, and at the end being able to get out of it.”
But in the cage, not everything was as simple. “In the beginning, it wasn’t natural for me at all. In Muay Thai, my style is based on moving forwards all the time. I’m not afraid to take punches. But in MMA, it’s not possible to do that! So I had to transform myself as a fighter. I had to learn to be patient, to adapt my reflexes not to go for immediate impact. The transformation is pretty much complete, even if there is still a lot to improve.