The pride of the islands
A proud representative of New Caledonia, where her heritage is rooted, Stéphanie Ielö Page will be representing her people in the cage at HEXAGONE MMA 8. Her main weapon, honed by years of practice, is her kickboxing.
With each of her victories, Stéphanie Ielö Page proudly wraps herself in the blue, red and green flag of FLNKS, New Caledonia’s Kanak independence party. The 34-year-old fighter does it to represent her mother’s origins which are reflected in her middle name, which “nobody pronounces correctly”. “They follow me a lot over there. As it is a small overseas department, they are very happy to be represented. I know that my fights are often in the newspapers.” Far from her roots, Stéphanie Ielö Page was born and raised in Brest, where she still lives and trains today at the Boxing Lab. “For a while, I lived in Paris, because it was easier for boxing. But two years ago, I came back to Bretagne, and we created this club”, she said. Before successfully converting to MMA, the Caledonian striker had already reached the highest level of martial arts, winning five world championships in Thai boxing and four world titles in K1.
“Outside martial arts, I’m a fishwife”
Inevitably, her performances in the cage were preceded by long hours of learning wrestling and jiu-jitsu, two disciplines “completely unknown” before her transition.
“My first MMA fight, I lost on an arm lock, but I had never experienced ground and pound before. So I said to myself, ‘Maybe we’ll have to insist on that,'” she smiles today. “It’s still a weak point, but since then I’ve adapted my boxing to it. My work in training relies a lot on dodging takedowns.”
To continue her progression and optimize her fight camps, Stephanie Ielö Page is also fortunate to have a very advantageous work schedule. “Outside martial arts, I am a fishmonger, so I do the markets in the morning. When I came back from Paris, I was looking for a job, and I thought I could try this. But I didn’t know anything about it, so I started from scratch. I had to learn how to make the nets and to recognize the fish! The advantage is that my boss is very understanding. When I ask her for a few days to go and fight abroad, she always agrees.”