SBG’s Aisling Daly Talks About Upcoming TUF Season
As if exposure to some of Straight Blast Gym’s finest MMA talent hadn’t been enough recently, with SBG Ireland fighters selling out arenas in Europe, picking up Performance and Fight of the Night bonuses at will, and scheduled to fight in UFC PPVs in Las Vegas, we are about to be treated to seeing one of SBG’s top talents on our televisions on a weekly basis. This Wednesday, 10th September will see the new season premiere of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter. The 20th season will see 36 115lb women compete for the chance to be crowned the UFC’s first women’s strawweight champion. SBG Ireland’s Aisling Daly did more than enough to impress in the try-outs for the show last year, and now has a chance to join her SBG’s Ireland team mates on the UFC roster.
Aisling Daly is one of the most seasoned pros in the line-up for this season’s TUF, with a professional record of 15-4 stretching all the way back to 2007. For most of that career, the prospect of one day competing in the UFC was highly unlikely, with the women’s division only being introduced in December, 2012, and then, only at bantamweight. Regardless, Daly’s passion for MMA has always been about more than a shot at the big time:
“Before the beginning of the women’s division in the UFC I didn’t see UFC as a possible goal in my career time, I have always loved fighting and competing and I started at a time when MMA was unpopular in general, and not just female fighting. I never needed approval from anyone. Long term, I figured I would continue to compete and enjoy fighting, but ultimately it would a glorified hobby and I would need to make a living by other means…
“The most attractive aspect of mixed martial arts to me is the level of competition. I have always been a competitive person and I see MMA as being the ultimate form of physical and mental competition. I am never concerned with my opponent and see each bout as an opportunity to test myself.”
Despite the attraction of competition driving Daly’s MMA career, actual competitors were often hard to find, particularly early on. Eagerly picking off competition as it arises, Aisling Daly has been a pioneer at the forefront of women’s MMA domestically and internationally for her entire career. Having made her professional debut on the same night as team mate Gunnar Nelson, who already has four UFC wins under his belt, and having been one of the most experienced names in women’s MMA since that night, it is fair to say that Daly’s arrival at the UFC has been a long time coming. Her vast wealth of knowledge and experience should stand her in good stead going into TUF, and there is no reason why the next time the UFC returns to Dublin, she won’t be joining her Straight Blast Gym Ireland teammates Conor McGregor, Gunnar Nelson, Cathal Pendred, and Paddy Holohan in victoriously raising the tricolor.