Athletic Women Magazine Blog

Features, News, Coverage on Athletic Women

Category: Combat Sports

Interviews and photos of women in combat sports. Includes mixed martial arts, boxing, ring girls and related topics.

CJ Schouten – Fighter and Self-Described Nerd

 

In the ring, CJ Schouten may be a fighter, but outside the ring, it’s a different story.

“I’m pretty much a huge nerd when I’m not punching things. I absolutely love playing with Lego. I have a rock collection.”

CJ Schouten – Stats

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5-4
  • Fighting Weight: 125 lbs
  • Walking Around Weight: 137 lbs
  • Fight Record: 3-0 (kickboxing)

Were you athletic growing up and if so, what sports?

When I was 7, my brother started Karate. Being the younger sibling thinking he was super cool, I absolutely had to as well. At 11-years-old I entered my first tournament and got hooked on competing. For the next 10 years I heavily competed in Karate, earning my black belt and a place on the Canadian National Team.

What motivated you to start training and eventually step into the ring to fight?

I’ve been in martial arts all my life. It’s more than just loving the sport, its simply a part of me. When I was in post-secondary (first a B.Sc. in Geology from UBC, then an Adv. Dip. In GIS from BCIT) I had to take time off training, and although it was necessary to get me to where I am today, there was always something missing. Just over two years ago, I stepped into Lions MMA and knew I had to get back in the ring. I haven’t looked back since.

What are your goals as a fighter?

“To transition into MMA. To be the best, not just compared to others I compete against, but the best against myself.”

What is your profession/job?

GIS Technician for the City of Vancouver, Park Board.

Favorite female fighter and why?

I actually don’t have one… There are a handful where I can appreciate their skills and respect what they have done to get to where they are but I couldn’t name one as my favorite.

CJ Schouten kickboxer in the ring with arm raised in victory

CJ Schouten for the win

Your home is burning down. You can save only one item. What do you save and why?

“My baby blanket. Yes I said baby blanket. It is pink, fuzzy and has a unicorn on it. I’ve had it all my life.”

Best gift you’ve ever received?

I got a Century Bob XL a few years ago and it’s set up at home. Great for taking things down a notch and working on some specifics.

Anything else that you would like to add?

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the support of my coaches and teammates at Lions MMA. I am grateful to be a part of this team.

Where can we see more of you?

YouTube for highlights of CJ’s Nov 2017 victory

Instagram – Although this is mainly pictures of my dog. He is my lazy fur baby.

Tiffany Conama – MMA Fighter

Next to Hulk Hogan as “Mr. Nanny,” MMA fighter Tiffany Conama just might be the toughest nanny out there. Considering The Hulkster only played one on the screen, we’re going to have to give the edge to Tiffany.

“I am a Nanny. I have been since I got out of high school. It pays really well and I am my own boss and can make my schedule work around training, which is my priority. I also teach at my gym.”

Let’s start with your stats.

I’m 21, 5-3, about 130lbs everyday weight and fight at 115lbs (strawweight).

What’s your fight record?

4-1.

How did you get your start fighting?

I started jiujitsu when I was 17 – a senior in high school!

It wasn’t until after I started training that I learned about MMA. I had no idea it ever existed, although I do have a vivid memory from about 12 years ago when I was very little, flipping through the TV channels and stopping on a televised fight.

A man was up against the cage and a ton of punches landed on his bloodied face on a yellow canvas. It traumatized me without a doubt. And then years later, here I am doing the exact thing!

But who doesn’t want to travel the world and fight people? I’ve had so many amazing opportunities to travel and that’s always been a huge passion of mine.

Were you athletic growing up?

I was. I did cheerleading and softball, but I wasn’t really passionate about anything until I found jiujitsu. But I had always been aggressive and would play fight with cousins and mom.

 

MMA fighter Tiffany Conama posing in the ring with her championship belt

Tiffany Conama, AMA 29, Vancouver BC 2017

 

What are your goals as a fighter?

To be the best! Top ranked fighter in UFC or Bellator. But I want to just be able to train stress free and not have to work. Just travel, fight and learn! I want to be able to inspire people and entertain them.

Favorite female fighter and why?

Rose Namajunas. She’s always been a favorite of mine even before she won the belt. She’s got the best no fucks given attitude and knows what she wants. We also have a similar body type/fighting style so I get a lot of inspiration from her.

What’s one thing about you that people would be surprised to know?

Probably the fact that I work as a nanny for those who know me as a fighter. For everyone else, the fact that I’m a fighter is definitely something that surprises a lot of people.

What three words best describe you?

Driven, adventurous and a self-sufficient badass.

Most exciting/thrilling thing you’ve ever done in your life?

I’ve done a quite a few things. I must say getting into the cage is the most exhilarating thing I’ve done. There is no other feeling than that walk to the cage and getting your hand raised; knowing everyone is watching you and all the hard work, the hours of training and the sacrifices are all worth it. Just knowing I’m living my dream.

Three things (no people, pets or friends) you can’t live without?

I’m not very materialistic, so I’ll have to say my team/gym, my car and I admit, my phone, considering it’s never out of my sight.

Anything else we should know about you or that you would like to add?

Just that I am extremely thankful and blessed to be able to live my dream and inspire others to do the same. No matter how hard you might think it is, being happy and doing what you love is the most important thing!

Highlights of Tiffany’s fight at AMA29:

YouTube 

Follow Tiffany:

Instagram

Facebook

Facebook Athlete Page

MMA Fighter Jessi Brennan-Dalton

Look out Justin Bieber. MMA fighter Jessi Brennan-Dalton is gunning for you and she’s going to kick your ass! When asked to name an annoying celebrity that she would like to go a few rounds with in the cage, Canadian pop star Justin Bieber topped Jessi’s list.

“I would like to go a few rounds with Justin Bieber. I would put him in a headlock and noogie him until he agreed to treat women better and stop being such a punk.”

Smart money says the MMA fighter over the annoying pop star in two rounds.

Jessi Brennan-Dalton is an up-and-coming MMA fighter with her eye on inking a contract with the UFC by her 25th birthday. Not only can she handle herself in the cage, but she brings a marketable look to the table, a valuable commodity in today’s world of social media likes and sharing.

Following is our Q and A with Jessi.

How tall are you, how much do you weigh and what is your weight class?

I’m 5-4.5, I walk around at about 135 lbs to 140 lbs and my weight class is 125 lbs.

Date of birth?

January 24, 1992

What is your profession?

I’m a dog groomer by day and an MMA fighter by night! I keep the furry, four-legged of Vernon, BC clean and stylish!

Do you remember the first time you were punched in the face and what that was like?

I don’t remember the first time I was punched in the face, but I remember the first time I took a serious hit in the cage. Luckily it was only on the forehead, but it was quite hard and it made me really angry! I tend to be an emotional fighter so all I could think about was getting her back!

When was your first fight, where and what was the outcome?

My first fight was against Veronica Charters in Merritt, BC through the Unified Combat League. I won by TKO in round one.

What is your fight record to date?

My fight record to date is two wins and a draw.

What motivated you to train and become a fighter?

Like a lot of people in this sport, I started off in karate. Some of the boys and I would go to class early and “rough house” on the big crash mat. I heard about an MMA club in town and decided to give it a try and I was hooked!

How easy or hard is it for you to get fights?

It hasn’t been too difficult to find fights so far. I think agreeing on a weight has been the more challenging part.

Are there enough local women out there to keep you fighting in British Columbia?

I’ve only had three fights and I only know of a couple other amateur women in the area. It may be challenging to find fights down the road without having to travel outside of the province.

What is your sports/athletic background?

I’ve been doing sports all of my life. I started off in gymnastics, ballet, tap dancing, and jazz at four-years-old. From there I moved into soccer, volleyball, basketball, and then karate in my last year of high school. When I discovered MMA, I quit karate and started bodybuilding alongside of my new found passion.

Favorite fighters from both the men’s and women’s side?

I don’t really follow men’s MMA, but from what I’ve seen of Chael Sonnen he puts on a good fight, he’s charismatic, and I can appreciate a good sense of humor. For the ladies my favorite fighter is Leslie Smith. I don’t think that girl even knows how to frown, and she’s incredibly tough.

Have you ever had a real life encounter where you had to use your fighting skills?

“I’ve never been in a real life situation where I’ve had to use what I know. The thought does cross my mind though, when I’m possessed by road rage!”

Where can we see more of you?

You can find me on Facebook at my public page, Jessi Brennan-Dalton; make sure to like me!

Do you have a sponsor or anyone in particular you would like to thank?

I would like to thank JH Construction and Excavating LTD. for their contribution. The owner of the company, Jason Hadath, is a valued member of our team at Intrepid MMA and his generosity is greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank Pauline Davidson at Davidson Photography for doing such awesome work with me! Pauline is a great photographer who works in the local circuit. She often volunteers her time at events which shows how truly passionate she is about MMA, fight photography, and supporting the local fighters. I owe my biggest thanks to our coach, Richard Dubois at Intrepid MMA, for making all of this possible for me.

See footage of Jessi fighting in the ring YouTube

Originally published February 2015