Name: Michelle “Pressure” Preston Age: 35 Weight: 51kg – 54kg Gym: Elite Thai-Kickboxing (ETK) Trainer: Jason Suttie (6 x World Champion) Fight record: (52 Fights) 40 wins 10 losses 2 draws Titles: 3 World titles (1 at each of the following weights 51.9kg, 53.1kg and 55kg) • Multiple Iceania and South Pacific Titles Multiple NZ Titles Multiple Oceania and Asia Pacific Professional Boxing Titles. I also fought for a Professional Boxing World Title in Argentina at the end of 2012, which I lost on points but loved every minute of it
1. How long have you been training Muay Thai & what made you want to fight? I have been training Muaythai since I was 14 years old, My trainer was Neil Holden who runs a very successful Muaythai school in Warrington in the North of England (near Manchester where I am from). The School was under Master Sken an amazing Thai master who taught us respect in the sport, discipline, the history of Muaythai and traditions as well as a lot of Wai Khru Ram Muay’s. I was taught very good technique and really got the basics nailed before moving onto the flasher stuff, I think that this foundation really set me up for my Muaythai Career. There were 2 reasons I wanted to fight, firstly I went to see a friend of a friend fight and thought it was amazing and really wanted to try it – that’s what made me get into the sport and secondly I wanted to test out what I was being taught, I am still very much like that – if im taught something new I will practice and practice and as soon as I can I will try the move out whether that’s at sparring or in an actual fight.
2. What has been your hardest lesson? Sometimes you’re not going to get the decision you think you deserve, its how you deal with it that makes you who you are as a person and a fighter.
4. If you could fight anywhere in the world where would it be & why? Hmmm that’s a hard one, I love fighting here in NZ, having all of my Gym family, Friends etc there really fuels me, the same can be said for the UK, where all my mum and siblings are but if I had to choose 1 place it would be America (USA), they have a huge fan base for the sport there so the crowd would be awesome.
5. What is your favorite weapon? Teep (Push Kick)
6. Do you have any special things you do before you fight? Definitely, I am pretty anal about my routine on fight day, I have to layout all of my stuff on the bed before packing it in a certain order into my bag, I have to have a particular pair of shorts and singlet (the lucky ones lol) and I need to be at the venue very very early. I also like to watch a few fights before im fighting, it focusses me and prepares me for fighting. I don’t like a long warm up and I don’t like a rub down as it relaxes me too much. I always have the same fight song, which is can’t stop by the red hot chilli peppers, as soon as I hear that intro the adrenaline is full on and its playtime…….
7. Have you had any embarrassing moments? Not in any of my Thai fights, but I do remember in a boxing fight, I had these chest protector things popped into my sports bra and as I was moving around the ring they kept popping up out the top, it looked ridiculous lol
8. Your hardest fight & why? I fought in an 8 woman tournament in Holland and in my first fight, I was fighting the French Champion and she front kicked in the nose, so my nose got kicked upwards, it broke straight away and was spewing blood everywhere, the medic packed it with cotton wool, I carried on and won the fight. I went into the semi’s with a broken nose against the Greek Champion who of course played target practice with it and lost by split decision, it was so hard to breathe, every time I tried to breath out of my nose cotton wool came firing out – my face was munted at the end of it but even though it was hard it was fun and I remember it with a smile.
9. What do you think would be a good way to build women’s Muay Thai around the world? I think the fitness side should be promoted more along with the self-defence but also having interclub events for ladies to get started, female only sparring sessions, stuff like that where ladies can spar out of their comfort zones against other women will definitely get more ladies competing in the sport, as it gives pathways to progress from. Rochelle Stroh and I are running open sparring sessions under our Lethal Ladies banner and Female only events to try to help promote and attract more women to the sport, give them more confidence to step in the ring and fight.
10. Any advise to anyone one wanting to have their first fight? Hmmm I would say to anyone wanting to have their first fight a couple of things, firstly if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail – you have to put the work in, your fitness should be a given. Secondly, ENJOY IT!!!! It has to be enjoyable, otherwise whats the point right? Lastly, leave it in the ring, give 100% and have no regrets – least then you can hand on heart say you gave it everything and did your best.
Anyone you would like to thank?? OMG soooooo many people I would love to thank: • My trainer Jason Suttie for his hard work, wisdom and belief in me • Roger Earp another key trainer in my Muaythai career • Simon Rothwell and Richard Bruce for my Boxing, Strength and Conditioning Training • Chris Martin who played a big part in my Boxing career • The ETK Gym Family for all of the support and beatings over the years • My Husband, Family and Friends for all of the love and support • A special mention to Neil Holden who got me started in the sport (awesome trainer – highly recommend – based in the UK) • My Sponsor Malishus www.malishus.com – Get Inflicted • And all of the trainers, promoters, fighters and other people who have helped me over the years I honestly could go on forever.