The EFC has revealed the identity of the 10 female flyweight prospects from around the world that have been selected for the reality TV series, TF2 – The Fighter Season 2.
The women will live and train together, as well as compete against each other for a six-figure contract with the organisation and a guaranteed title fight with double-division champion Amanda Lino.
Coached by African MMA legend, former EFC champion and ex-UFC middleweight Garreth ‘Soldierboy’ McLellan and TF1 winner, the undefeated Brendan ‘Descendant’ Lesar, the 10 athletes are split into two teams, Team Soldierboy and Team Lesar.
Every episode contestants from each team will battle it out in the hexagon, with the loser being eliminated and the winner progressing towards the final.
The two coaches will also fight each other at the grand finale on May 4 to be televised live.
The 10 females from across the globe are:
Cornelia Holm – Sweden: 1-1 (pro record), 10-2 (amateur record)
Sweden-born and bred, Holm fights out of GBGMMA in Gothenburg. Her background in wrestling has brought her major amateur success, having won the IMMAF World Championships in 2016 as well as multiple European and Swedish titles. Looking to carry her success on in the pro realm, Holm is a hot favourite to win the competition with her striking and heavy pressure wrestling.
She said: “Joining The Fighter because it is time for the world to know about ‘Conny Future’, and it’s time for me to get a belt wrapped around my waist. I’ve had a rough year and it’s about time to change that, and make 2019 my year. I’m ready to showcase my skills, destroy everyone in my way and show all the MMA fans why I’m their new favourite!”
Gabriela Dos Reis Marçal – Brazil: 3-0 (pro record), 2-0 (amateur record)
The only contestant in the house that is undefeated, Marçal hails from the birth country of Mixed Martial Arts, Brazil. From the landlocked city of Belo Horizonte, she fights out of BH Rhinos, where she crafts her skills day in and day out. She brings a solid boxing base with crafty Brazilian Jiu-jitsu to finish off her opponents with her favourite technique, a rear-naked choke.
She said: “Fighting in TF2 and EFC is a massive step up in my career as a professional fighter. It is the beginning of the realisation of my dream. I will show the world what I am capable of!”
Christina Charis Stelliou – Greece: 4-3 (pro record), 1-1 (amateur record)
Hailing from Athens, Greece, Stelliou is one of the more experience athletes in the house. All of her victories have come via a definitive finish. She fights out of the Spartakas Nikaias & Leontes Aspropirgou Team and has claimed regional MMA titles as well Brazilian jiu-Jitsu and Sanda national championships.
She said: “This is my opportunity to show my skills and prove myself.”
Manon Fiorot – France: 0-1 (pro record), 3-2 (amateur record)
Hard hitting and rangy, Manon Fiorot comes all the way from Nice, France, a country that besides the sport of MMA being illegal, has produced many world champions, including former EFC heavyweight champ Cyril Asker and the only lady to have beaten Lino, Isabelle Pare. Fighting out of Boxing Squad, she claimed IMMAF amateur world championships gold in 2017 and is a French kickboxing and karate champion.
She said: “It is an exceptional thing for me to fight in EFC and TF2. There are many great fighters for me to test myself against.”
Kayla Hracho – USA: 0-0 (pro record), 7-2 (amateur record)
Hracho might not have any pro MMA experience, but she has been making waves back home in America. Training out of the famed American Top Team gym in Florida, USA, she has amassed an impressive amateur record. Besides being the 119lbs Ringside National Boxing champion, Hracho has also claimed CWC and UCC MMA titles. She is highly regarded for her cool and calm demeanour, boosted by accurate boxing and powerful wrestling.
She said: “This means everything! Fighting is my life and opportunities like this are once-in-a-lifetime. I’m so excited to experience the culture of South Africa and to train and compete with hungry talent from around the world. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to fight in the EFC and plan to make the most of it.”
Jacqualine Trosee – South Africa: 2-4 (pro record)
The only lady from Africa, Trosee is also the only cast member to have faced the champ Lino previously. A mother of two, ‘Demolition Jacqui’ recently made the move to PESFA, which is under the tutelage of Chris Bright in Port Elizabeth.
She said: “I want to be the first EFC champion that is also a mother and TF2 is the quickest route to get a rematch against Amanda, this time I will beat her!”
Sandra Mašková – Czech Republic: 1-3 (pro record)
Known as the ‘Honey Badger’, Mašková is aggressive and will face anyone put in front of her head on, much like her namesake. She began kickboxing at the age of 19 and in 2017 won the World Games before transitioning to MMA. The Tiger Team athlete is one of the smaller contestants in the show, and she wants to prove the doubters wrong.
She said: “I decided to come to Africa because it is the greatest challenge I have ever had. Not just for the fighting. I will meet many of my personal fears. Staying in Africa for over a month without my family and friends, fighting without my trainers; something I could never imagine, and lastly speaking English. This event is truly a massive challenge for me. Honey badgers are from Africa, is it just a coincidence? I do not think so! I decided to come to Africa and hunt my spiritual honey badger. I have arrived!”
Alice Ardelean – Romania/England: 4-5 (pro record)
A MMA purist, Ardelean has no history in other martial arts prior to starting MMA. Hailing from Romania by way of Birmingham, England, she trains out of UTC alongside EFC title challenger Joe Cummins and UFC athlete Leon Edwards. Known for her tough-as-nails approach to fighting, she has a never-say-die attitude that keeps her marching forward for a fight.
She said: “This is my opportunity, my chance to show the world that I can rise up to the challenge and defeat anyone or anything in front of me.”
Mellony Geugjes – Netherlands: 3-7 (pro record)
A renowned kickboxer from one the world’s most highly regarded kickboxing teams, Mike’s Gym, Geugjes brings a wealth of knowledge in the striking arts. Aggressive, powerful and a natural-born fighter, Geugjes doesn’t just fight in the ring, but has also beaten cancer, twice.
She said: “I am the best striker, way better than the other girls in the show. I deserve to win the tournament because I trained and have fought long and hard enough. It is also a challenge for me at a higher weight class than I actually fight. So, I am here to learn from different coaches and see where I stand.”
Beckie Ainscough – England: 0-0 (pro record), 2-2 (amateur record)
Ainscough began her sporting career as a footballer, having played for revered teams such as Liverpool and Everton for over 10 years. However, she always wanted to be a boxer and made the transition as early in life as she could. From there she found success and became a powerful boxer with a Merseyside amateur boxing title, and over time transitioned to Thai boxing and eventually MMA.
She said: “I like to be explosive and powerful, always looking for a KO. I just want to be aggressive and out-skill everyone. I’ve worked too hard for too long, I just deserve to win this for myself.”
TF2 debuts on global TV on Friday March 1, with a new hour-long episode released each week thereafter. The series builds to the live grand finale on 4 May, taking place at the home of African MMA, Carnival City.
Picture courtesy of the EFC