Our MMA man Paul Jacob asked Cindy Dandois some questions about her background, upcoming fight with Jessamyn Duke & much more!
Hi Cindy, thank you for taking some time out to answer some questions for us. We really appreciate your time.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to get into professional mixed martial arts?
I am a mother and I am a fulltime teacher. I started MMA ’cause I had to lose pregnancy pounds. During practice it seemed that I was doing good so after 4 months of training I did my first fight against Marloes Coenen. It was promised to me that after that fight I would still be able to do amateur fights ’cause I had no experience at all… But I won that fight and the rest is history.
Your fight nickname is “Battlecat”, what is the origin of that?
I am a big cat lover… my parents always called me Kattemie (Dutch for cat lady) … Also I am pretty flexible so my brother as a He-Man lover called me Battlecat.
You are an inspiration (or should be) to many parents. You manage to train, fight and work a job. How do you find the time and energy to do all of that and be a parent to multiple children?
I don’t have time. All those things is just all I do. I feel like I am always busy. But Also I feel like I have no choice. I struggle every day to get my bills payed. My kids are my motivation. I want to make them proud. That’s why I do this. I work hard, ’cause I don’t want to have them worry about money… That’s why I work… They are my drive for everything.
Can you tell us what goes through your mind in the last few minutes before you fight?
Not much… I am not really getting nervous. I feel like I already did All the hard work… Training, working, kids, household, weight-cutting… Now is the time for the fun part. Put the last chapter of the book… I feel like God is walking next to me. Sometimes I do wonder when I walk to the cage, why do I do this? But then I know God is there and I have to do it.
What is your diet and nutrition regime like on the lead up to a fight and outside of competition does it change?
It all depends on what weight I have to fight at. 145 is easy to make for me. So then I don’t have to watch what I eat. I can just train hard and mind nothing and feel good. Maybe Eat a little bit healthier but still enjoy FOOD. When I have to cut it is a struggle. I feel grumpy ’cause I have to loose weight, but I know I can do it. I just have to diet hard. I don’t like it but a cat has to do what a cat has to do. I wish I had more opportunities to have extra nutrition and proteins and stuff but I have to help myself out with stuff I get from my brother for example. I can’t afford all those products myself and finding a sponsor for it has been hard.
You were supposed to fight Cris Cyborg at Invicta 15. How close was that bout to being made official and how did you feel about the cancellation?
I already had my contract signed and sent back to Invicta. I was really surprised to read on the internet they gave that fight to Daria. It really hurt me. I was already in training camp and I took time off from my job to train, so it hit me and my family on a financial base too. I hope one day I will still get that shot at the title. I can fight both 135 and 145 but I feel like I’ve already proven myself a lot of times by beating top 145 girls… So if she makes a return to defend her title I will ask to get that shot!
You said after the cancellation that you thought Invicta matchmaker, Julie Kedzie was doing a poor job. Do you still feel that way and how much communication have you had with Invicta since then?
Well I am an emotional person. I felt that moment really hurt. Cause I think everybody knows how hard I work and how I’ve been begging for that fight. I say things how I feel and at that moment I was really by being replaced by someone I had a first round win over. I talked about it with Shannon after. I think we are OK now.
You have fought at Bantamweight and Featherweight. Which do you see as your more natural home?
Naturally I think I am a Featherweight… I don’t have to cut for that weight. But it is as it is. I can do both. So if I have to cut to get fights and chances I will.
At Invicta 18, you are up against Jessamyn Duke, how do you see the fight going and have you pinpointed any weaknesses?
I think this will be a hard fight for me. I think Jessamyn is great. She has a lot of experience and a no giving up mentality… And she is hungry to fight. I feel like we have a lot in common… We are both underestimated and I feel like she doesn’t get the respect she deserves. Well I do respect her and I think she does the same to me. We will try to bring the people a great fight… It can go both ways… But I will do my best to not be caught by her knees and kicks.
Dominick Cruz said ring rust is just weakness. Do you agree? If not, as you haven’t fought since September, how are you trying to guard against it?
I do agree! That’s why I always beg to keep active. To not put me on the sideline. I feel like I always have to come back. I don’t like that feeling. It makes it harder for me to do what I need to do. I can’t guard myself against it. I just pray to God to guide me and not make stupid mistakes.
Who is your dream opponent and why?
It was and it will always be Gina Carano. Cause she was my big example when I started MMA… The chance it will ever happen doesn’t exist of course ’cause she retired. I still dream to fight Cris one day… Doesn’t matter what weight… But if I could choose it would be for the title or in the UFC ’cause thats my goal! I want to make it to the UFC as the first Belgian girl!
Quick Fire Questions
What is the best moment of your career? – The best has yet to come.
What is the embarrassing moment? – The moment I found out I was pregnant and I had to cancel my fight in Strikeforce for it. Still don’t get how it could happen.
What is the worst moment? – The cancelling of my fight against Cris. The eternal wait and begging for fights…