|Dr Rosi Sexton in her cage fighting attire
Lots of people lead double lives - but Inside
Out met someone whose two passions couldnít be further apart.
Meet Rosi Sexton - doctor of mathematics by
day, caged fighter by night!
Rosi Sexton is an unlikely fighter.
Sheís a high achiever
in the academic world of Manchester University where sheís just become
a doctor of maths. In this world, sheís quiet, unassuming and calm.
But in her spare time sheís also a top British fighter
in the rather unusual sport of cage fighting Ė otherwise known as mixed
martial arts. Put her in a cage and she becomes fierce, feisty and quite
from the University of Manchester
Rosi says, "Both I do because of the challenge. Maths
is obviously a mental challenge.
"With mixed martial arts what everyone sees is the
physical challenge, but thereís also the mental aspect.
"Itís like a game of chess. The difference is youíve
got to do it while theyíre hitting you, which is a bit more challenging!"
What is mixed martial arts?
Mixed martial arts combines techniques from different
disciplines like wrestling and boxing. There are few rules making it as
true to real fighting as possible.
The cage is there for safety - to stop the fighters falling
out of the ring.
In America itís big business but has only taken off here
in the last five years. It isnít recognised by any UK governing bodies
despite its historic origins.
Karl Tanswell, a Mixed Martial Arts Coach says, "Itís
the original Olympic sportÖ. Itís the ultimate athletic endeavour."
It was Rosiís tenacity, rather than a natural talent,
that impressed Karl enough to take her on at his gym in Manchester.
Karl says of Rosi when he first met her, "I thought she
was too small and that sheíd get hurtÖ I just wanted to get rid of her
|"A few women over here want to fight Rosi
- but they're not on her level."
|Karl Tanswell, Trainer
Through intense training and dedication, Rosi has become
Karl says, "She trains like a pro. Sheís disciplined,
she takes her nutrition and she rests when she needs toÖ and thatís what
you need. If your preparatio
n is good, then your gameís going to be good."
Dedication is an all-around attribute for Rosi. Maths
isnít an easy subject and to become a doctor of it requires dedication.
Lack of opponents
Mixed martial arts is a male dominated sport Ė there
are only a handful of female competitors in Rosiís weight category in
Britain and sheís fought and beaten them all.
Rosiís last major fight against Carla OíSullivan was
in April 2003. This means that she has now literally run out of opponents.
Rosi says, "It gets frustrating sometimes. I donít get
to fight as often as Iíd like."
how to be a winner
Mixed martial arts certainly isnít for the faint hearted.
But Rosi claims itís not as violent as it looks because fighters submit
rather than fight to the end.
Rosi says, "Itís one of these sports that the tabloids
love to jump on because they can play on the violence, which is a shame
because if they could see what was involved in the sport and the technicality
of it, I think a lot of people would change their mind."
Despite no official recognition all competitors must
be licensed and insured. According to the industry, injury rates are very
The shortage of women in the sport hasnít done Rosiís
game any harm, but with no major fights to look forward to it is a challenge
for Karl to keep her motivated.
Now that Rosiís trounced the available talent in Britain,
Karl is looking abroad to Japan, France and America for serious opponents
in Rosiís weight category.
In the meantime Rosi is to continue training and practising.
Considering her experience and dedicated personality, it is likely that
however long she waits, sheíll be fully prepared.