Exclusive: Shanelle Dyer dishes all on Tom Hardy, Molly McCann and Hexagone MMA

Athletes usually use professional debuts as a tool to get used to the nerves of the big stage. Therefore, more often than not, the first outing of a fighter’s career, isn’t much to write home about. But as she has throughout her life, Shanelle Dyer tore up the script and produced an incredible finish in front of an adoring crowd at Hexagone MMA 7.

When the Londoner arrived at the Futoroscope Arena in Poitiers, France, the purists were eager to see how she’d transition to the professional world of MMA. Winning a whopping 27 world Muay Thai Championships, picking up multiple medals in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and accumulating an impressive 7-3 amateur MMA record, it’s obvious she’s destined for stardom. However, even those in the know, couldn’t have predicted just how devastating her performance would be.

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Read: Exclusive: Norman Parke wants Hexagone MMA title shot in Belfast (sporf.com)

Conducting herself like a veteran of the fight game, Dyer strolled to the cage with the confidence of a competitor far beyond her 21 years. Soaking up the atmosphere, she rose to the occasion and produced a magnificent showing.

Utilising her lightning speed, awe-inspiring accuracy and immense fighting IQ, she danced rings around Weronika Eszer, before landing an incredible finishing blow.

Dyer connected with a beautiful spinning elbow, which sent her opponent hurtling towards the canvas. Subsequently, she dived on top, landing a plethora of brutal shots, before the referee dragged her away.

Shanelle Dyer speaks exclusively to SPORF

Speaking on the win, she admitted: “I never expected that I would get a finish! I always say it, but realistically I go in expecting a three-round war. I usually start basic, but my corner actually called it. Ash Grimshaw shouted, ‘there are ten seconds left, throw a spinning back elbow’, and I always listen to what he says, even if I don’t want to do it.

“I heard the Klaxon, and I thought, f**k it. I landed it, and I was like ‘, oh my days, she’s on the ground’. Suddenly, I had five seconds to finish it, or the round is over, so I went to the ground, and the referee stopped it. I was gassed.”

“The French crowd were amazing, the hospitality, the atmosphere, everything. Every time I landed, they went crazy. And that’s who I do it for.”

Hexagone MMA star, Shanelle Dyer, talks Tom Hardy and Molly McCann

As the sport of MMA continues to evolve, more and more women are getting the opportunity to showcase their skills. Consequently, females across the UK have burst into the spotlight, and possibly none more so than Molly McCann.

The Liverpudlian has endeared herself to the fans with her colourful personality and terrifying performances, including a stunning victory over Luana Carolina.

Unsurprisingly, the pioneer has inspired the next generation, including Dyer, who recently had the honour of training with her hero.

She beamed: “Not many people can say they’ve ended their debut with a first-round spinning back elbow. My phone has been blowing up. I’ve just done some of my camp with ‘Meatball’ Molly, and she does a spinning back elbow. She was my inspiration. But it still hasn’t sunk in.

“Haha, I don’t want to say I one-upped her. But it was a pretty sweet KO.”

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In addition to captivating the fans, Dyer is convinced that her good friend and Peaky Blinders icon, Tom Hardy, would’ve been cheering her on. The pair established a tight relationship while filming a Venum and REORG collaboration piece.

All proceeds from the video went towards a global non-profit organisation and community that enables veterans and emergency service personnel to use Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Functional Fitness as a form of therapy.

Dyer said: “Hopefully, he was watching. I imagine he would’ve been watching. I don’t really get to show off my jiu-jitsu, and he does a lot of that. But he’ll be gassed as well.”

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Shanelle Dyer is fighting for more than just her own legacy

In a testament to her character, Dyer adopted ‘The Nightmare’ nickname, in tribute to a friend who sadly lost his life after being attacked at a party.

The prospect revealed: “Every win I have is for him. Me and him are going to make it to the top. Me and ‘The Nightmare’ name. All my fights are for Jay Shephard. This is for me, you and your family.”

Featured Image Credit: Hexagone MMA