Meet Shanelle Dyer — the fighter loved by Tom Hardy, competing at HEXAGONE MMA 7

Throughout her life, Shanelle Dyer has racked up countless achievements, and at Hexagone MMA 7, she’ll look to write the next chapter of her extraordinary story.

On March 11, ‘The Nightmare’ will fly to Poitiers, France, to face Weronika Eszer in her professional MMA debut. And the West Londoner will have a few fans back home watching the bill on BT Sport, including pop cultural icon, Tom Hardy.

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Raised in Shepherds Bush by a Nigerian mother and Montserrat father, the born athlete gravitated towards fighting from a very young age. Shortly before her tenth birthday, with an urge to compete that she just couldn’t kick, Dyer walked into the Muay Thai club alongside her two brothers.

Her father suggested the idea of trying All Stars Gym purely to keep her off the streets. Little did he know the star she was about to become.

It didn’t take long for the youngster to catch the fighting bug. At just 12-years-old, she flew to Turkey to take part in her first fight, which would set the course of the rest of her life. Dyer won an astonishing 27 world titles, becoming the number-one fighter in the UK at age 20.

She racked up a vast amount of experience, competing over 100 times before turning professional. However, after compiling an impressive 7-3 record, Dyer wanted to explore all forms of martial arts.

Shanelle Dyer has had an incredible journey to Hexagone MMA 7

Five years after starting MMA as a 17-year-old, she moved to GB Top Team under UFC icon, Brad Pickett.

Since transitioning sports, Dyer has shown her versatility as more than just a flashy striker. Using her new-found grappling techniques, she’s picked up countless medals in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and translated those skills to the cage.

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The blue belt has accumulated an 8-3 amateur record. And most impressively picked up the Cage Warriors South East title.

But now, she’s ready to make the switch to the professional game, and a Peaky Blinders star will be nervously watching on.

Tom Hardy adores Shanelle Dyer

While many know the actor for his portrayal of Alfie Solomons, a gang leader in Camden Town, not many are aware that he’s a high-level martial artist, who competes in BJJ. Consequently, he’s crossed paths with some of the greatest fighters on the planet.

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Hardy and Dyer struck up a 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.

And with the pair bonding over such a good cause, it’s guaranteed that Hardy will be sitting by his television screen as Dyer makes her walk to the cage.

But he’s not the only person she’s fighting for.

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Shanelle Dyer wants to make her Team Underground gym mate proud

The warrior calls herself ‘The Nightmare’ in tribute to a friend, who sadly lost his life at a party in 2020. Jahreau Shepherd was attacked by his younger brother, who suffers from mental health issues and has since been institutionalised.

The pair had shared the same dream, and from the moment he passed, Dyer swore that she’d continue his legacy. After gaining his mother’s blessing, the 21-year-old will proudly honour his memory at Hexagone MMA 7 and beyond.

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Featured Image Credit: Getty / Hexagone MMA