Shanelle Dyer on famous faces sliding into her DMs, meeting Georges St Pierre and PFL Paris

After Shanelle Dyer landed the spinning back elbow of the century in her debut performance, her phone blew up with messages from celebrities around the globe. And when she enters the cage at PFL Paris on Saturday night, she hopes to generate another viral moment.

In a career in which she’s reached the pinnacle of Muay Thai, ‘The Nightmare’, is looking to scale another mountain by climbing her way to the top of MMA. And by the sounds of it, she already has a plethora of big names backing her corner.

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After her explosive showing at Hexagone MMA 7, Dyer was inundated with DMs from fighters and even one of the biggest names in the world of acting.

Speaking exclusively to Sporf, she said: “Derek Brunson messaged me. I was like, ‘Oh my days, it’s actually Derek Brunson’. Molly McCann sent me a really nice WhatsApp. Angela Hill messaged me. Even Tom Hardy sent me a message. It was mad; I was so happy. I literally thought I was famous. It was the perfect debut. I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”

Ironically, it was actually ‘Meatball Molly’ herself, who taught Dyer the move.

She laughed: “Not gonna lie. I went to Liverpool for a week and trained with her, and she nearly got me with that elbow. Obviously, it was just playful sparring, but she came close to getting me. So I basically just copied it off of her.”

Shanelle Dyer met Georges St Pierre before signing for PFL

With every promotion across the planet wanting a slice of Dyer, she carefully considered her options and opted for The PFL, believing the organisation to be the perfect fit.

But in the month prior to the announcement, she went on holiday to Canada and even met the great Georges St Pierre.

She beamed: “I signed the contract for the PFL and then booked my trip. I knew that stuff would get hectic as soon as it was announced, so I just went to Canada for a breather. Half my family live there, and I actually got to train at Tristar Gym.

“I’m a huge advocate of training in different places and catching so many different techniques from different people. I met GSP. He’s a legend. I also trained with Firas Zihabi. He elevated my jujitsu so much. Canada was an amazing trip away.”

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Despite possessing the skills to match any fighter on the planet, Dyer was still anxious in the presence of St Pierre.

She giggled: “I’m not going to lie, I was kind of nervous because he’s a legend. But he was so nice. He actually came up to me because I was just waiting for my turn to get a photo. I had to big myself up and tell him I got a spinning back elbow, and I’ve just signed for the PFL. Then, I said, ‘You’re an inspiration to me and other fighters. I wanna do what you’re doing and create the impact that you did’. He trained with us, and his energy lifted me up. To be around a role model like that is unbelievable.”

Shanelle Dyer is ready to make a statement at PFL Paris

On Saturday evening, live on DAZN, the 22-year-old collides with Luisa Fernanda Cifuentes in an eagerly anticipated bout at the Zenith Arena in Paris, France.

However, she’s already set her sights on a major event in Africa.

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She asserted: “One of my dreams coming into MMA, is to fight in Africa. I’m African, and a fight in Africa would be a tick off my bucket list. That’s one thing I want to do before I retire. It would bring my legacy up. I’d love to be in the same conversation as Francis Ngannou. I’m going to strive to achieve that. I know I’m gonna do it. It will be one of if not the biggest event ever.”

“I know where Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman came from. I want to emulate what they’re doing now. They are the people I admire and want to follow their path.”

Featured Image Credit: Shanelle Dyer