Malaysian Female Cage Fighter Thirsty For Blood And Hungry For Gold


Colleen Augustin won gold in the Amateur Asian Open Championships in Bangkok in May this year.KUALA LUMPUR: Most women would not welcome a bloody nose or a black eye, especially on a regular basis
Colleen Augustin is no ordinary woman
She’s a bloodthirsty vegan who enjoys knocking others around the Mixed Martial Arts octagonal cage
MMA is one of the world’s fastest-growing spectator sports and Colleen is the fastest rising Malaysian star
Penang-born Colleen has always been a keen athlete. As well as more common sports like basketball and running, she is accomplished at kickboxing, jujitsu, Muay Thai and wrestling. She’s a personal trainer too, all at just 21
For those not already a fan, Mixed Martial Arts is, as the name implies, a full-contact combat sport incorporating boxing, wrestling, judo, jujitsu, karate, Muay Thai, and other disciplines
The sport began as an anything-goes gladiatorial spectacle but modern rules have outlawed most excessively dangerous street and bar-room brawling moves
Colleen with training partner and professional MMA fighter Shem Rock.Even so, at first glance it’s not a very ladylike sport. Yet out of the cage Colleen is dainty, feminine and personable. Nothing like a gladiator
A vegan, she wants to show everyone you can be a great fighter without eating meat or any other animal products, regarded by most athletes as an essential muscle-building part of their training diet. She’s hoping to spearhead a trend of vegan fighters
MMA fights are fast-moving and intense. Players leaving the cage with bloody faces are common
Surprisingly, this is exactly what attracted Colleen
“I never thought I’d love MMA,” she tells FMT at her training gym. “I watched MMA fights when I was younger and I remember them being so brutal. I was fascinated
“It was really cool to see all that blood,” she says cheerfully
An experienced and successful fighter now, she knows how good it feels when the referee raises your arm as the winner, bloodied but victorious
She has fought several international bouts already, and won gold in the Amateur Asian Open Championships in Bangkok in May this year
“I know in my heart that this is where I want to be and I never want to stop.”It’s Colleen’s mission to make MMA fighting something that all girls feel they can do.Colleen got into MMA by accident. While still in high school, she and her family – who are all sporty too – signed up for self-defence classes at a gym in Bangsar
While training there, she bumped into her old Muay Thai trainer, Agilan Thani
“He saw me in the gym and said, ‘Why don’t you join our MMA professional fighters class? I’ll train you.’ I thought, ‘Why not?’”Six months later, she was in the cage fighting her first-ever match. Things got really messy. She punched her opponent non-stop throughout each of the three six-minute rounds
“She was fine,” Colleen laughs. “She was a more experienced fighter anyway.”She has since improved her fighting style so her bouts are now not quite as messy
Amateur athletes need sponsors and as a rising star Colleen is backed by several gyms. She also has an online crowdfunding page
Bloody noses, bruises and other visible wounds are common. More dangerous invisible injuries are always a possibility
Her family has always encouraged her, but her mother is now worried that her injuries may cause her long-term damage. And once an athlete’s body is damaged, sponsors stop funding you
The budding champ is currently raising money to fund her foray to the 2019 Amateur MMA World Championships in Bahrain in November, where she hopes to become the first Malaysian to bring home gold
It’s Colleen’s mission to make MMA fighting something that all girls feel they can do. “It’s not just a boy’s world anymore,” she says
She was the only girl and the lightest fighter in her Muay Thai class but she got through it successfully
Her advice for girls? “Don’t let anything stop you!”For female readers interested in taking up cage fighting, remember head butting, eye gouging, biting, hair pulling, and groin attacks of any kind are prohibited. Oh, and no weapons
Pretty much everything else will be fine
If that sounds like just your cup of tea, contact Colleen and prepare for blood, sweat and tears
And it’s not necessary to be a vegan, just to have a thirst for blood. - FMT

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