By Beccy Davies
I have been very fortunate to be able to write about some amazing women in MMA so far and my next subject is no exception. I’ve spoken to talented fighters worldwide and this time we go to Sweden, where both the male and female fighters are high-level. Soon the name Malin Hermansson will be on everyone’s lips. A powerful, high-octane striker,28-year-old, Malin has recently turned professional and she is here to make her mark in Women’s MMA.
Malin started off as a boxer at the age of 17, competing for 10 years and quickly won her spot on the National Boxing Team, going on to win gold at the National Championships. She decided to leave boxing for mixed martial arts after following her boyfriend to MMA classes. Initially training for fun, Malin decided she loved the sport and made her home training full time in MMA at Akademi Nord in Orebro, Sweden.
I asked Malin if there was a discipline that she favoured, “Of course I’m a striker at heart”, going on to say “I love to mix up my boxing with Muay Thai and really enjoy wrestling nowadays”, which pleases me as its such a crucial part of MMA.
Malin’s amateur record was 6 -1. She made her pro debut on the 2nd December last year against the former IMMAF champion and fellow Swedish fighter Gabriella Ringblom. Malin succeeded in a decision win in a fight many tipped her to lose, viciously pummelling the heavily fancied Ringblom throughout three hard fought rounds.
I asked Malin if there was a favourite fighter that she looked up to, which she immediately replied “Cris Cyborg”. “She has always been my favourite, she is explosive and very well rounded and seems like a really nice person. We have a few good girls in Sweden including Lina Lansberg, the only Swedish girl in the UFC, a good role model for females in MMA”.
Asking Malin for a quote that she liked, she didn’t disappoint, “No one remembers a coward, just go for it!”. We turned to the subject of who she would like to fight in the next year “Yeah there are a few actually, one of them is the up and coming Swedish flyweight Cornelia Holm, that match up would be a crazy fight for the Cagewarriors show in Sweden in April, but as much as Cornelia claims she wants the fight, we’ve still had no approach. She seems to like talking more than fighting”.
Malin showed no fear in her replies and when I asked her who she would choose to fight given the chance, her upbeat humour shone through, “Oh that’s a hard one, a comeback from Ronda Rousey. She can come back and fight me, a 1-0 flyweight; I mean, I’ve got the odds against me so if I win I would be able to buy a farm and a nice car”.
In Malins 5-year plan she wants to stay hungry and motivated, “I want to give everything. I trust my coach Patrik and my managers at Battle Ready Fight Management”.
When asked which discipline she uses that her opponents should be most wary of, Malin tells me her hands are very dangerous especially combined with her kicks and she is way more explosive than most girls. There is nothing that she would change about her journey so far, but wishes that she could train more at Bali MMA, a place Malin trained at for her professional debut. “I really like the team there and they gave me world class sparring too”.
I get the sense that Malin is a free spirit and loves nature too and this sense was confirmed when I asked her if there was something that no one knew about her that would surprise people. She replied, “I’m really interested in gardening. It’s a hobby that I love. I would love to have a big greenhouse in the future or a garden house”.
Many people have been a part of Malin’s story so far and she would like to thank them all. “My parents who have always been worried but respect my choices in life. When they started to get used to me boxing, I then got into MMA which is a new thing for them. My team at Akademi Nord, I couldn’t ask for better team mates and coaches. The team at Bali MMA for taking care of me during my fight camp, see you all again soon! My fight managers at Battle Ready Fight Management for guiding me into the world of fighting and my fantastic sponsors at Synergy Worldwide and Ryggcenter Orebro”.
Malin’s humour shines through in the whole of the interview and I can really see big things ahead for this Swedish flyweight and wish Malin all the best for the future. I’m very excited to watch this powerful striker realise her huge potential.