Interview With Julie KedzieSpeaking with, 2005 HOOKnSHOOT Women’s Grand Prix Champion and former EliteXC star Julie “Fireball” Kedzie discusses the numerous exciting fights from her past and her plans for the future in this entertaining interview.

Known as one of the most charismatic and fan-friendly female fighters in mixed martial arts, Kedzie has endured highs and lows in her career, but has always kept a smile on her face.


From first becoming a star in the HOOKnSHOOT promotion to being featured in one of the most famous female MMA bouts in North American history against Gina Carano, Kedzie is a tough test for any opponent and will always give nothing less than her best.

Taking time out from training, she discusses her recent victory and her plans for the coming years.

Please note that this is a repost of our original interview here. Hi, Julie, and thank you very much for taking the time for this interview. To start off, can you tell us a bit about your background growing up and what first drew you to competing in mixed martial arts?

Julie Kedzie: I grew up in the marital arts; my father enrolled my sister and I in Tae Kwon Do when I was only five years old, and I just stuck with it. I think that a part of me always knew that I wanted to be an athlete of some sort, and I was already very passionate about martial arts.

Mixed martial arts made sense to me. It was a culmination of practicality, skill and personal growth and, when I saw the first all-female HOOKnSHOOT DVD, I realized that it was the perfect outlet for my competitive drive as well. Outside of fighting, you also hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. Were your fellow students aware of the fact that you competed among the best female mixed martial artists in the world, or did you keep a low profile while working towards your degree?

Julie: I inadvertently kept a low profile in my college days. Most of my peers saw me as an “art-y” girl more than an athlete and I don’t think that many of them actually know that I fight today! Although I was training for fun throughout college, it wasn’t until the summer before my final semester of school that I decided to take things more seriously. I had my first fight right after I graduated. Do you feel that your education helps you when you are involved in a fight, by allowing you to better formulate strategies for dealing with an opponent, or do you find yourself relying more upon your physical strengths?

Julie: I think that I actually rely more on brawn than brains (which could be because I’m blonde – haha, just kidding!) Honestly, though, I aspire to find a balance between the two. The most successful fighters that I know within the sport are the individuals who also think outside of the sport and still have incredible focus and power once the cage door closes. Your nickname, “Fireball,” perfectly sums up your explosive and often aggressive style of fighting. When did you first receive the name and who gave it to you?

Julie: Actually, I was given the nickname by Greg Jackson; not because of my fighting style, but because of my temper, which can kind of go off in a moment’s notice. Normally, I am a smiling idiot, but during one kickboxing practice, I was feeling a little more emotional than normal. Greg swept me and did a little victory dance when I hit the floor. I (and I am VERY ashamed of this, looking back) responded by rolling to one knee and punching him in the balls. Hence, “Fireball.” You are one of the true veteran female fighters in MMA, with your 13-8 record including battles against nearly every single top contender in the 135-pound division, yet you are just 28 years of age. Do you see yourself competing in mixed martial arts for many more years to come?

Julie: I have only just begun! In 2005, you won the HOOKnSHOOT Women’s Grand Prix with three wins in one night, including victories over tough competition in Jan Finney and Molly Helsel. How important was that tournament victory to your career?

Julie: The tournament was probably more important to my career from an inward perspective than in a step up the ladder. Obviously, it was a tremendous notch on my belt in terms of recognition as a professional fighter but, more importantly, it showed me that I was capable of fighting for thirty minutes against some very tough people. It is a huge physiological advantage for me. In any fifteen-minute fight against an opponent, I can now say to myself, “Hey, you’ve done this twice, against different people who were less gassed than you!” In addition to the wins over Finney and Helsel (both of whom you have defeated twice), you picked up a huge victory over future EliteXC star Kelly Kobold in August of 2007, which handed Kobold only the second loss of her lengthy career. Would you say that that has been your biggest victory to date?

Julie: I think that the win against Kobold was a huge victory for me, but I will always maintain that my best wins are in front of me.