Pro ranks next for Dawson after second silver

Otago martial artist Hannah Dawson won her second world championship gold in Bahrain last week. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Otago martial artist Hannah Dawson won her second world championship gold in Bahrain last week. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Hannah Dawson has two silver medals but is unlikely to chase gold.

The 25-year-old Otago martial artist hopes to turn professional after a sparkling amateur career which includes winning two silver medals at the Mixed Martial Arts World Championships.

She collected the first of her silver medals while competing in the strawweight division in Bahrain two years ago.

The diminutive fighter missed last year's tournament but returned to Bahrain this month and won silver in the flyweight division.

Asked if she was keen to return for a third attempt at gold, Dawson said that was unlikely.

''I've had 11 MMA fights now, so I'm kind of thinking I'll go pro in the near future,'' she said.

''Eleven fights is quite a few so I feel like I've had plenty of experience already. And I've been to the world champs twice now and got through to the finals, so I'm not sure there is really any point going a third time.''

Sweden's Bianca Antman claimed gold. She won by submission in round two. Dawson got trapped in a guillotine choke-hold.

Those two losses in finals at the world championships are the only defeats she has suffered.

Her coach, Matt Toa, feels Dawson is ready to step up and fight in the professional ranks.

''She has all the skills to go pro and have a crack,'' he said.

''I guess we will be plotting a path which will lead Hannah to establish herself as the top pro in New Zealand and then Australia.

''Once we've secured Oceania we can have a run at the bigger competition.''

Dawson works as a personal trainer in Mosgiel and is studying health science at the University of Otago.

She started boxing when she was younger and was encouraged to give MMA a crack by her friend and co-coach, Brogan ''the arm collector'', Anderson. You could say he twisted her arm but that would be a terrible pun and also just not true.

For someone who comfortably dips under 60kg, it was an unusual choice for Dawson.

MMA has a brutal reputation but Dawson said the sport took safety very seriously.

She had daily physical check-ups while competing at the world championships.

Cromwell's Mel Webster returned from the world championships in Bahrain with a silver medal as well.

She lost to fellow Kiwi Michelle Montague.

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