15 Jun 2018

Big dreams for young NZ kickboxing champion

3:19 pm on 15 June 2018

Young kickboxing champion Emma Nesbitt is set for a second title fight and ticking all the right boxes to become New Zealand's first female UFC champion.

Emma Nesbitt, right, competing in Muay Thai kickboxing.

Emma Nesbitt, right, competing in Muay Thai kickboxing. Photo: Supplied

Still just 13-years-old, Nesbitt dreams of becoming a champion in the world leading's mixed martial arts promotion, and she's right on track.

Kickboxing, Muay Thai kickboxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu and karate are only some of the disciplines Nesbitt is already a champion in.

Earlier this year, Nesbitt won the New Zealand mini flyweight title in Muay Thai and last month won gold at the Brazilian jiu-jitsu nationals.

She also holds a gold medal from the world Muay Thai championships, which she will defend later this year.

Since her first fight at the age of nine, Nesbitt remains undefeated and will compete for the World Kickboxing Federation light atom-weight title on Saturday in Auckland.

"Competing in all these competitions gets me ready for the big stage with all the pressure," she said.

"The sport has come a long way, especially for females, it's a lot more popular now and everyone helps each other."

Nesbitt will compete for the title against Australian Josie Rossallen on the all-women promotion 'Lethal Ladies', where the winner of the main event will qualify to compete on the King in the Ring promotion.

The road to be selected as the youngest female on cards such as these requires countless hours in the gym preparing, which has called for mother, Fiona Nesbitt, to ensure her school is on board with her extra-curricular activities.

Emma Nesbitt sparring with NZ UFC star Israel Adesanya.

Emma Nesbitt sparring with NZ UFC star Israel Adesanya. Photo: Supplied

Nesbitt trains with the country's most elite coaches, including former jiu-jitsu coach to Mark Hunt, Steve Oliver, Olympic and Commonwealth games wrestling coach Karim Moradi and renowned MMA coach Eugene Bareman.

These environments have exposed young Nesbitt to spar with the best the country has to offer.

"I train seven days a week and training with these people helps me realise how I need to prepare for the UFC," she said.

"I want to be the first female from New Zealand to hold a title in the UFC and I want to compete in the Olympics."

"Hopefully when I get older, whatever sport I can get into I'll do it at the Olympics. I do quite a bit of wrestling and I like it."