17 Jul 2018

Crowley ready to fight for lucrative MMA prize

4:34 pm on 17 July 2018

Mixed martial artist Nyrene Crowley has been selected by former UFC veteran Rich Franklin to compete on Asia's 'ONE Warrior Series' in a bid to secure a contract with ONE Championship.

NZ MMA fighter Nyrene Crowley will compete for a $100,000 (USD) contract in Asia

NZ MMA fighter Nyrene Crowley will compete for a $100,000 (USD) contract in Asia Photo: Nyrene Crowley

The Asian MMA promotional giant ONE Championship is home to a growing list of New Zealand fighters and Nyrene Crowley is well on her way to join the ranks.

Auckland-born Crowley moved to Bali last September and after leaving an impression her trainers submitted an application for her to compete for a ONE Championship contract worth $100,000 (USD) on season two of the show 'ONE Warriors Series' run similarly to the UFC's 'The Ultimate Fighter'.

Hand-picked by former UFC Middleweight champion and ONE Championship Vice President Rich Franklin in Jakarta, the 28-year-old will compete four times and if successful become the first female from New Zealand to compete on the promotion.

"I was the only girl at the try outs but it's not out of the ordinary to compete with men in the sport I'm in." says Crowley.

"I wasn't really prepared to grapple with the guys but when you are in a room full of athletes who all want the same thing it gets really competitive."

"and Rich is incredibly knowledgeable with a huge background in fighting, you don't see that in New Zealand where international fighters are spending a lot of time with you and giving good advice."

During the initial episode Franklin selects Crowley immediately after her audition followed by an invitation to join him doing charity work with children taking special interest in Crowley's background.

Working with youth and her involvement in sport is a Crowley family trait with her father a foundation to her career and older sister Cheree Crowley a professional wrestler on US promotion WWE Now known as Dakota Kai.

"I've been doing sport my whole life and attribute that to my Dad. My sister and I played netball, my brother played football then I played touch, tag, club rugby, athletics and weightlifting." says Crowley.

"my sister has been doing professional wrestling for a long time so when she made the move overseas it was inspirational and seeing her success sparked that fire within me too."

Fresh after a sparring session Crowley - who goes by the name 'Neutron Bomb' - tells Radio New Zealand she's using this week to fine tune preparations ahead of her first fight of the series on Thursday night NZT.

With hopes of impressing, anticipation is high that the overall experience will project her to fight for a dream that has been three and half years in the making.

"I left New Zealand to get a world title." says Crowley

"Next I need to get on the ONE Championship platform and climb up the ranks because I want an MMA world title within the next two years on any promotion - that's my goal."

Nyrene Crowley will compete on 'ONE Warrior Series' on Thursday 19th July at 7pm NZT in Singapore.