We caught up previously with decorated Slovakian home talent Gabriela Majerčáková, as she headed into her U18s Finals match on Wednesday against Czech Republic’s Jana Lamačová. The eventuality was that Jana left the MMA Arena with a victory by submission to earn the gold medal at 63.5kg.

Here we talk in brief with the new 16-year-old, GAMMA European Champion from Chvalšiny, Czech Republic. Competing out of Fight Club České Budějovice with a record of 4-0-0, Jana also holds the 2024 Czech national boxing title at 66kg.

How does it feel to win the gold medal for Czech Republic this week and what does it mean to you?

It feels amazing. I’m proud to compete for my country and for my gym. Winning gold means a new start in my career and it’s proof that I can compete against more experienced athletes.

Talk us through the match: How do feel about your performance and what were the biggest challenges?

I think that the hardest challenge in the match was not to get caught in traps in guard. In both matches I was always on top in guard, so I had to be very careful because both of my opponents were BJJ competitors.

What have you learnt from the bout and from the overall experience of competing at the GAMMA European Championships?

I learnt to focus on my stability and taking time before doing something. I always want to do everything quickly and that leads to mistakes. In these matches I wasn’t as hurried.

How did you first get into MMA, and did you train in other sports before?

I was playing football before MMA. I always liked combat sports. I was also trying it at home with my brother and friends! I was fourteen years old when I saw an advert from Fight Club ČB on Instagram and I decided to give it a try.

What are your other responsibilities and how you balance them with training?

I go to school like everybody else, unfortunately. I had to leave my old high school so I can have more training time in a day. Sometimes it’s hard to balance it, but training is really important for me, and I refuse to miss any training sessions if it’s not absolutely necessary. It’s part of my every day life.

How did you train and prepare for this tournament?

About a month and half ago I started with morning training. We were drilling ground skills a lot and doing cardio workouts, with my coaches Tim Ha and Martin Bednář. My preparation wasn’t different. I was just training more.

What are the biggest obstacles/ challenges you have had to overcome as an MMA competitor and what keeps you motivated?

The biggest challenge for me is to stay focused. I don’t have motivation when I don’t have an event before me, but then I don’t need to be motivated when I’m enjoying training.

What are your ultimate goals in MMA, and before that, what’s next?

I just want to be best at the things I do. I want to make money from fighting and have interesting fights. My next big goal is to win gold at the GAMMA World Championships.

Do you have any other hobbies or special interests?

I like hiking, gymnastics and food!