Natalie Trikalova went through trials and tribulations at the 2024 GAMMA European Championships but in the end, she came away with the gold medal she desired.

It was a fruitful few days of action in Slovakia for the Czech Republic star as she left the competition with not one, but two medals. She was subjected to an upset defeat at the hands of Germany’s Lorena Cubero in the 61.2kg Striking MMA finals, landing her the silver, but the two would face each other once again in MMA with Trikalova exacting her revenge.

At the age of just 20, the youngster has her entire career ahead of her. When you take a look at the pedigree she already has, it’s no surprise to hear that many are tipping Natalie to achieve even greater things in mixed martial arts: With an athletic background of eleven years in football, 15 MMA bouts and 11 wins to her name already, Natalie furthermore came into the competition as 2022 European Silver and 2021 World Bronze medallist in MMA, making her the favourite.

We recently had the chance to speak with one of Czechia’s most exciting talents following her success at the Euros.

Congratulations! What did this victory at the Euros mean to you and your team?

For me and my team, it means a lot. It is an honour to represent my country at the championships.

If there was one thing you learnt about yourself from this tournament, what would it be?

I definitely learned not to give up. Even though I lost the first final match, I didn’t give up, gave everything in the second match, and won.

Mixed martial arts is a complex sport, as we know. What would you say is your favourite element of MMA and why?

Before MMA, I did boxing, so it was always the stand-up game. However, I’ve been enjoying taking the fight to the ground more and more lately.

Are there any hobbies outside of fighting that you think fans would be interested to know about?

I left university, so besides training MMA and taking care of my dog, I have no other hobbies.

How important will these wins be for helping you build confidence in your game?

These are certainly important victories in which I will continue to progress.

Is there someone you dream of fighting at some point in the future?

There’s no one specific, I am ready to fight anyone. But my ultimate goal is to sign with a big professional European or world organization and win a championship belt, such as UFC.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Definitely to go to training even when you don’t feel like it.

What do you think is next for you?

Next, I will be preparing for the 2024 World Championship in Jakarta, where I aim to champion.

And with nemesis Lorena Cubero also eyeing the Worlds, as top-seeded athletes, what are the odds that they meet again in December? Either way, this story is not yet closed.