Sunday, November 27, 2022

18-Year-Old Powerlifting Champion Prepares For MMA Career

Freya Johnson has her sights set on starting an MMA career after picking up her most recent amateur powerlifting title.

The 18-year-old had already claimed British and European titles in powerlifting, but her latest efforts saw the UK-native earn another title at the 2022 World Powerlifting Federation (WPC) Amateur World Championships.

Johnson first got into powerlifting when she was 14, and her mother Kila Johnson says that Freya was essentially a natural right from the start.

“She was at the gym with her dad and brother,” Kila told The Bolton News. “They were lifting and she just asked if she could try picking a weight up. The weight was about 110kg, and she’d never touched a weight before – her dad said ‘No, you can’t do it, that’ll be too much for you at the moment.’ Her brother showed her how to do it and she literally lifted it up off the floor like it was nothing.”

Johnson Training In Liverpool With UFC Stars

Johnson’s choice to start powerlifting certainly paid off, as her recent win at the WPC Amateur World Championships saw her hoist a total of 437.5 kg (964.2 lbs.) during three different lifts while competing in the under 67.5 kg (148.8 lbs.) weight class.

With that impressive achievement under her belt, the 18-year-old has now turned her attention to the world of MMA. Johnson is experienced with both wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and her mother says that she’s already started training with a pair of the UFC’s rising stars.

“She’s also training in MMA, where she trains with the pros at Next Generation in Liverpool. So she trains with Paddy “The Baddy” [Pimblett] and Molly McCann, and the other pros that are there.”

Johnson’s mother says her daughter has been training with Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The 18-year-old certainly seems to be in the right company to succeed in MMA, although there’s no doubt that her powerlifting experience and natural athleticism are a clear benefit as well.

“She’s been fast tracked, so it’ll probably be within the next year that she gets her first fight. That’s her next goal – she does want to become a professional MMA fighter.”

What do you think of this story about an 18-year-old powerlifter that is planning on starting a career in MMA?