An interview with Boxer/BJJ Star Monica Harris
Exclusive to Natural Muscle

Can you give us your stats?
Body: 34-25-36
Height: 5'5
Weight: 56kg
6 fights - 4 boxing and 2 BJJ

How did you get into boxing/BJJ and why?
I first took up boxing 3 and a half years ago because I wanted to raise money to send some kids in a permanent children's home on a holiday of a lifetime. I carried on after I got the bug. I Took up BJJ with Gracie Garcia Academy in June 2012 to raise money for Great Ormond St Children's hospital. I suffered a foot injury 4 weeks in, then missed 6 weeks. I fought very quickly after I first started, that was in September and the 2nd fight was a rematch 3 weeks after that. I got to fight on MMA show Fight Scene 4 in a 24ft cage. I love BJJ.

Who encouraged you?
(Laughs) not my parents, that's for sure! My mother doesn't like it, bless her. My mates love it, so they were the ones egging me on.

Was it hard to quit boxing, or relatively easy given the circumstances?
It was hard but I feel like I am ready to move on to new things now and give BJJ all my energy. I've got a great career off the back of boxing, presenting at boxing shows and also interviewing top boxers such as Mike Tyson. I'm very grateful for that. I will always miss being in the ring though!

Briefly talk us through your many careers, hobbies and studies so far?
Well like I mentioned I am mainly a presenter, though I still model from time to time. I still do a calendar every year and signings etc. I also love meditating, thatís a great hobby to have as a fighter. Clear mind equals better focus.

Was it hard keeping focussed at such a young impressionable age, especially when all your friends wouldíve been doing other stuff? Well I wasn't as young as what you probably think. I am 33 now and 30 when I started fighting, so I found it relatively easy to stay in and get up to go training when all my mates were out having fun. I'm boring now (laughs). Boxing got me out of some bad habits. I'd still be doing them now if I hadn't started it.

What are the pros and cons of being a model/fighter/presenter?
To be honest there are no cons. I love my job and life but I have worked hard to engineer it this way. The pros are great. I get to work in a lot of beautiful places I'd never have seen otherwise. I've been blessed to interview some great people. I love it.

Whenís your next fight and whatís your training schedule like all year round and leading up to a fight?
I'm not sure when my next fight is. I have gone back to training at the Gracie and Garcia academy in London. My plan is to get stuck in with my training, with a GI, get graded, train hard then fight next year. When I get back into a cage again I want to be extremely technical. The Gracie Garcia Academy will definitely help me achieve that, their training is second to none. My training when I don't have a fight coming up is more relaxed. When I am training for a fight itís full on. You eat, sleep and breathe it.

Any trade secrets, exercise tips and dietary tips? How often do you work out and how do you keep so trim?
I am vegetarian and practically a vegan and I get a lot of people asking me where I get my protein from. Many people don't realise that a lot of vegetables contain protein, calcium etc, and itís a better quality of protein because itís alkaline and not acidic like an animal's. I mean look at a cow or a gorilla, they are vegan, they eat grass etc but they are huge. If I am working crazy hours sometimes I will skip training but I will try and do something, even if its 100 burpees and 100 crunches. I train BJJ 3 times per week minimum.

Any recommended supplements, super foods etc?
Garlic, avocado, goji berries, spinach, lemon juice, ginger, raw chocolate - 100% healthy and easy to make.

How do you think people perceive the sports of MMA & BJJ now and in the past?
Itís become so popular now in the UK which is great. I think people find it exciting as it offers things that boxing doesn't, different fighting styles combined.

What are your main goals?
My goal is to go as far as I can with BJJ, to get myself more presenting work and to get a secret project I am working on off the ground.

Who or what inspires you?
Anyone who's successful inspires me; anyone who's a good and decent person inspires me.

So, why Bad Boy then?
That's easy. Bad Boy products are extremely good quality, they have everything you need - no matter what your discipline is. And of course thereís the female range coming soon; Bad Girl. I can see why Bad Boy has won awards.

What other products or brands do you use and recommend?
Cherry Active. I swear by it. Itís the best after training recovery drink. It works a treat.

Whatís next for Monica Harris?
Well I am concentrating on getting my website finished which will be and I am just finishing off shooting my calendar. Also presenting a lot of boxing shows including the Danny Williams v Dominic Negus fight for Box Office Promotions. This is a really busy year for me which is making me happy.

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