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Cloudy Makes Invicta Debut

By Brett Auten | Knuckle Junkies

St. Charles MMA has produced a revolving door of class fighters for over a decade. The next in that lineage is scheduled to make her pro debut on Saturday.

Brittney Cloudy will kick off the card at Invicta FC 30 at the Scottish Rite Temple. The card streams live on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7 CST.

There, she will face Erin Blanchfield. Blanchfield (1-0) is a 19-year-old jiu-jitsu ace who is the current Eddie Bravo Invitational flyweight champion. The Renzo Gracie purple belt is also well-versed in Muay Thai, having trained in that art since the age of 12 and she earned a first-round stoppage in her pro debut.

Cloudy made her way into MMA after a stellar college track and field career at St. Louis University. As a Billiken, Cloudy was a multi-Atlantic 10 Conference champion in the triple jump and the long jump. She continued to compete post-college before segueing into combat sports.

Cloudy posted a 6-2 record as an amateur. One of those losses was to an opponent with as vaunted jiu-jitsu as Blanchfield. At GFS: Friday the 13th Massacre, Cloudy faced a five-time IBJJF World Champion from American Top Team in Luanna Alzuguir. Cloudy was in the fight throughout before getting tapped by a rear naked choke in the third round.

The 28-year-old Cloudy recently earned her blue belt under Mike Rogers and is a first grade teacher in the Kirkwood school district after spending three years teaching third grade in the St. Louis Public School district. Cloudy follows former SCMMA standout Ashley Cummins, and current teammate Kelly D'Angelo into Invicta FC. Knuckle Junkies caught up with the Quiet Storm four days before the fight.

KJ: Coming into the sport as such a high-level athlete did you think you could come in and do well right away? And were you surprised by the results once you started training?

Britney Cloudy: I had no experience ever in any combative sport. I thought my athleticism would help with that, but as I learned, there's a lot of technique that goes into it. So sure enough, my first day of jiu-jitsu I felt like there's this thick book of blank pages and I literally only wrote one letter on it. Since then, I've felt that maybe I've written a couple of chapters, but there is so much to learn.

KJ: When did you know it was time to go pro?

BC: I guess (my name) was already starting to trickle out because it was getting hard trying to find opponents without having to travel crazy far. Also, I have been doing it for a few years, and I was getting pretty close to my blue belt so it felt like a progression and the summer was time to do it.

KJ: What do enjoy about teaching at the elementary school level?

BC: I think it picks into a lot of my interests. I do love the kids. They're really fun. Ever since high school, when I got to go to cadet teaching class, and I had a student who told me, 'you explained that so well.' So ever since then, I've felt like that was what I was good at and with sports, it kind of goes along with coaching and teaching, that aspect of wanting to share my knowledge. My school, my principal, my colleagues they are really supportive, and that really helps out a lot. They know that I love my job, but they also know that I am striving for something else.

KJ: For your pro debut, you can't ask for a better promotion and against a quality opponent. You have fought a jiu-jitsu standout before, is there some common ground and does that help going in against this opponent?

BC: I take all of my fights as learning experiences and in (the Alzuguir fight), of course, the game plan wasn't to get on the ground with her and I did very well. I maintained all the way until the end. The biggest thing that brought out is that I need to capitalize on my strong suit, which is striking. I'm a lot more confident in that and going against someone like her I know I'm a lot stronger and faster and more equipped to face someone who more or less is going to have to the same gameplan. I got to feel what that feels like.

KJ: For your first pro fight, you have been doing lots of press, and there seems to be some hoopla behind it.

BC: I kind of feel like opportunities will come and we've been working hard for it. I also want to say that I feel like, not to take away from what I've actually done in my amateur career, but also coming from a gym that produces such quality fighters, that has to work in my favor as well. I'm going to capitalize on this opportunity to skip those lower levels and hop right into a promotion like Invicta.

KJ: Your fiance, Charles Johnson is a fighter (7-1 MMA) and fighters are known for being notoriously selfish. What's it like having two of you in the same house?

BC: It's one of those things where you know how the other person is feeling because you've been there before. It's good to know that at the end of the day if I'm a little hangry right now that he understands. We know we have that understanding because we're both pursuing the same thing.

KJ: I've heard you mention before that Charles was pretty instrumental in getting you into this?

BC: He never ever wanted to be the person to say you should do it. He was like, if you want to do it you should go for it. I'm competitive in spirit, and once I got in there, I knew I really wanted to figure this out. I was captivated. So, once I said I wanted to do it, he was willing to help me out.

KJ: So, it's time to close one chapter and open another and move forward.

BC: I guess this will probably be my most anxious fight. For your amateur career they say (your record) doesn't really matter but you go pro, and it's like, you want to start your career off 1-0. Who wants to start off 0-1? You definitely have that pressure of wanting to win, and I haven't thought of anything less. I know I'm going to go in there and make a statement and do what I have been training so hard for.

An atomweight title main event headlines Invicta FC 30 with Jinh Yu Frey (6-3) vs. Minna Grusander (6-1) and a featherweight bout in the co-main event with Felicia Spencer (4-0) vs. Helena Kolesnyk (5-1).

Full Invicta FC 30 fight card:

Jinh Yu Frey vs Minna Grusander for vacant atomweight title
Helena Kolesnyk vs Felicia Spencer
Heather Jo Clark vs Kinberly Novaes
Alexa Conners vs Kerri Kenneson
Miranda Maverick vs Brogan Walker-Sanchez
Shino VanHoose vs Alesha Zappitella
Stephanie Alba vs Alyse Anderson
Erin Blanchfield vs Brittney Cloudy