She is just about to turn only 16 but already Adriana Vuković is a triple World Champion. We caught up with the World Amateur MMA, World Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), and World Grappling Champion, who could become the first female Croatian UFC fighter…
Hi Adriana, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
My name’s Adriana Vuković. I come from the small town of Đakovo, which is located in eastern Croatia. I’m 15 years old, but I’ll be 16 in a two weeks. I attend 2nd grade of gymnasium. My big loves are animals and music. But I love fighting the most. When I was 9-years-old I started to train BJJ and stand up martial arts disciplines in 2012 and 2013. Today, I compete in 8 disciplines: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Grappling (Gi/No Gi), Kickboxing, Full contact, K-1, Muay thai, Boxing and MMA.
What does a typical training day for you involve?
When my competitive season starts my day looks something like this: after breakfast I go to fitness, than I’m preparing for school, do my homework, eat and go to school. I’m in school from 2pm to 8pm. After that, my Dad picks me up and takes me to my BJJ training (because it starts at 8pm). After BJJ training I stay in the gym to do my Muay thai training (from 9:30pm to 11pm). Then I go home and take a shower, eat, study a bit and go to sleep. Two times per week I go to boxing trainings in Osijek (a town 35 km from my home town), so then I leave school a bit earlier. After that I come back to Đakovo to my BJJ and Muay thai trainings. Before some MMA fight I do specific MMA trainings too. I’m usually free on the weekends.
Do you get nervous before fights?
I’m never nervous before any fight in any discipline, even if I know that my opponent is heavier and older and has more fights than me. My only feeling before any fight is: ‘I can wait to get this thing done!!!!!!!’. I have learnt to be aggressive but calm, because if you are nervous, you can’t think straight and pay attention to your mistakes your opponent makes and use them in your favour. I learnt that I shouldn’t be afraid of anyone! You should and must respect everyone. I’ve never been afraid of my opponents because I was winning the fights where my opponents were heavier and older than me…so sky is the limit!
I usually hang out with my friends, listen to music and play with my dogs and other pets. I have many pets but my favourite is my South African Boerboel Rikka.
My favourite foods are pizza, lasagna and all kinds of pasta. And of course my grandmother’s pancakes.
My favourite drink is water and apricot juice with cream.
Who are your role models in the MMA world?
Definitely Jon Bones Jones. I would like to meet him and I hope that I will. But I also like Stipe Miocic he has Croatian roots like me.
Your most admired Croatian athlete of all time?
I admire many Croatian athletes, but Mirko Filipović is the one and only.
You favourite place in Croatia?
There are many beautiful places in Croatia, like Pag, Zadar, Split…but my hometown is my favorite place.
Your favourite city in the world?
My favourite city in the world is Long Beach, because the most beautiful moments of my career till now are related with this city.
What are your plans in the sport?
Right now I have an invitation to visit TRISTAR Gym in Montreal, were I will be training with Firas Zahabi, one of the most famous MMA coaches in the world. Of course all my future plans depend on whether I’ll find good sponsors or not. Sports I’m training are very expensive because they include many trips to competitions all over the world, coaches fees and gear. But definitely, when I turn 18, I would like to start my professional MMA career. Why not be the first Croatian girl in UFC!