NEW DEAL: Bellator MMA dynamo remembers childhood in Gympie
MMA: Inside the cage, Arlene "Angerfist” Blencowe is as ferocious, uncompromising and dangerous as any professional mixed martial artist.
Outside, the kind and well-mannered 36-year-old who grew up in Amamoor and went to high school in Gympie has to take a minute whenever she reflects on just how she ended up conquering the world stage.
Since beginning her professional boxing career in 2012, which saw her capture world championships in World Boxing Federation and Women's International Boxing Association, Blencowe's whirlwind career has also seen 18 MMA bouts - 11 of them wins.
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Now just four days off four years since she first stepped inside a Bellator MMA octagon, Blencowe is looking to the future with excitement and confidence in equal measure.
She took some time to reflect after her most recent fight last September, when she stopped featherweight rival Amber Leibrock with a vicious slam and punches combo, and now she's ready for her next challenge.
"It's a multi-fight deal, my third contract with the promotion. Once I finished my last one I was weighing up what I wanted to do next,” she said.
"Bellator came through with a really good offer and I felt like I have unfinished business with this company. I feel like if I didn't re-sign it would have stayed in the back of my mind.
"I heard through the grapevine the UFC were interested (but) I was always happy to stay with Bellator. I'm all about loyalty - they signed me four years ago and gave me my opportunity, they're like family to me.”
The life-changing contract comes at the same time Blencowe, now Sydney-based and training predominantly out of the expansive Zoo Fitness gym, has rebuilt her support system.
After struggling through adversity for her last win, Blencowe said the best moments of her MMA career - ideally capturing the featherweight championship - were yet to come.
Considering she was a split decision away from a championship win over Julia Budd in December 2017, and her performance against Leibrock, that's a scary proposition for the rest of her division.
"For my last fight I had a training camp without a gym or a head coach. My gym had closed down,” she said.
"I'm lucky I've got a good worth ethic, I did most of my training camp myself and that's why I got really emotional when I won the fight.
"I went over there with (Aussie UFC superstar) Tyson Pedro's dad John as my cornerman. He had watched me train but I hadn't even worked with him. He and Tyson had just had conversations about my fighting style.
"I didn't have a fight camp, so there were a lot of positives to take away. Now I've got a good team together with coaches and training partners, and I've looked at the mental side of things too.”
"At the level I'm at I feel I haven't performed to my best yet, apart from my debut I haven't reached my best. I was OK in my last fight, but I was second-guessing myself.
"Now I'm working to get to my physical best and my mental best. I've got fantastic coaches and a great team around me, and I'm excited for what's next.”
Even in the non-stop rush of her day-to-day life, Blencowe hasn't forgotten where it all began.
"I grew up in Amamoor and went to Gympie High until the end of Year 10. It's crazy to think about sometimes,” she said. "I still have a lot of old school mates and people I grew up with back there.
"I saw a 150th anniversary post for One Mile State School the other day, I can remember being there in their 125th year.”
Blencowe is eyeing off July for her return to the Bellator cage. Follow her journey on Facebook or Instagram.