In the latest episode our Zealandia series, VICE NZ gets up close and personal with a cross section of Aotearoa’s most ferocious female fighters as they prepare for the Lethal Ladies fight meet. There’s Wendy Talbot, who saves on rent by sleeping in her van so she can spend more time on the sport, and Kelly Broerse, a former competitive ballroom dancer who’s found her true calling in the Muay Thai ring.
Baby “Pitbull” Nansen, fresh from becoming the first New Zealand woman to fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden, takes us inside SMAC Gym to show how combat sports can turn lives around—just as they did for her.
VICE examines the motivations and challenges of the top echelon of female fighting talent, and reveals the raw truth of exactly what it takes to get in the ring: the physical toll it takes on the body, the mental toll it takes on the mind.
“You’re getting in the ring with someone who wants to beat the crap out of you,” says Broerse. “It’s terrifying.”