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Interview With Female Fighter Patricia VanderMeer

The Japanese are spoiled. Maybe I am stereotyping a bit, but don’t they have Judo everywhere over there? I have been trying to find good Judo—to add to my MMA training or just to watch in person—for a long time now. I never thought I would find it in Indiana of all places.

But, on January 16th, at the GFight (Hook n Shoot) Women’s MMA Summit in Evansville, Indiana, a young mixed martial artist making her amateur debut saved me the cost of an airline ticket to Japan by displaying sick Judo skill. Patricia VanderMeer, from Ontario, Canada, dominated Courtney Stowe with an identical script in two rounds: clinch, throw, ground-and-pound, and submission attempts—until the referee stopped the fight robbing the audience of act three.

Patricia gained an immediate and impressive following of elite mixed martial artists in attendance: Shayna Bayszler, Julie Kedzie, Tara LaRosa, and Kaitlin Young enthusiastically cheered with loud approval every time VanderMeer improved her position or attempted a submission. These professionals offered her post-fight encouragements such as “Awesome throws!” and “Nice ground and pound!”

VanderMeer critiqued herself, too. She knows she has some things to develop for next time. “I’ve still got to work on keeping my hands up and I need to not be fancy,” she said. “I should have been able to finish that arm bar, but instead I wanted to be cool and transition to a triangle. If my opponent were better on the ground I would have been in serious trouble for a bit there. I’ve also got to listen to my corner more because they were telling me to do things. I heard them, but didn’t do it. I don’t know exactly why.”

Although she did not get to demonstrate it in her debut, Patricia works on all facets of the fight game. Besides her black belt in Judo, she has an orange belt in Traditional Jiu-Jitsu (she is tests for green soon) and also trains in boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing.

Like many mixed martial artists, Patricia VanderMeer has to travel to multiple locations to complete all of her training. Buckley Jiu-Jitsu/MMA, Brantford Judo Club, and Kombat Arts Training Academy all play a part in her development as an athlete—which she balances with a stay-at-home career in web development.

Mixed martial arts is a natural fit for Patricia. She said her “childhood was pretty typical, my parents weren’t well off, so I didn’t play any team sports. I don’t like having to depend on other people for success, or having other people depend on me for that matter. I always hated group projects in school, too. I was a huge tomboy. I hung out with the boys and played British bulldog and ball tag instead of skipping and being boring with the girls.” VanderMeer’s debut was anything but boring, and fans will get to witness her exciting Judo style when she fights again this year.

Patricia credits several people for her continued success. She lists Sensei Tom Thomson at the Brantford Judo Club; all the instructors at Buckley’s; “Patrick Buckley knows the MMA game in and out and backwards, and I would be lost with out him;” Brian Naidu, Collin Pinch, Brian Lindstone, Dave Kilganon (boxing coach); and Geoff Sharman (BJJ Coach). She also thanks “all my club mates. Joey and the guys at Kombat Arts have been really helpful too.”

Go to to see videos of Patricia’s fight along with all the action from the historic weekend of MMA.