Harley 'Armbar' Bennett successfully defended her Beast MMA under 35kg title recently. Picture: Beast Championship
Harley 'Armbar' Bennett successfully defended her Beast MMA under 35kg title recently. Picture: Beast Championship

WATCH: How Coast nine-year-old became state's MMA champ

She's just nine years old but Harley 'Armbar' Bennett is already proving a fearsome force in the world of martial arts.

The Mountain Creek State School student has amassed more than 70 wins in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has been quick to make an impression in the mixed martial arts (MMA) cage by successfully defending her Beast Championship under 35kg title.

TOP FOUR: Coast hockey teens primed for nationals

Activate your free Courier Mail subscription for big rewards

She won the belt in 37 seconds in November 2019 via an armbar and was quick to strike in her maiden title defence in March by defeating her opponent, again by armbar, in 39 seconds.

"It felt good (to win) because now more people can challenge me," Harley said.

"(The armbar) is my favourite move.

"Some people know now that I'm going to do armbars but they don't know what technique I'll use.

"They know I'm going to do the armbar but they just can't defend it."

The Beast MMA tournaments for juniors have rules such has no striking to the head or using knees.

Harley wasn't too fazed by the cage environment of MMA.

Harley 'Armbar' Bennett successfully defended her Beast MMA under 35kg title recently.
Harley 'Armbar' Bennett successfully defended her Beast MMA under 35kg title recently.

"When I'm in there I'm usually nervous but then when I start it's normally just jiu-jitsu and like I'm wrestling at my club so I kind of get used to it and know what to do," she said.

Father Vance admitted it was "nerve wracking" to see his daughter enter the cage but had faith in her skills.

"She's a really good grappler so I'm pretty confident when it goes to the ground that she can control it from there," he said.

Harley, who has taken out the Caloundra and Queensland BJJ championships over the years, said she looked up to UFC talent Holly Holm and was eager to chase a career in the sport.

She also had her sights fixed on one day competing in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships, which is considered the ultimate peak for Brazilian jiu jitsu.

"It (MMA) makes me happy and I want to open a gym when I'm older and have a career and go to the ADCC, which is the best comp in the world," she said.

Harley trains at Legacy BJJ Sunshine Coast, with Nelson Noke as coach.

She works on her skills four times a week for up to 1.5 hours each session.

Father Vance said Harley had always been interested in the sport and took it up at the first chance she had.

"We moved up here four years ago and my son was training and she always wanted to do it but wasn't old enough," he said.

The Legacy BJJ gym also had other successes at the Beast MMA tournament, with Tomas and Tyson Schellhammer winning.



Rangers search for witnesses to Fraser dingo attack

Premium Content Rangers search for witnesses to Fraser dingo attack

Rangers are searching for witnesses to a dingo attack on a two year old boy at...

‘Severely obese’ Queenslanders to have first grab at jab

Premium Content ‘Severely obese’ Queenslanders to have first grab at jab

Qlders classified as “severely obese” now eligible for priority jab

Queen sits alone as William, Harry show surprising unity

Premium Content Queen sits alone as William, Harry show surprising unity

The Queen has farewelled Prince Philip during an emotional funeral