In January, two of Long Island’s top amateur kickboxing champions Jaime “Bad News” Butcher and Elyse “Peaceful Warrior” Tomasello were opponents in the championship main event of Jackhammer Promotion’s Against All Odds at Mulcahy’s Pub in Wantagh, LI. Now, they are teammates.
After three-rounds of war, Butcher left the ring with the Jackhammer Promotions Women’s 122lb belt. Both also left ready to represent Team USA against some of the best kickboxing competition from across the Atlantic.
Butcher will face Team England’s Rachel Ball for the Jackhammer Promotions International K-1 Women’s Championship, as Tomasello faces Katie Healy of Team England for the Jackhammer Promotions World Full Contact Rules Women’s championship.
I caught up with Butcher and Tomasello as they prepare for battle at Jackhammer Promotion’s English Invasion II: Unforgiven Combat on Sunday, April 9 at Mulcahy’s Pub.
Name: Jaime “Bad News” Butcher Name: Elyse “Peaceful Warrior” Tomasello
Fight Team: Journey Marital Arts, Fight Team: Campbell’s Kickboxing
Five Element MMA
Hometown: Port Jefferson, NY Hometown: Selden, NY
Belts: Jackhammer Women’s 122lb Champion Belt: Women’s PFK Kickboxing Champion
ACC Women’s 115lb K-1 Champion
WKA Women’s 122lb K-1 Champion
How did you get into fighting?
Butcher: “I went to a few live fights and couldn’t get the excitement and energy of the event out of my head. I’ve always been into martial arts, but never felt tested in the way that fighting tests you.”
Tomasello: “I needed something to do after I finished up college soccer and a friend told me to try out kickboxing. Stepping in a ring and fighting has always been on my bucket list so this was the perfect opportunity to start.”
How does it feel to be representing Team USA in your fight?
Butcher: “I am very excited to be representing team USA. Not only have I heard amazing things about this particular show, but I’ve heard amazing things about our opponents from across the pond. I am always excited to compete with athletes from many different styles and backgrounds. In my opinion, this makes these fights particularly exciting.”
Tomasello: “It feels great. Fighting as part of a team motivates me because I know that my teammates are counting on me to perform.”
Team England is coming to fight on your home turf. How does that feel?
Butcher: “I feel that it’s exciting for both sides. Having traveled to Canada previously for a fight it’s fun and exciting to be in a new environment, and I believe that having them fly out from England only adds to the already high stakes of these bouts.”
Tomasello: “It’s a really incredible feeling. I’m so stoked to step in the ring with everyone who supports me around.”
What does your fight camp consist of leading up to April 9?
Butcher: “Hard work and smart training, as well as a healthy dose of fun!”
Tomasello: “I can’t give away from secrets. ;)”
What are your goals in regards to your fight career (beyond April 9)?
Butcher: “I am looking forward to continuing to flesh out my competitive game. I am always looking to improve myself and want to use the lens of kickboxing, and fighting competition to do so.”
Tomasello: “Not really sure. I take each fight as they come and treat them all as if it’s my last one.”
Would you branch off to other martial arts (boxing, MMA, etc)?
Butcher: “Currently I am incorporating ground game into my total training package, however I feel that I am still a while away from being competition ready in MMA. It’s a goal of mine, but one that is still likely to be in the distant future.”
Tomasello: “I was training for MMA in the past until I tore my ACL. After that I decided kickboxing is my best option.”
What is your favorite personal fight moment so far?
Butcher: “I would have to say while I have greatly enjoyed many nice fight moments thus far the best is still yet to come. Hopefully I’ll be able to give a proper answer in a few more years!”
Tomasello: “I’d have to say winning the PKF title on my birthday and having everyone I care about there to celebrate with me.”
Jackhammer Promotion’s English Invasion II: Unforgiven Combat is Sunday, April 9 at Mulcahy’s Pub in Wantagh. Door opens at 5pm, first fight scheduled to start at 5:30pm. Tickets are $45 for general admission and $65 for ringside, VIP tables also available. Tickets may be purchased through Jackhammer Promotions or at the door (+$5).