Interview with Cindy Dandois above
Cindy Dandois has battled back from more than you can imagine.
The world was hit with the coronavirus in early 2020 and everything was crippled in every caste of society. A myriad of individuals lost family members, their place of employment, and a lifestyle they became comfortable with.
The Belgian Dandois experienced an extreme level of devastation throughout that time and returned to competition earlier this year under the PFL banner. Before earning a paycheck for fighting, she turned to other means to dig her family out of financial difficulties.
“My gym in my own country where I invest a lot in actually all the money I had to keep children from the street they shut it down,” Dandois told MyMMANews. “The government didn’t give me any help. At the end of the month, there was no money left for food. I had no money left for food, for clothes, for the normal things my kids needed.
“Now people are talking shit and trash about it. They say like, ‘oh why didn’t you take another extra job?’ I was teaching from home. Changing all my classes to be sure my children from my school still had their lessons. That was full-time work. Then in the evening, there was nothing open. There were no places open where I could go and work extra. Although at home I still had my children.
“So I talked to some friends who opened an OnlyFans and I was like yeah. We’re not having any food and I have to do stuff that is legal to get money for food. I’m doing this and I just take it. I did it. I took my responsibility. I paid off my debts. My children had food on the table and I was able to train for this camp.”
Cindy Dandois has a strong connection with her fanbase and the appreciation has not been lost.
“Some fans showed me so much love,” she added. “I’m a woman, I’m a normal female. I don’t think nude or anything is so. If you press in boobs on Google, how many boobs will you get? Mine are not that different. But I feel like if I can pay my bills with my boobs, I’m in. I don’t want to have that struggle anymore at the end of the month. Like hey, guys there’s no money for food. It’s terrible to go through that as a single mom.
“I get a lot of shit for my OnlyFans but my real fans know why I do this and they are with me. I’m beyond thankful to every single person that subscribes to my OnlyFans and buys a cheeky photo or buy a little naughty video because it helps me. It helps my children. It pays the bills. And I am doing it all by myself. I have no husband, my grandmother passed away, my mom is gone. I rely on friends of mine to take care of my children while I’m gone so talk whatever you want but they don’t have my position.
No matter what the PFL lightweight does, online criticism has been reoccurring without fail. Dandois admits in the past the hateful rhetoric on social media did affect her.
“It did before but then I try to just realize that none of them had my life,” Dandois said. “I had very hard times in my life, for sure the last year. And I have been crying about things that really matter. The things that really matter, really hurting me a lot.
“I lost my mom, I lost my grandmother. I have no contact with my brother. I got a baby and I had to leave them home to come here and do something great. I put a lot on the line. So having all these hardships lately just made me realize that their opinion doesn’t matter.
“Sometimes this hurt me but now I can only say like when was the last time you guys stepped up to do something great or take a risk? When was the last time you fell down and pulled yourself back up to do what you believe you are meant to do? So it did hurt me a lot before and now I don’t care anymore.”
‘Battlecat’ is still marching forward and utilizing all her past misfortunes as motivation entering the matchup with Kayla Harrison on June 25 in Atlantic City. The odds are stacked against her but she is not phased by any of that.
“I believe after rain there will be sun, like good things ahead,” Dandois said. “I came out of pregnancy, my mother passed away, my grandmother passed away. I weighed 212 pounds in January. And still, I am here as a small 155er. Fit, in shape. Ready to fight, ready to fight my heart out.
“I think I deserve this. I think it motivates me, even more, knowing what I put into this to give it a better fight.”
Cindy Dandois meets Kayla Harrison at PFL 6 on June 25. Who will win?
South Korea-based combat sports reporter that covers many of the major organizations around the world.