CLAIRE Smith was delighted to show cage fighting is not just for men after producing a strong performance against Tania Lockhart.

The Rayleigh-based 31-year-old was beaten by her more experienced opponent at the UWC fight night.

But Smith was still happy to have proven a point.

“I love getting in the cage and showing what I can do to show the sport isn’t just for men and us girls can fight just as well,” said Smith.

“The fight was very interesting and seemed to be enjoyed by everyone judging by the amount of positive comments I got afterwards, which was crazy.

“I have no more fights lined up at the moment but I’m sure I will be back in the cage very soon and I can’t wait.”

Smith first took up the sport when she was 15 after getting bullied at school.

After 10 weeks, she won her first Southern Area championship before having a break to have her son.

But, once he started school, Smith returned to the sport and is already relishing her comeback.

“I wanted to get fit again so went to a fitness class and my coach at the time saw what I could do and asked me to fight on the AWOL show,” said Smith, who trains at TSG in Southend.

"I accidentally got back into it really but I haven’t look back since