ALISH Smith can feel her fighting climbing to the next level.
The talented mixed martial artist, now fighting out of Dominance in Richmond, is pushing to improve her wrestling and jiu-jitsu as she plots more international success.
"Being at the gym in Melbourne and training with girls my own size has been great," Smith said.
"They tend to move a lot differently. It's good fighting against those who are a bit bigger as well, though. They're a lot stronger and harder to come up against."
Smith, who began her career with Spartan MMA in Warrnambool, capped her stellar year after being named a finalist in the World Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Awards.
Smith snapped up gold at the Oceania and Asian opens. She is a finalist in the senior female athlete of the year category.
"It's pretty crazy, I had no idea that I'd be nominated," she said.
"I was happy with my year. I won two gold medals and fought four times this year so it was pretty productive.
"It's really exciting to just be nominated."
Smith's hectic year has taken a toll. The 23-year-old is flying to England to rest and recover and has opted to miss this year's world championships in Bahrain.
The former Brauer College student has no fights on the horizon and will train lightly while travelling the United Kingdom.
"There's nothing planned at the moment, I'll have a bit of time off before planning next year," Smith said.
"I was in fight camps for a fair while this year. It's nice to have a bit of time off.
"I don't want to wear myself out too much. You need that time to recuperate."
The World Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Awards will be held on November 14 in Bahrain.
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