Ex-Silver Fern completes mixed martial arts switch with debut victory

From the netball court to the octagon, former Silver Fern Paula Griffin has completed a sporting switch to remember.

Making the Silver Ferns as an 18-year-old, Griffin trained in kickboxing and combat sports to boost her fitness during her lengthy netball career.

Griffin has been part of City Kickboxing - the gym behind the likes of Israel Adesanya and Dan Hooker - involved in their 'Wimp to Warrior' programme, before stepping into the octagon for her debut last Saturday - taking a hard-fought victory.

"You learn more about yourself in a fight gym than any other gym that I've ever been to," she told 1 NEWS.

"As a woman, just feeling an overwhelming sense of empowerment, to know that you can defend yourself if you ever needed to, feeling strong mentally and physically."

The 20-week course takes people from all walks of life, training them for an octagon debut, led by UFC guru and renowned trainer Eugene Bareman.

"One of the best coaching experiences I've ever had," Bareman says. "It changed a lot of people in a relatively short period of time."

Officially retired from netball, Griffin will continue to train as a fighter and, as she puts it, see where her new sport goes from here.