Throughout her life Phoenix Carnevale, a nationally recognized Mixed Martial Arts journalist, on camera personality, fight commentator, fitness expert, and fighter, has remained true to her name. Like the legendary bird, which rises from the ashes, she has never been afraid to meet challenges and create opportunities for herself in her multifaceted and ever-expanding career. Phoenix’s passion for personal growth, good story telling and shedding light on human potential is the fire behind her drive.
Brooklyn born, and a New Yorker in every sense of the word, Phoenix was raised in a single parent household and primarily looked after by her older brother David. By spending her time with her brother she became the ultimate tomboy. Comic books, action movies and Bruce Lee quotes all became staples of her upbringing. Her obsession with martial arts started at a young age, but she wasn’t able to afford lessons until she was an adult. But instead of giving up on her dreams as soon as she had the opportunity she pursued her lifelong passion and made her dreams into a reality.
Phoenix was able to finally fulfill her childhood dream of studying Martial Arts when she signed up for Seido Karate. At Seido Karate, under the strict tutelage of Kaicho Nakamura, Phoenix gained a deep understanding of eastern wisdom and philosophy. Seido helped her develop her interest in traditional martial arts and gave her a foundation for her training. Looking to expand her training, Phoenix headed to Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn New York and trained under MMA boxing coach Mike Smith. At Gleason’s Phoenix sparred and trained alongside professional MMA athletes, boxing world champions and some of the best fighters in the business. Befriending these pros helped Phoenix gain an up close understanding of these remarkable athletes, and an appreciation for their craft.
Phoenix was athletic, but she had never focused on her conditioning before, and she was looking for more ways to improve herself, and her physical condition. She hit the gym and in less than a year transformed her body. This new passion to lead a healthy lifestyle for herself caused her to want to help others in their own fitness journeys. Phoenix began her successful and ever-growing career in the health and wellness industry. She began teaching a variety of fun and innovative classes at such clubs as Equinox, NYHRC and NYSC as well as teaching wellness seminars at universities around New York State. She has been featured locally on FOX news, ABC news, CBS news, NY1, and the CW11 morning show, as well as national programs such as Lifetime Womens’ Next Stop New You, Spike TV’s Rocky Marathon. American Latino TV highlighted Phoenix ‘s career in order to inspire Latinos to live a healthier life. She has also appeared in numerous fitness publications.
However, during her boxing training Phoenix seriously injured her foot and needed months of rehab. This was a large setback for her, and all of her hard work seemed to be slipping away. Frustrated about being unable to compete in the Golden Gloves, instead of giving up and turning her back on her passion, Phoenix decided to make the most out her her time off of training. She began reading everything and anything there was on all things martial arts. She was so involved in her self guided studies that her friends began to refer to her as a martial arts encyclopedia. She began her Martial Arts journalism career.
While doing her research she came across Muay Thai boxing and the name Kru Phil Nurse. Thai Boxing seemed to be the perfect blend that Phoenix was looking for, all the spirituality and philosophy of Karate mixed with the toughness she loved about boxing. Despite the fact that she was in physical therapy and couldn’t train Phoenix decided to go to Phil’s school, The Wat, in New York City. Meeting Phil was kismet. He became the most influential person in her martial arts career, and ultimately in her life. She spent afternoons sitting watching him teach, and this observation ultimately showed her how to teach, and how to see as well. She listened closely to his teachings while still in recovery and once she was fully able she immediately started to train at The Wat. Eventually she began fighting with Phil as her coach. She is a devoted friend and student to him, and he has helped her realize her full potential.
Phoenix has now used her extensive knowledge and passion for martial arts into a thriving MMA journalism career, and has been contributing to many martial arts journalism venues, both writing articles and interviewing fighters. She has hosted and produced segments on Inside Martial Arts, which quickly gained her a cult following. The segments were later showcased on Black belt TV. Phoenix can also be seen monthly on ESPN U’s sports show UNITE giving a complete analysis on UFC’s up and coming main events. Phoenix has interviewed martial arts legends and champions such as Cung Le, Matt Serra, Gina Carano, Chael Sonnen, and Ronda Rousey. In addition Phoenix co-produced, “At the Wat” a series of sit-down interviews with professional fighters focusing on MMA stars – athletes such as UFC champion Georges St. Pierre, former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
As her interest in being on camera grew Phoenix spread her wings and took to the stage, performing in theatre groups around the country. She has currently performed and written for a variety of stand up comedy clubs such as Gotham Comedy Club and NY Comedy Club.
Most recently Eddie Cuello of Take On Productions invited Phoenix to co-commentate the Muay Thai shows. She jumped at the opportunity, becoming the color commentator for several shows including Battle at Bally’s 1 and 2, Take On’s 8 Man tournament and Muay Thai at the Mecca 1 & 2, the first time Muay Thai kickboxing was ever presented at Madison Square Garden. This led to other commentating gigs both in New York and abroad, including commentating on Sky Active Networks Muay Thai World Series and Fighting Force Championship in Bournemouth, England. Take On recently shot a pilot for MSG networks with Phoenix hosting and giving color commentary.
At this point in her life and career, Phoenix is concentrating on on-camera hosting, MMA journalism and performing. She is working to produce all-inclusive Martial Arts-related media and materials so that others can profit from and enjoy the beauty and power of these disciplines. Phoenix will no doubt continue to rise in all of her varied pursuits.