This Saturday at ‘King of the Cage: Counterstrike’, Melissa Karagianis will compete in the biggest fight of her young MMA career when she challenges Andy Nguyen for the King of the Cage atomweight title. Karagianis holds a 2015 split decision victory over Nguyen, now she hopes to do it again, but this time winning her first MMA world title in the process.
Fitness model turned fighter, Karagianis (2-2) competed in muay thai prior to making the move to MMA. She cites UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk as one of her major influences, thanks to her similar muay thai background and excellent takedown defense.
“I’d say Joanna Jedrzejczyk has definitely influenced me. We both come from a muay thai background. I admire her takedown defense and striking. She’s just such a talented fighter and seems do down to earth. After my first KOTC fight I had a fan tell me that I reminded him of a young Joanna jedrzejczyk which totally made my day” Karagianis said.
Canada’s Karagianis is coming off a loss to the much larger strawweight competitor, Cynthia Arceo. She now moves back down to her natural weight-class in a bid to take out the champion she has already beaten. The 29-year-old feels as though the loss has given her more focus leading into Saturday’s big fight.
“Taking a loss never feels that great but I did learn from it. After that loss I took a few weeks off training to recharge . I feel that this loss has taught me to be more focused . Fighting is just as much mental as it is physcial. I’m ready to get back in the cage this Saturday and put on a winning performance” Karagianis said.
“King of the Cage: Counterstrike” takes place this Saturday August 12 from the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, New York, United States. The event is expected to be broadcast on MAVTV.