This Friday, February 15th, Invicta FC will introduce its first Flyweight tournament. Four women will compete for the slot of number one contender while two women fight for the vacant Invicta FC belt. We caught up with Miranda Maverick, who will take on Deanna Bennett in pursuit of the number one contender spot.
Maverick told us that she started Martial Arts with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At the suggestion of her dad, she branched out to Mixed Martial Arts but had to wait until 18 to to legally compete. She took us through her full transition from BJJ to MMA:
“When I turned 18 I started training in kickboxing. I understood the basics and as I began fighting, depending mainly on BJJ and my strength as I became more experienced in striking between fights. The transition was relatively smooth and I still believe that BJJ and wrestling are the dominant sports of women’s MMA, partially because so many are well versed in the sports.”
Maverick told us that what was more exciting than winning her first match in her home state was that she did it in the prestigious Invicta Fighting Championship:
“It was amazing that my local fans and my team and family got to watch but what was most exciting was that it was in Invicta FC’s cage. It was my dream to be in Invicta after my first 5 pro fights. Now I’ve had my first 5 pro fights IN their organization. It’s such a blessing.”
After each of Maverick’s fight fans always see the most influential person in her MMA career, her father:
“My dad is always in my corner. He doesn’t necessarily have as much knowledge about MMA techniques as my coaches but he knows ME. He knows how I think and my habits and is good at motivating me regardless of the topic. Plus I can key in and hear his voice above all others. I feel like he should get the most credit for where I am at in life as I feel I represent him in every way.”
Maverick won her first 3 fights in Invicta FC with two submissions and one unanimous decision. It seemed as if she was sky rocketing to the top but she was suddenly derailed when she lost a split-decision against Brogan Walker-Sanchez. She took us through the hardest moment in her young career and what it took to bounce back:
“My loss to Brogan Sanchez in the moment was the worst thing ever. It made me feel like a failure, that the year I had spent recovering from an injury and the time I put into training and preparing [not to mention] all the time, money and effort others had put into me was a waste. I was very upset with myself and I am still upset about my performance. I definitely was not my best during that fight. I felt like that loss had derailed my shot at the UFC, at a title shot at everything. After that loss I was more motivated than ever to get back in the cage and avenge my loss. I trained hard, got my mindset on track, and took care of business in the next fight. My career depended on it. It was time to make or break my MMA dream.”
Though the loss brought her down, she did not stay down for long. She came back with a vengeance:
“It was such an emotional moment when I got my 1st round win against Leonardo to make a strong comeback, especially after I had went through a stressful transition of moving 18 hours away from home, starting at a new gym, and start my first year of grad school. No one knows the work it took to prepare for that fight and the stress I undergo to achieve my goals.”
Miranda is one of the hardest working MMA fighters in the business. It is often said that the hardest opponent you can fight is yourself. The Maverick is prepared for the mental battle that comes along with being a fighter as well:
“I am currently pursuing my PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Old Dominion University. Along with my education here and from my undergraduate courses at Drury University, I gathered enough information in psychology to understand myself and my opponent better. I understand the biological components that the stress affects and I also understand the various mindset that people have going into fights and observing their opponents.”
Her psychological training may be a key factor in remaining calm both during and before a fight:
“I personally walk out confident but at the same time calm. I don’t think about the crowd or the pressure. There is no sense. Now, in that moment, all that matters is the present. The work I have put in up to the moment I walk into the cage takes away the nervousness. I know what I am capable of and I have faith in my abilities. I stay fairly stoic leading up to and in the fight. I want to stay laser-focused. The time for being emotional is afterward.”
“I managed to inspire others by returning to training and completing rehab so quickly [after my injury] and my life goal is to inspire others so good things came of a bad situation.
I want to fight for the flyweight Invicta FC belt as soon as I can. ANY opponent Invicta FC pits in front of me I will fight.”
This weekend Miranda will be one step closer to her goal as she enters the tournament to be number one contender for the flyweight belt. She has finished 3 of her 4 wins by submission. When asked if she considered herself a submission expert, she had this to say:
“I do consider my strongest point to be my BJJ skills but my striking is coming along. I don’t know if I would consider myself a submission specialist or just someone who sees the opportunity for a finish.”
This Friday, February 15th, the day after Valentine’s Day blood will be in the air as fighters take to the cage to battle for Invicta FC’s number one flyweight contender. DeAnna Bennett vs. Miranda Maverick, MilanaDudieva vs. Karina Rodriguez, crowned with a flywweight championship bout: Vanessa Porto vs. Pearl Gonzalez. Who do you think will take home cupid’s crown?
Who do you think will emerge as number one contender? Leave us a comment and let us know.