UFC featherweight Megan Anderson is gearing up for a return to the cage on December 29 when she battles Cat Zingano at the UFC 232 event.
Anderson (7-3) makes her second appearance for the promotion after losing a unanimous decision to Holly Holm this past June. The 28-year-old Australian enjoyed a huge amount of success prior to signing with the UFC, having captured the Invicta FC title and finishing all her victories with the promotion via knockouts.
Ahead of her upcoming fight against Zingano, Anderson recently spoke to BJPenn.com about how professional wrestling pioneer and WWE Hall of Famer, Beth Phoenix, inspired her whilst growing up.
“Beth Phoenix, she is legit one of my all-time favorites. Growing up, you know…I’m not like most girls. Physically I’m very different, I’m 6-feet tall,” Anderson explained. “So it was hard for me to really relate to the Trish Stratus’s or like, Lita. But Beth was like…she is legitimately an inspiration. Because the time that she went through the WWE, there was so much criticism on women and she did not look like your typical…bikini wearing, skimpy outfit wearing [diva]. She was a freaking beast. Physically she was an athlete. Muscular, she moved amazingly. So she was always someone that I looked up to.
“Like now, I love watching Ronda [Rousey], I think she’s changing stereotypes. I love Nia Jax. She is one of my favorites right now too. For me, anyone who looks different or is criticized for how they look, I am inspired by those people putting themselves out there. Because it is hard. It is extremely hard growing up being different.”
Anderson, who stands at 6-foot, says she still struggles to accept who she is, however seeing women like WWE’s Beth Phoenix on TV has helped her a tremendous amount.
“I struggled for the longest time to accept me, who I am,” Anderson expressed. “And I still have days where I’m like, ‘Oh my god I look big,’ we’re always going to have those days but for me, seeing women in the WWE or anywhere that they’re criticized for the way they look but continually just put themselves out there and don’t give a sh*t, I’m just like f*cking yes. Kudos to you. You’re an inspiration. You are what’s going to help young women be okay with who they are. And it’s just about that message for me.”
UFC 232 takes place on December 29 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.