Courtney Casey vs Gillian Robertson goes down on Saturday, June 20. It’s at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. This flyweight bout is part of UFC Fight Night 173. Casey enters this one a few weeks after her victorious return to 125 lbs. She looks to maintain the momentum of that first-round armbar win on May 16th by defeating Canadian combatant Gillian Robertson. It is one of many intriguing flyweight bouts set to go down on Saturday night. Below are some excerpts from my conversation with Cast Iron Cortney Casey.
The quick turnaround after fighting in May
“The reason why we took the fight is because we like the matchup. I mean, it’s definitely a super quick turnaround. But I didn’t take any damage in my last fight. So we kind of talked it over for about a day and we decided that it was a good matchup and something that we didn’t want to you know, let go.”
Thoughts on Gillian Robertson as an opponent
“We enjoy it. I mean, she likes to strike a little bit, set up her takedowns. She’s really good at jujitsu. She likes to really play I guess you can say. With her Jiu-Jitsu, she doesn’t just kind of sit and hold you. She tries to look for submissions and stuff like that, which I think is gonna be definitely fun. Her striking is pretty good and she sets up her takedowns well. So I definitely think that wherever it goes, it’s gonna be a good matchup.”
Cortney Casey getting the quintessential performance in her return to 125 lbs
“Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’m always trying to get the finish. It doesn’t seem to go my way when I go to the judges. So it’s always something in the back of my head to try to get to finish wherever the fight goes. But I mean, considering, you know, having 15 months layoff, you know, battling back to back injuries, Coronavirus, just life in general, you know. To go out there and get a win like that, and in the first round was just kind of like the perfect scenario that could have happened.”
Casey vs Robertson
Fighting in front of no fans
“I really enjoyed it, honestly. As a fan watching it, you know the weekend before I really enjoyed it and then actually being a part of it. It kind of seemed more true to martial arts than like spectator sport I guess you can say with all the fans and everything like that. It was more intimate more personal. There wasn’t the booing and the wooing and all that stuff that goes on you know when you have the fans. It was really just people there watching the fight, you know very little commentary and stuff from fans and things like that.”
Cortney Casey continued, “It was really just the people there watching the fight and that was it. They were just there to look and enjoy the art side of it and the martial art side of it then, as far as like, feeling off the crowd and things like that. Which I’ve heard that some people liked it. Some people didn’t like it. Judges liked it. Some judges didn’t like it and things like that. But me as an athlete and as a fan, I enjoyed it quite well.”
The strawweight point fighting/ flyweight finishing dynamic and the smaller Apex cage
“Yeah, absolutely. I mean, anytime you get a smaller cage, you’re forcing people to interact with each other more. Some people say a smaller cage is more of a grappler’s cage because they have an advantage of pushing up against cage and taking you down. You have strikers that say, oh no it’s more of a striking cage. At the end of the day, it’s a cage.”
“Like I said before, wherever the fight goes I’m trying to finish it there. If they want to stand and bang I’m going to try to finish there. If they want to take it to the ground I’m going to try to submit you there. So it doesn’t matter the size of the cage for me”
UFC Fight Night 173
Modafferi vs Murphy and the hierarchy of the 125 lb class
“My job is to go out there and take one fight at a time. If the fight comes, it comes. From what I know and heard, the winner of that fight of Roxy and Murphy will be the next title shot contender after you know, Jojo’s fight. Whenever that fight happens. Right now I’m just focusing on this fight and the next fight that they give me. Regardless of who it is.”
Fighting during a global pandemic and social distancing preparations
“I was over at Siege MMA. It’s pretty much the normal social distancing as much as we can do it. As far as making sure that each session was pretty small. So it was just me and my coaches and my team. And we were there, you know, for our time frame, and then obviously, Hunter (Azure) would come in because he fought on the Wednesday card before me. So we’re keeping the gym as clean as possible and as separated as possible. I kind of like it because it’s a little bit more hands-on for your camp instead of having like big groups. So I’ve kind of enjoyed the social distancing part of it.”
The work/ life balance of her relationship with fellow fighter Drakkar Klose
“It’s good. It really is. It’s easy to have someone that kind of understands literally everything you’re going through, you know. All the way down to actual wake up time and food prep, practice schedules, and all that, you know. It does take a toll. If you don’t have someone that understands it, and luckily I have him and he gets it. Especially right now going right back into camp.”
Cortney Casey continued, “If you have a spouse who’s been in camp for six weeks, and then ‘oh we’re going to go on vacation. We’re going to do this. We’re going to have some family time.’ The next thing you know, it’s like ‘oh no. I gotta go back into camp.’ It’s hard when someone doesn’t understand that. But luckily I have him and he was like, ‘yep, it’s a good opportunity. Let’s go do it.’ And so here we go again.”
Check out the interview that I did with Cortney Casey in the video provided!
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.