Lindsey VanZandt (1-0) is eager to put her mixed martial arts skills to the test when she takes on Rachel Sazoff (1-8) at Maverick MMA 3, September 30. Do not let this 24-year old’s tiny 113-pound frame fool you; VanZandt is anything but timid.
I had a chance to talk with Wappinger Falls, New York native at the Maverick MMA 3 open workouts over the weekend. Her pretty face and timid voice would lead you to think she’s a pushover in the cage, then you notice her cauliflower ear and realize that she’s put her time in on the mat. Although she was born with a speech impediment, Lindsey VanZandt’s New York accent is as clear as day.
“People often ask me if I’m from Boston or the Bronx. Sometimes I get Australian. I don’t hear it but I get that a lot,” she said.
VanZandt turned pro earlier this year earning a second round knockout over Katie Saull. The win came seven months after her last amateur fight, a very entertaining decision loss to Jillian DeCoursey. DeCoursey eventually went on to get signed to Invicta Fighting Championships, something that VanZandt sees happening in the not too distant future. While every fighter’s goal is to get to the UFC, the UFC doesn’t currently have a weight class for 105-pound women.
Would you jump up to 115-pounds for a shot in the UFC should the call come?
“I would probably stay in my weight class because girl’s are cutting to get to 115 pounds so they are probably really around 125 or 130 pounds. That’s just a really big jump for me. I’ve fought at 115 before and I didn’t really have a lot of luck with it. It would depend really on the fight. I’m more technical now at 105 pounds then I was at 115 pounds. I would probably wait for the UFC to bring a 105 pound division. I see it coming in the next year or so. They can’t hold us down for much longer. I need to get a few more wins and when the time comes, I’ll be a contender.”
What do you know about your September 30th opponent, Rachel Sazoff?
“I watched a few of her fights. Her last fight that I found online was a boxing match. I watched a couple of her MMA fights. I picked up on some stuff on her. She’s obviously a southpaw so I have to be ready for that. That doesn’t bother me at all though. I have a bunch of guys at the gym that switch stances all the time. I switch stances, so southpaw doesn’t really bother me.
“My last opponent was a southpaw, my fight coming up after this one is a southpaw, so apparently southpaws just want to fight me. I’m very comfortable. She throws a lot of hands. I know she trains a lot of jiu-jitsu, not sure where she is training but that’s really all I know about her. I’m ready to go anywhere so I don’t have to prepare specifically for her. Just keep training and do my thing, take it where I want to take it.”
Should there be any concern that you are looking past Rachel since you already have another fight lined up for another promotion in October?
“No. I keep telling myself one fight at a time. I’m not even thinking about the fight with Bi (Nguyen) until I win this fight.”
Which fight announcement came first?
“The fight I have coming up in October was actually supposed to take place in August. I was supposed to have that one first, but it is flip-flopped now.”
Will it be a challenge for you to go back-to-back like that less than 30 days after this fight?
“No, I don’t think so. As long as I come out of this fight with no injuries, I’ll be fine.”
How do you see this fight with Rachel going down?
“I’m ready to go anywhere but I see some hands getting thrown. I can see a knockout.”
How do you manage your schedule between work, life, and training for a fight?
“It’s hard. A lot of people don’t understand it. Training is very time consuming. I train at least five times a week. I’ve gotten better at balancing everything. Sometimes I would over train. I’m being more aware of that now. Depending on my work schedule, I’ll train two or three times a day. If I’m working I will train two classes at night and an individual session, anywhere from three to five hours. It’s not all powerful. It’s a lot of drilling. I really love drilling. Drilling is very important.”
How is the weight cut going now that we are officially two weeks out?
“I walk around at 113. I cut eight pounds. I usually start about two weeks out. I eat extra clean. I already eat very clean. I’m an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian. I eat fish, eggs. I can’t eat a lot of cheese, but I’ll have some. I don’t eat any meats or chicken. I’ve been doing it about six years now. I started in college. My weight cuts aren’t too bad. I eat extra clean two weeks out and then the week of I just cut about five pounds.”
Lindsey VanZandt provides thanks
“Precision MMA is where I train so I want to thank all my coaches and teammates there. Coach Brian McLaughlin, Karl Nemeth. I also train at Miller Brothers, so I want to thank Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella, also Buxton’s Wrestling, Kristy Wolterbeek is one of my main training partners. Some of my sponsors, Zeal for Life, Zurvita, Dreaming Elegance, my new t-shirt company, Ashburn Chiropractic, and Rob Lewis Photos. Also, I just started training with Kings of Fitness, they are going to help me with my strength and conditioning.”