On Saturday, the UFC wraps up their trip to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi with one of the most anticipated fights of the year when undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his title against Justin Gaethje. The entire fight card looks juicy and has the makings of a very entertaining day as the prelims start at 12 pm (ET) and the main card kicks off at 2 pm (ET).
Making her UFC debut on the preliminary card will be Miranda Maverick (7-2) as she battles Liana “She Wolf” Jojua (8-3) who is 1-1 in the UFC thus far. Maverick is coming off of 5 consecutive wins at Invicta. She was originally scheduled to face off with Mara Borella in June but had to pull out with an injury and now finds herself in her first UFC fight on the biggest card of 2020.
MyMMANews got the chance to speak with Miranda from Abu Dhabi and learn a little about the Octagon newcomer and also how she felt about her match-up with Jojua.
Who or what was it that brought you into mixed martial arts?
“When I was around 14 years old, my father and I used to watch the UFC together all of the time. When Ronda Rousey made her debut in the UFC, was the first time that I realized women could do mixed martial arts and fight. My father said that I could do that and encouraged me to learn jiu-jitsu. He had no formal training but from watching the fights and videos on You Tube, he helped me learn some of the basics right at home for self defense. Once I turned 16. I joined an academy and after two weeks it became a passion. At 18, I took my first amateur fight and won and ever since, I’ve kept on working to get better and continued to fight.”
What has been the biggest challenge for you dealing being on Fight Island and dealing with things like the virus testing and time change and being forced out of your normal routine?
“There’s not even really challenges. I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long and I’ve envisioned it and envisioned it. Everything that has happened I’ve envisioned. There are no real surprises. There is excitement of course. I’m excited about where I’m at. I’m blessed. Every time I have an experience with somebody new who has been inspirational to me, it’s exciting. I’ve thought about these moments for years now so nothing is a shock and I have just prepared myself as much as I can. This is the fun part of the ride.”
If you have a question about a certain technique, attack or defense, who do you go to that you trust?
“For striking, it’s Jake Chamberlain. He’s my main coach right now. He is the owner and head coach at the House of Muay-Thai where I train. For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I would go to my coach Mackens Semerzier who has fought in both the WEC and UFC.”
In your fight preparation, do you like to watch your opponents previous fights?
“I think I should go into a fight with every advantage that I can and part of that is watching all of her fights. Try to figure out her mindset, all of it so that I have the one-up in every aspect. I’ve watched all of her fights that I could find and analyzed every one. I also analyze my own fights. I love going back and watching all of them and being completely objective and trying to see what my opponent would see as my weaknesses so that I can improve them during my fight camp.”
What is your prediction for your fight with Liana?
“My prediction is a round 1 or 2 finish. Could be ground. I’m hoping to just knock her down with punches and then finish it with a submission, but I’ll take it anywhere it goes. If it’s a standing knock-out great. If it happens to be an all out war to the bell, great too. I’m ready for all of it. But I definitely think this is a good match-up for me. We both come from a grappling background but it will be a big mistake if she decides to go to the ground with me.”
Miranda Maverick is also still taking college classes and getting close to her degree while fighting full time. She seemed confident and relaxed for being in the biggest moment so far in her professional career.
You will get weigh in results, updates, round-by-round results on fight day right here at the best of the best in combat sports coverage….. MyMMANews.