Miranda Maverick will lock horns with Liana Jojua at UFC 254. It is happening on October 24th live from Abu Dhabi on Fight Island.
This flyweight fight marks the promotional debut for Maverick who won the second Phoenix Rising one-night tournament for Invicta FC. Below there are several excerpts from my conversation with Maverick ahead of this big bout.
The remainder of her schooling
“So I’m actually kind of ahead on my course hours right now. I am going to be having my Masters completed by this December, it looks like mid-November, actually. So that’ll be done with my master’s but I’m already ahead on the Ph.D. courses, and I should be done with all the in-person courses by next semester. So this coming spring. And then after that, just my dissertation and research required to have that degree.”
What is industrial-organizational psychology?
“Nobody really knows what it is, unless they’re really involved with either business or the psychological aspects. So it’s basically like business psychology. So my focus is personnel selection and recruitment, typically. You also look at employee well being and employee training within that same department.”
House of Muay Thai and Norfolk BJJ work
“Now it’s business as usual. There for a few months obviously, we’re having to adjust to the government mandates and things of that sort. But I had gotten my call up right in the heart of COVID and everything. So we were finding ways to get around it training, you know, privately, training with just a few training partners. But my coaches have stayed very consistent throughout that time and I am still training at the House of Muay Thai. Norfolk BJJ is kind of located within that gym.”
The initial UFC debut plan getting derailed
“I was excited to find out I was going to get to fight again after the last setback. I was really worried I wasn’t going to get to fight ever again. So now there’s this new motivation to be able to train. To be able to fight. So I’m just excited to finally have achieved that initial dream of getting into UFC. Now it’s just making my way to the top. Being aggressive as I can during this debut and showing my stuff.”
One of her corners watching a live MMA fight for the first time
“It is pretty funny. For him, he had never even known what MMA was really until he met me. And of course, I’m more than involved in it. So now he’s gonna get to watch his first live MMA fight. You know, not only in a huge arena with COVID involved. So it’s going to be a little bit different but it’s going to be for the UFC sitting in my corner. Obviously, he’s not going to be as much coaching, but he’ll be there for support, run the timer, things of that sort.”
Miranda Maverick continued, “Unfortunately, my secondary coach, or I guess primary coach that would be my second corner usually was not able to come due to restrictions from military on quarantining. So it’s kind of hurt me in that way and then of course my dad was not able to get his passport in time. So that’s been another big blow. But at the same time it leads to more motivation to win this fight and prove everybody proud back home.”
Going to Fight Island
“Obviously, with the COVID it’s going to be a little bit different than it would usually be but I’m still so excited I get to be on this card. It’s the biggest card of 2020 pretty much with all of these very popular people within the MMA world.”
Miranda Maverick continued, “And I’m very excited to get the opportunity to have that exposure that I wouldn’t have had had I been in Vegas, or a place a little closer to home, but obviously the travel restrictions and the difficulty with my dad’s passport and things of that nature. Do make me wish it was closer to home. So there’s the ups and the downs to it but I’m just rolling with the punches. I’m so happy to go there and just be able to fight. Make my debut and get it done with.”
Maverick vs Jojua
Breakdown of her opponent Liana Jojua
“I feel like it’s best to have every advantage possible when you walk into a fight. So for me, I watched her videos that I could find of her fights, old and new. Watched Jiu-jitsu videos of her, all that kind of thing. Found out what belt level she was, you know. I find out everything I can. And I just feel so confident. I feel like the UFC is giving me I wouldn’t say an easy fight for my first one but it is a good debut fight for me. Our skill matchup is well matched. We both have that more grappling background.”
Miranda Maverick continued, “I know that she thinks her striking is a little bit stronger than mine but I feel like in the past two years, I’ve came leaps and bounds in my striking and I’m very confident in that. If I had to do a full stand up fight I would be absolutely fine with that. So I’m excited to just see where this fight goes. And I’m going to kind of just gauge it once I get in there you know.”
“If I feel like I’m so much stronger than her and overpowering that I can just take it to the ground and finish it real fast. Or if I just want to keep it standing and feel like I’m tagging her and to move around and kind of show off that other dimension of mine that I haven’t gotten to as much, I’ll do that too.”