The UFC has treated fight fans around the world with another electrifying card on February 13th. The fight card consists of a total of 10-bout’s headlined by current Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman who defends his gold strap in a highly anticipated matchup against an informed Gilbert Burns in Las Vegas.
Opening up the card is newcomer Miranda Maverick, who looks to keep her 6-fight winning streak intact as she takes on Gilian Robertson, who makes her eighth walk to the octagon under the UFC.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Miranda Maverick as she prepares for the contest on February 13th.
Miranda Maverick (8-2) will be hoping to build on her momentum after a successful UFC debut at UFC 254 over Liana Jojua. Miranda Maverick only had five-minutes to showcase her skill-set in her new home, and she lived up to it. The 23-year old displayed her no-nonsense style, even with her back to the fence and was happy to eat a punch to return a heavy blow. Maverick landed a flush elbow straight down the pipe of Jojua, which resulted in a doctor’s stoppage at 05:00 of the first round due to severe bleeding. The occasion didn’t seem to faze the young fighter from Tunas, Missouri and I expect this to be no different.
Miranda Maverick has spent eight out of ten of her professional bouts competing under Invicta going (6-2) and has a strong 63% submission rate, however, Gillian Roberts offers a 67% finish rate via submission. Fans could be in for an intriguing matchup if the fight hits the mat, although recently when two highly skilled submission specialists are matched together, the contest usually takes place on the feet.
Gillian Robertson (9-5) is coming into this bout off a loss to Taila Santos on the UFC’s last event of the year. Robertson spent the majority of the fight on her back and was out-classed by the better opposition on the night, but there was no quit in the Canadian native as she still attempted to set up submissions from the bottom.
Since successfully winning her UFC debut in 2018 against a tough Molly McCann, Robertson has really struggled to find some consistency in her performances. It appears to be a repetitive pattern of winning a fight, then losing a fight. The 25-year old has been matched against tough opposition so far in her career, however, being a young athlete still has plenty of time to develop her skill-set and hit her prime. When ‘The Savage’ is on her game, she really is a handful with a killer instinct to finish the fight.
Last 5 Bouts
How has life been for you since your victory over Liana Jojua on your UFC debut, how did you sum up your performance in that first round and is that the perfect start to your career in the promotion you visualised?
Maverick – “Life was back to normal after my UFC debut within a couple of days. At least, normal for me. My financial winnings were shoved to the back of my mind so they are put to good use in the near future. School resumed and continued even the day before my fight, and the Monday after I was back in the gym working immediately. I honestly felt like my performance lacked, but I will always be my harshest critic, as I should be. The 1st 40 seconds was me adjusting to the hit of reality that I was in the UFC and Bruce Buffer had just announced me, but then my mind cleared and my timing and movement came to me as we had trained. As far as the finish, it was invigorating, but I wish I would have gotten to make her stop myself. I am glad, however, that I got to show my striking, as it has been an unknown dimension for most viewers watching me.”
I like to ask fighters who have recently joined the promotion some questions on their past, to give fans a real sense of who you are and your story into the sport. Could you tell us a bit about your journey into the sport, why you chose to go down this path, your inspirations and your time with Invicta as you have spent the majority of your professional career competing under Invicta? How important was that platform to get you where you are today?
Maverick – “My introduction to women’s MMA was watching the 1st women’s fight of Ronda Rousey in the UFC with my Dad and him telling me “you could be the champion of that one day.” I think I was 14 years old and I laughed and joked that I didn’t want to be punched in the face for a living. After delving into self-defence and growing a passion for BJJ at almost 17 years old, I decided to pursue what I once found crazy and fell in love with what I now love and respect as my career.”
Just three months ago we seen you make your debut, was the plan to try and get another bout and more cage time straight away and how active are you looking to stay this year if injuries can prevent that?
Maverick – “My education comes first for me right now, so I was looking for a fight quickly before finals came. When that didn’t happen, I stayed ready after finals. Once again not partaking in holiday meals was worth it as I felt prepared for any short notice fights I was offered. I hope to remain active and to fight each quarter of 2021.”
Your upcoming bout v Roberston will be your second bout on a huge PPV card. How much do you relish those opportunities to compete on big cards knowing there will be many eyes watching you compete worldwide and does that give you an urgency to show the fans what Miranda Maveric is capable of?
Maverick – “I seek an opportunity to find more exposure and being on a big card gives me that. I know there are a lot of eyes on me, but I’ve always been one to perform well under pressure. There is a lot of hype surrounding me right now and I plan to work hard to make it stick.”
Have you faced any challenges in preparation due to the pandemic, has it hindered your ‘normal’ training schedule in any way, how is everyday life where you are?
Maverick – “The first couple months of the COVID-19 pandemic prevented me from having my long-awaited title fight for Invicta FC and also closed my gym, but I found ways to train with small groups and privately with coaches throughout quarantine. As UFC offers began popping up, slowly restrictions allowed me to train more. Now there are very few limitations luckily!”
How did the matchup with Gillian materialise, how much time have you had to prepare and what were your thoughts when the UFC offered this matchup?
Maverick – “I’ve stayed ready for a fight even before booking this one. Gillian and I had a couple offers to fight each other and between too short of notice and my school schedule we finally found a match up that worked for us. I have a lot of respect for Gillian and her active fighting. In addition, she appears to work hard. We have that in common, along with grappling background, but I believe I come into this fight with every advantage: size, strength, athleticism, better striking, and wrestling pressure that she is not accustomed to. Her “neck cuddles” won’t be so easy on me.”
Lastly, what can fight fans expect to see from Miranda Maveric at UFC 258?
Maverick – “I hope to put on a show both on the feet and on the ground. I guarantee that Gillian and I will put on a show. I’m going to be aggressive and show how well-rounded I really am!”
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