HOLD TIGHT! The UFC is throwing fight fans another stacked 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 throne in a highly anticipated matchup against an inform Gilbert Burns at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
I had the pleasure of speaking with flyweight Gillian Robertson, as she prepares to face UFC newcomer Miranda Maverick and find herself back in the win column.
Gillian Robertson (9-5), (6-3) in the UFC is hopeful of finding herself back in the winning column at UFC 258. The Canadian born makes the walk to the UFC octagon for the eighth time on Feb 13, which at 25-years old is an achievement in itself.
The Savage has by no means had an easy ride since joining the UFC in 2017, taking on tough opposition such as Molly McCann, Mayra Bueno Silva, Sarah Frota, and Maycee Barber. Gillian Robertson has welcomed these challenges with open arms, which is a true reflection of her character.
Gillian Robertson’s last outing occurred in the last event of the year in 2020, suffering a unanimous decision loss to the pressure of Taila Santos. Although a convincing victory for Santos on the night, Robertson still looked for set-ups and submissions from her back, which is something Maverick will be well-aware of.
Miranda Maverick (8-2) enters the octagon with a 6-fight winning streak behind her and a truck-load of hype. Maverick made her official UFC debut at UFC 254 against a tough submission artist in Liana Jojua. Maverick’s octagon jitters didn’t seem to be visible as she landed a vicious elbow to the nose of Jojua, forcing the doctor to stop the fight at 05:00 of the first round.
The 23-year old brings a 75% finishing rate to the table, across her previous promotion in Invicta, where she was prone to a submission victory. It’s notable both women have very high success rates on finishing fights by submission. Maverick with a strong 63%, however, Gillian Robertson with a 67% submission finish rate. Both are confident in their abilities when the fight hits the mat, but I can see this contest taking place on the feet.
How has life been for you amongst the madness of the pandemic and coming of your loss at the end of the year? Having some time to reflect, have you evaluated the performance and identified what went wrong or what you could have done better?
Gillian Robertson – “.I’m thankful that through all the craziness of the pandemic that I’ve still been able to stay busy and be active. Coming off a loss, I just try to look forward so it’s awesome to have an opportunity to get back in the win column again so soon. My head coach Din Thomas has watched over my last fight and broken down my game to determine what adjustments we need yo make to make me a more complete mixed martial artist and hopefully I’ll be able to display that during this next match.”
I’d like to touch on your relationship with Din Thomas quickly, how influential has he been in your martial arts career as use seem to have a real tight connection which is great to see between Coach and fighter.
Gillian Robertson – “Din is the mastermind behind my game. Almost 10 years now we’ve been working together and he’s brought me from an unathletic 16-year-old to a UFC fighter. He is a large reason I’m at where I’m at today.”
You’re an individual who fans like to watch due to staying active, never giving in, and always looking to compete for weather that be grappling tournaments or MMA competition. What do you put that urge to get back in there so often down too?
Gillian Robertson – “I just love this sport and want to be the best in the world so the best way to test that is through competition. I also feel like its very important to put yourself in that competition mindset as often as possible to make yourself comfortable there.”
As touched on in 2020, you competed on Submission Underground twice. Tell us how that experience was and is that something you hope to continue doing?
Gillian Robertson – “It was an awesome experience both times I was able to compete for submission underground. Going into a strictly no-gi rule set pushes me out of my comfort zone and I love a challenge. I was trying my best to set up a couple of other grappling matches before I got the call to fight Miranda.”
We know you love the grappling and submission side of the game, your 67% submission rate backs that up. What is it about finding the submissions and the grappling exchanges you relish, is that something that’s been your strong point since the beginning of your career and you’ve just found yourself in those comfortable positions throughout your career?
Gillian Robertson – “When I first began I didn’t even know jiujitsu existed. I trained strictly kickboxing for almost a year then eventually had a friend convince me to try the jiujitsu class and fell in love fast. I was 17 years old 120 lbs and submitting guys who were twice my size because of the techniques and it amazed me. From that point, it was just lots of dedication and hard work that got me to the point that I am at today.”
This will mark your fourth bout under the pandemic, are you used to the process of it all yet, or does it still cause difficulties in preparation? How is everyday life in Florida right now?
Gillian Robertson – “Florida has probably been one of the most relaxed states during the pandemic so thankfully my camp hasn’t been impacted too much with gyms closing down in other states. My team consists of my coach din Thomas and my two main training partners David Evans and Jose Torres so we work with each other primarily and have been able to stay safe.”
How do you view Miranda as an opponent, have you watched her previous bouts in Invicta FC?
Gillian Robertson – “I honestly don’t watch my opponents. My coach will go through her fights and watch and breakdown her game and then send me a video of tendencies she has and the way we should approach her. Miranda is a game opponent and a young up and comer but I feel like every match is a favourable matchup for me. I have the potential to put any of these girls away.”
Looking at Miranda’s game where do you think her biggest strengths and weaknesses lie, is there any holes you and your team can identify and hope to exploit?
Gillian Robertson – “My game plan going in is just to impose my will. It’s not so much about what she’s going to do but about me being able to play my game and force her into my world.”
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