Liz Carmouche is a name all MMA fans, especially UFC fans, will be familiar with. She created UFC history in 2013 when she took on Ronda Rousey in the 1st ever female match up at UFC 157.
With an MMA record of 13-6 and notable victories over Jessica Andrade and current female flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko, Carmouche is without doubt an enormous factor in the division.
Most recently, at UFC Fight Night Prague, Carmouche put on a fantastic display against Lucie Pudilova earning herself a unanimous decision victory. This latest win surely throws her hat in to the ring for a title shot and with her already having a victory of Shevchenko it sets up a tantalising rematch for the UFC to consider.
While still enjoying the fruits of her labour from last weekends fight, Liz took some time out to fill us in on, among other things, her career, the history she’s made and her upcoming appearance at the all-women Quintet taking place in April
Here is the Interview.
How has your seven years in the Unites States Marine Core helped you as a fighter or has it played any factor on your career?
I think my 5 years in the marine corps helped a lot. There is a strength in overcoming adversity in that climate that has carried over to fighting.
You had a fantastic performance in your fight at the weekend, staying just outside Pudilova’s reach while still landing your own shots and takedowns. How much freedom do you give yourself between sticking to a game plan and acting/reacting in the cage on the night?
I give myself a lot freedom to adapt past the game plan. Saturday night i really had to adapt. Our game plan had to change because she didn’t act like she had in past fights.
You came into that fight as the betting favourite against Pudilova. Do external factors like that increase your confidence and self belief in a lead up to a fight or do you pay attention to them at all?
I do not consider outside expectations for my fights at all. Because its really just an opinion and anything can happen. Having too much or too little confidence can work against me in my fights.
You mentioned prior to the fight that you worked with Prime Hall from Underwater Torpedo League. What in particular did he bring to the table that helped you improve your visualisation and mental focus for the fight?
Prime Hall helped my so much in the fight. Physically in adapting training that implements grappling, endurance, and cardio fight specific underwater. He has a circle of trust that allowed me to be honest about my concerns in regards to my weaknesses going into the fight and addressed them. He also helped me get a mental focus on the fight and my goals goes it.
After that win Saturday a title shot is surely on the horizon for you. Having a victory over the current champ Valentina already, how do you see a rematch going considering all the improvement you have made in the years since you two last fought?
Valentina was a much more experienced fighter when I her. I was brand new new to the sport and tricked having originally signed a contract to fight her sister of a similar playing field. I pulled off a win with only a few months experience. The fighter that beat her that night has only grown and evolved over ten years while not many things have adapted in her game.
How do see the the Rose vs Andrade fight going seeing as you have already fought andrade and beat her convincingly?
Both fighters are very tough. Andrade has grown so much since I faced her that it s toss up between the two.
It’s also been just over 6 years since you made history by being part of the first female fight in the UFC. How proud are you still of that fantastic accomplishment?
I don’t know that I’ve ever had a strong since of pride about that fight. While I took the fight when everyone else said no I did walk away with a loss. There isn’t much pride to hold for that for me.
What are you thoughts on Ronda’s transition to WWE after her 2 losses?
Ronda wanted to go out with a flawless record and I don’t think she imagined it any other way. When that changed I doubted how long her career in mma would last. She doesn’t have anything else to prove to anyone in mma. WWE is a great way to have the spotlight and still be athletic.
Earning my black belt is unique from fighting. It’s a big deal for me to earn that under the 10th planet system. The system has been more difficult for me to learn than traditional jiu jitsu. Also the black belts I’ve trained with in the system are mind blowingly artistic in their art. And so knowledgable that it’s a huge honor to join their ranks.
Eddie Bravo obviously thinks very highly of you and recently announced that you would be part of Team 10th Planet for April’s all-female Quintet event in Tokyo. How excited are you to compete in that event and how does it feel to represent 10th planet?
I’m so excited to compete in Japan, in a team setting, and representing 10th planet. 10th planet has so many talented competitors so it’s an honor to even be considered to represent them.
Have you any words for the young and upcoming female talent out there?
To young and upcoming woman that want to pursue this sport I say to commit to it 100% and that the sky is the limit.