Tuff-n-uff will make another trip to Mesquite, NV this Saturday with two female bouts on the docket. Besides the 125 pound title match between Rachael Cummins and Tandra Lopez; Jillian Lybarger will have her last amateur bout.
Poised to play spoiler, Arizona’s Cortney Casey (3-1) is hoping to make an impression to the Tuff crowd, gaining a victory over the popular Lybarger.
We took some time to talk to Casey about stepping up to the big cage of Tuff-n-uff, and her expectations coming into this important match.
Wombat Sports: This is the first time you’ll be stepping into the Tuff-n-uff cage, which is step up in competition. How does it feel to fight for them?
Cortney Casey: This is the first time you’ll be stepping into the Tuff-n-uff cage, which is step up in competition. How does it feel to fight for them? It feels good to be asked to fight in the 125lbs tournament. There has been a lot of great female fighters that have fought for the Tuff-N-Uff production and I feel that it’s a great way to get your name out there.
Wombat: You are coming off a two straight wins in 2012 into this match. Has the momentum helped you prepare?
Casey: Well with my last fight being over 4 months there really isn’t much momentum. There has been a lot of training that has gone on since then and a lot of growth, so this is just another fight to me.
W.S.: How has it been training in Pheonix? Is there an advantage to training in the desert environment?
C.C.: Is there an advantage to training in the desert environment? I love training in Phoenix there is a lot of really good gyms out here and you can’t really beat training in the heat. If you can get passed a work out in 118 degrees, fighting in air condition is a treat.
W.S.: Arizona seems to be between two of the biggest training centers for MMA - Albuquerque and Vegas. How has the scene been and have you been seeing more females in the area take up the sport?
C.C.: Both states have great female camps and I have had the pleasure of fighting some of their fighters. As far as Arizona goes we have a hand full of good female fighters, but not a lot that come out of the same camp or even come out of the same part of the city so training with a girl who also competes in MMA can be a road trip in its self. Although over the past few years I have seen the sport grow here in AZ, so I would keep your eyes open for some good female fighters coming out of AZ in the near future.
W.S.: Jillian Lybarger is getting ready to turn pro, so a win over her would be major. What would a win mean to you?
C.C.: It would just be another win to me. There are a lot of girls with a lot of hype behind them, because they fight out of big camps. If you let that get to you then they already have a mental advantage on you. I just take one fight at a time and focus on what I am capable of doing and what my goals are in the fight game.
W.S.: Anyone you’d like to thank?
C.C.: I would like to thank all of my sponsors Papworth heating and cooling, Lockdown Clothing, Ragin Cajun, Accident Chiropractic & Wellness, and RYU.
I’d also like to thank my MMA Coach and Fiancée James Sziszak and my Jiu-Jitsu Coach Eduardo Sanchez and all of my training partners at Freak Animal Fitness and Eduardo Sanchez BJJ.
I would also like to thank my family for being supportive with my decision to be a female fighter.
Last but not least I have to thank my agent Sky at Fight Legion for getting me this fight!!!