Texas MMA fighter Alice Yauger said on Dec. 13 in an exclusive interview with Long Island MMA Examiner Eric Holden that she gained valuable experience from her XKO 20 fight against Sabrina Garcia and that she's itching to get back into the cage for another bout.
Yauger, 35, isn't sure if she'll continue to fight in the bantamweight ranks or if she'll try to move down to 125, but she's prepared for whatever comes her way. She also says she's willing to step in against fast-rising bantamweight Holly Holm.
The Texas standout kindly took a few minutes from her busy schedule to answer some questions about her fighting career. Here's what she had to say:
Q. Why did you start training in MMA?
Yauger: I started in Tae Kwon Do and got my black belt and also studied Muay Thai while under the same sensei. While at another gym teaching kick boxing, a boxing coach saw that I liked to use my hands and throw punches so we started small with a few amateur fights. At 4-0 we went to Atlanta and competed in the first ever All Womens National Golden Gloves tournament in 1999 and was featured in Sports Illustrated. No one was in my weight class and my in experienced coaches moved me up two weight classes and thus I suffered my first loss.
I then turned pro after being talked into it which was way to early with only 5 total fights but I won my first two. I have had numerous people tell me I turned pro way to early which I agree with. I didn't see eye to eye with them on some of their decisions like they didn't have my best interest so I moved onto another coach, Henry Mendez who coached Paulie Ayala.
Not long after training with Mendez they matched me up with Linda Tenberg for my third fight as a pro and she had just came off a decision loss in a title fight against Ada Velez. Tenberg fight ended up being aired on ESPN2 and my coaches left my locker room after taping my hands to go help Paulie and they never returned. They sent in two guys I had no idea who they were to work my corner because they needed to get Paulie warmed up for the main event. I felt confused as to the man I had been training for and training to listen for his voice was not going to be in my corner especially on a televised fight. I lost the fight by split decision.
I had another coach after that, Vincent Reyes who coaches some great fighters now, who found me another match and I lost in a decision which the crowd did not agree with so I wanted a rematch and lost it again in a decision with the same results of the crowd booing left and right and I got pregnant and hung the gloves up soon after.
Q. Tell me about your most recent fight.
Yauger: They set me up against Sabrina Garcia who was 3-0 as an amateur and 1-0 as a pro with her first pro win against Jade De Haas amateur fighter of the year. Sabrina had 3+ years in BJJ as a blue belt and MMA experience and wrestled in high school so my 5-6 months of mostly just losing weight was against the odds but hey, my entire career has been against the odds.
She tried several times to submit me as she didn't want to stand with me and she got mount several times getting in some ground and pound but it never hurt me to the point I wanted to quit. I never got tired which was crazy because my cardio was crazy but I just didn't have the technical part to keep her from taking me down. We won fight of the night though.
Q. With the loss, are you done with MMA or plan to continue?
Yauger: No way am I finished. I loved every second of it.
Q. Do you have any fights lined up for the months ahead?
Yauger: Not yet, and I am not sure if I will stay at 135 or try to move down to 125 and even 115. I was cut and had my abs showing at 135 but we think with the right type of training I can make a lower weight and really be stronger since walking around at 135 and fighting at 135 girls who are dropping 20lbs gives me a huge disadvantage.
Q. What do you think about the UFC adding a new weight class?
Yauger: That is awesome since they said they would never have women fight period. Any weight class is awesome. 115 might be an option pending on how much more I can drop over the next few months with my cardio and weight training. I would love an opportunity to fight on some major cards and with being the bread winner there is no way I can quit my job and go tryout. I know I only have 1 pro fight and no amateur fights, but 10 total boxing fights and even 2-2 in amateur kick boxing in Oklahoma I can compete with the best at this point.
We contacted Holly Holm when she posted a FB message saying no one would fight her. They contacted us and told us I didn't have enough experience. So why the hell are you going to report to several media sites that everyone is scared but here I am waving my hands ready to take her on. I might be inexperienced but I have been in this situation my entire life. I'll stand toe to toe with her! They fought several people who had been away for several years and several came in sloppy and out of shape. They are padding her record so she gets offers from the UFC. You wont see me dodge the best fighters and try and pad my record. I'm not scared.
Q. How do you see 2014 playing out as far as your MMA career goes?
Yauger: I just like to fight. I like the blood, sweat and tears. I like the atmosphere, and now being 35 years old, I have made a lot of friends who are backing my dreams. I think I had over 80+ people at my pro debut for XKO. I know I sold a ton of tickets. Having so many people supporting me has given me more confidence in following my dreams. I am ready to make a huge splash in 2014 and give everything I got. It's just the matter of landing a few spots and being matched up with fighters with similar backgrounds so that we all can grow together but I am willing to fight anyone out there. No fear here.