Brazilian submission authority Jennifer Maia tests herself against fan-favorite Leslie Smith, July 13th at Invicta FC 6.
Despite the matchup determining who will next face 125 pound champion Barb Honchak, Maia feels no extra pressure against the always active Smith. Confidence gained from an upset victory over Zoila Gurgel at IFC 5 will be put to use against Smith in a bout that should be a contender for Fight of the Night on July 13th.
Corey Smith: Zoila Gurgel was heavily favored in your last matchup. Does it bother you to be considered an underdog or do you use it as motivation?
Jennifer Maia: It served as motivation for me because I competed with a high level athlete.
CS: That matchup resulted in a victory for you. How did that match go according to your expectations?
JM: It was very good because I knew it would be a hard fight, and managed to cancel the game my opponent.
CS: If you had to self-critique the bout with Gurgel, what areas do you feel you needed to strengthen? What areas were you satisfied with?
JM: I am so pleased with everything that I’m developing in fights. Every fight I’m learning I need to improve it all.
CS: What was the experience like fighting for Invicta and in the United States for the first time?
JM: It was really wonderful; I followed the previous editions of the event and was a fan when I saw at the event was an achievement.
CS: Invicta goes to great lengths to make sure their fighters only have to concentrate on their fights, going so far as to bring in someone just to braid athlete’s hair before the fight. What do things like that do for your performance in the cage?
JM: I think the treatment is excellent. With the athletes surely this help and is very important. We stayed focused and thinking only of fighting.
CS: Were there any additional difficulties with regards to travelling so far for the bout?
JM: No, a bit tiring but normal travel.
CS: What is the atmosphere like behind the scenes on an all-female show compared to one that may only have one or two female bouts?
JM: It is good despite the anxiety we all are well focused and I feel more comfortable.
CS: Your opponent at Invicta FC 6, Leslie Smith, is dropping down from 135lbs for the first time. What are you expecting out of the bout? And do you anticipate any difficulties due to her larger frame?
JM: Training a lot!
CS: The bout with Smith also carries with it title shot implications. Do those stakes add any pressure as you prepare for the bout?
JM: Not because I live with every fight. Now I’m thinking in this fight first.
CS: What is your mood like on the day of the fight? Do you have any superstitions or routines that you perform beforehand?
JM: No, I don’t have any.
CS: How has the MMA scene grown in your native Brazil since major promotions have begun holding cards there on a regular basis?
JM: It is growing very fast.
CS: Lastly, MMA is as much a team sport as it is an individual one. Who would you like to thank?
JM: I thank my coach, the teammates, sponsors Tanoshi, Supplements, Team Saver that helps my fitness and all who support me and cheer for me.