Itching to get back in the cage and make a statement, Michelle Ould will scuffle with Deanna Bennett September 6th at Invicta FC 8.
Corey Smith: Invicta FC recently signed a content distrubtion deal with the UFC, specifically via UFC Fight Pass. What impact do you believe the deal will have on the future on WMMA?
Michelle Ould: Well one can only hope that more females that participate in MMA will be given the attention and respect they deserve, not just the few & far between ‘standouts’ or ones that can pass the red tape to make it onto TUF.
MO: I’m hoping this will be the platform needed to boost our exposure and all the positive things that come along with that kind of exposure, such as sponsorships etc that help keep us going.
CS: You tried out for the most recent season of TUF, despite it being a weight class below your normal class. What was that experience like?
MO: It was interesting. Disappointing that I made it then something stupid came up that prevented me from getting in the house, but whatever I’m over it. Hopefully I will work with the UFC in the future but I’m just going with the flow and grateful to have a home at InvictaFC.
CS: You have trained the past several years out of Team Quest. For a female athlete, what are the advantages of training out of Team Quest?
MO: Same as any other gym. There are advantages & disadvantages; a lot of the time you won’t have anyone your own size to go with but then again sometimes that makes you work harder.
MO: There’s a lot of really successful fighters out of our gym that are super helpful and still grounded and helpful enough to extend their vast knowledge. Better yet, still sit around and discuss ways they can improve their game despite being considered some of the best in the world.
MO: Keeps you hungry & down to earth; I’ve seen guys win titles at other gyms that don’t handle it with near as much humility and nobility.
CS: Your bout in September will mark the end of a nearly two year layoff from the cage for you. Do you have any concerns with ring rust?
MO: Ring rust is a myth. I’ve been training hard despite having no idea when I will fight again. I’ve had layoffs before, and I come back better every time. I use it as time to pick myself apart and work on my weaknesses, and to fill out the holes in my physical & mental game.
MO: Sometimes when you’re just in training camp back to back you don’t have time to evolve. Of course that’s not ideally what I would want, 2 years off. But I couldn’t control what Bellator did by holding my contract exclusively then cutting us then I was signed with Invicta, then having to wait a whole year before having the opportunity to work for them.
MO: It taught me patience and definitely reminded me that this is what I want to continue doing; otherwise all of those inconveniences would have probably led a less passionate fighter to possibly retiring.
CS: Your opponent at Invicta FC 8, Deanna Bennett, brings an undefeated record with her into the cage. What are your expectations of the bout?
MO: I basically know nothing of her style aside from being aggressive, so I expect to be fighting a total stud in every way since my coaches can’t find any footage on her. She’s up amd coming and hungry so I’m prepared for that. Should be a scrappy bout.
CS: What is your mood on fight night?
MO: Always different. I tend to thrive in chaos; it actually calms me. But as I get older and with every fight it changes a little – which is good. Adaptation is what makes a successful fighter and that’s what I always aim to do in every situation; adapt.
CS: Do you have any routines or superstitions that you have to perform?
MO: As long as everything is chaotic and going wrong in one way or another I know it’s going to be a good night. If it all goes smoothly, I get worried.
CS: Who generally accompanies you to the cage? What type of feedback and coaching do you prefer from your corners?
MO: Bryan Harper, whom I refer to as Yoda. As long as I can hear them then that’s what I do. They know me and I trust them.
CS: Aside from fight preparation, how much MMA do you watch purely for enjoyment? Anyone in particular that you are a fan of?
MO: I go through phases. Sometimes it gets old with how saturated the market is right now. I prefer watching the smaller weights and proven well-rounded guys that keep the ‘art’ in mixed martial arts.
MO: And any girl fight. I’m a fan of all of them. I’m a huge fan of Benavidez, Saffedeine, Joanne Calderwood, Miriam Nakamoto, and Kevin Ross to name a few.
CS: Outside of the gym and MMA, what types of activities do you enjoy for fun? What helps you to relax?
MO: I like to do nothing. Doing nothing is awesome. Crowds and obligations give me anxiety and make me want to drink which is not something I enjoy much these days so I avoid it by staying home or doing things in non-crowded situations.
MO: Which can be hard when you have kids. Sometimes I have to bite the bullet and take them out in public lol. If I had it my way I would seriously live off the grid. That’s been my mentality lately.
MO: I love people but sometimes (most of the time), I over think things and am pretty good at reading people which usually leads to disappointment. I used to voice how I felt about it until I realized it usually doesn’t change anything and makes me just hate people in general some days.
CS: Lastly, MMA takes a team to succeed alone inside the cage. Who would you like to thank?
MO: Lately I’ve had a skid in the luck department as far as finances, sponsorship, and management goes-although I planned things out financially for this training camp it went sour and women like Sam Wilson & Linda Kriner saved me from pulling out my hair.
MO: Of course my coaches and teammates at Team Quest, especially John Davis who has put a lot of time and effort into my individual strength and conditioning.
MO: I’ve had a lot of companies provide me with essentials such as Caveman Coffee, Soapalicious, Onnit, RevGear, Future Legend, Quadsnotincluded, Vehement Fight Co (which is products made from 100% organic vegan friendly material).
MO: Plus sponsors such as AmericanaMMA, MMARoadHog, SportsFoodInc, HypeXtreme, XionX bands, Primal Cravings, Goomba to Goomba Productions, Ignite, Tilted Kilt Temecula, FlatIron Sports Injury, and Perfect Tan Temecula.
MO: A lot of fans, teammates, and friends have come forward and helped contribute to the FundMe campaign I started once I found out my finances weren’t going to come through to make it through camp, or even to pay for the essentials, like bills and kid’s school supplies.
MO: All of these people and companies have helped alleviate these stressors so I can just focus on what a fighter needs to do to prepare for battle and with whatever time I have left focus on lecturing my kids lol.
MO: Seriously I am so appreciative of all of you it almost makes me want to cry. But seeing as I am a soulless b*tch, please just take my word for it ;).
Invicta FC 8 takes place September 6th live from the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. The full card will air live via UFC Fight Pass. Click below for tickets, or to subscribe to UFC FightPass.