After six years away from MMA, Melanie Lacroix returned to fighting this past March and faced adversity like she hadn’t before in a unanimous decision win over Brooksie Bayard at BAMMA USA: Badbeat 12.
“She came out incredibly strong and I kind of had to fight her up close when I wanted to fight her at distance,” said Lacroix of Bayard. “She just really pressed and had me against the cage the whole time, but I was able to fight her with knees and elbows and ultimately that got me the fight.
“It took me out of my game and made me have to figure something else out and it worked for me, so I’m happy about that. But it was tough.”
Lacroix explains that her decision to come back now after six years away was because she felt if she didn’t do it this year, she might not do it at all.
“I’m 31 now and I don’t have time to kind of waste or do this as a hobby, so I had to make a decision whether or not I was going to be all-in and reprioritize things and make sure I could train and still be a mom,” Lacroix told MMAWeekly.com.
“I was hoping to have a year to get ready for this, but we got the call and I trust my coaches so we decided to do this. It felt good and it felt right.”
Lacroix feels that her maturity is the biggest change from when she last fought in 2008 to now.
“I appreciate being able to fight more than I did,” she said. “I have more of a grateful heart this time around because I might have taken it for granted before. Not everybody can do this, so I’m lucky to be in this position and I’m grateful for it.”
At BAMMA USA: Badbeat 13 on Friday in Commerce, Calif., Lacroix (3-1) will look to pick up her second win in a row when she takes on veteran Christina Marks (4-7) in a feature 135-pound bout.
“I don’t know too much about her, which is fine, because we focus on me and I’m just hoping to be a technical fighter who pushes the pace and is aggressive in a smart way,” Lacroix said of her bout with Marks.
While she is focused on Friday’s bout, Lacroix intends to make the most of her second opportunity in the fight game and just wants to continue to improve and face the best possible opposition from here on out.
“Obviously the goal is to move up, but I’m more excited to learn about myself after Christina,” said Lacroix. “I want to have bigger and harder fights. I’m not in a rush, but I’m open to challenging myself and see where it goes.”