For female 115-pound prospect Amy Cadwell Montenegro, 2014 started off slow, but ended with a flourish and has her at the highest point in her career so far.
After missing the first half of the year focused on trying to join The Ultimate Fighter, Montenegro spent the second half facing some of her toughest opposition yet.
Most recently, Montenegro (5-1) made her King of the Cage debut on Nov. 13 and picked up a win over veteran Diana Rael.
“Diana was a very tough opponent, but I was able to come out with a second-round TKO victory,” Montenegro told MMAWeekly.com.
“I didn’t really perform in my stand-up like I had trained to do. She hurt me a little bit, but I was able to weather the storm and get it to the ground and from there on out it was my fight. I was able to be really dominant on the ground.”
The win was Montenegro’s second straight after suffering the first loss of her career in June via split-decision to Katie Howard in CageSport.
With the women’s 115-pound division becoming one of MMA’s focal points this year, Montenegro feel she has to be ready for at a moment’s notice for anything that might open up.
“We’re going to see if there’s a really good opportunity that we want to take advantage of,” she said. “I’m not opposed to taking another fight before the year is out, but right now I’m not really pushing to get another fight in.
“We’re planning to hit training again hard this week because we know there’s always stuff to work on, and it only gets harder from here. I’ll be in camp, so if something comes up at the end of the year, I can take it.”
After a strong year in 2014, Montenegro is looking to build off of her experiences and make next year a breakout one.
“I’ve made a lot of key improvements,” she said. “I’ve really made some transformations in my strength and weight. I’ve gotten my walking around weight down and my strength and explosiveness up. I feel like I have a lot of momentum going into 2015.”
(Photo courtesy of Amy Montenegro)