After her fairly extensive amateur career ended disappointingly, Evans-Smith jumped head-first into a tournament for her first pro experience, and in the process became part of one of 2013’s most heated debates not only in MMA, but in sports.
Throughout it all, Evans-Smith has remained steadfast in her commitment to win and improve as a fighter. And because of such, she’s now got a shot in one of MMA’s biggest promotions.
“I turned pro a lot of people would say not on a good note,” said Evans-Smith. “In my last amateur fight I got knocked out and a lot of people thought I was being silly to turn pro after that fight, but I just felt like it was a fluke and a minor setback, and it was time to turn pro.
“I turned pro with the CFA 145-pound tournament and things couldn’t have gone any better to kickstart my career. I got to avenge a loss in my amateur career. I won a belt. I boosted my exposure by beating a very controversial opponent. The rest has been great.”
As Evans-Smith mentioned, her win over transgender Fallon Fox in the finals of the CFA tournament in October was not only a first in MMA, but it garnished her a lot of attention both within and outside the sports community.
“People keep asking me about that fight,” said Evans-Smith. “It was just a different kind of situation. I’m going to probably still have to talk about it for years to come, but I appreciate the publicity that it did give me.”
After nearly eight months away Evans-Smith (2-0) will return to MMA, this time at 135-pounds, this Saturday at WSOF 10 against Marciea Allen (3-1) at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
“I’ve watched all her videos extensively and I’m not underestimating or overestimating her,” said Evans-Smith of Allen. “I know she’s a good striker, but I know I’m better than her on the ground, and in a lot of areas I know I have a really good game plan, so I’m going to go out there to finish the fight as soon as I can.
“I really want to make a dent in the 135-pound division. This is my first fight in the WSOF and I want to make a statement that I’m here to stay and finish it.”
For Evans-Smith, with a new opportunity in a major promotion, she’s looking very much to top her first year as a pro fighter and make waves in the WSOF.
“There’s only room growth,” she said. “I’m the first bantamweight to come on with them and whoever they bring in front of me, I’m going to crush.
“I can’t see anyone giving me any problems on this level. I’m going to win every single fight on my contract with them.”
(Photo courtesy of CFA)