Following her first successful outing in Invicta last year, current Jewels strawweight champion Ayaka Hamasaki is eager to follow up her success with her return to the promotion at Invicta FC 6 this Saturday night.
“I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the venue last time,” Hamasaki told MMAWeekly.com. “I like when the fans are loud so I really feel comfortable fighting for Invicta FC. I am very excited about this Saturday night.”
While Hamasaki is coming into the fight undefeated at 9-0, she felt her most recent performance was lacking. Hamasaki defeated Emi Fujino via unanimous decision in December.
“(My performance in December) was not good at all,” said Hamasaki. “I injured my neck, so I really couldn’t fully train for that fight.
“I shot in carelessly and she caught me few times, and in terms of utilizing (her game), Fujino-san was much better than myself.”
Originally Hamasaki was supposed to face Carla Esparza for the Invicta strawweight title this Saturday, but unfortunately Esparza had to drop out of the fight.
“Well, it’s an injury, so there is nothing I can do,” said Hamasaki. “I just have to perform well this weekend to secure a fight against Carla.”
Stepping in for Esparza at Invicta FC 6 is newcomer and fellow undefeated fighter Claudia Gadelha.
“I think Claudia is physically very strong, and she has a good ground game,” said Hamasaki. “But both Carla and Claudia are good on the ground, so I have been preparing to take on a top fighter (there).”
A win against Gadelha could secure the long-awaited bout with Esparza, which would fulfill one of Hamasaki’s goals once she recovers from a lingering injury.
“Winning an Invicta title is my goal, but I also have to take care of my knee,” said Hamasaki. “Right now, many states don’t allow taping to the knee so I need to think about my knee after this fight against Claudia.”
Hamasaki concluded, “I would like to thank my sponsors: InSpirit, Alienware computers, and East & West, INC.”