To say Washington-based women’s 125-pound fighter “Relentless” Hadley Griffith stepped up in her pro debut might be an understatement.
After a less than stellar amateur career, Griffith not only stepped up in promotions by joining CageSport, but she also elevated the type of competition she faced when she took on Elisha Helsper.
“When I looked Elisha up, she’s been up against the best in multiple weight classes,” said Griffith. “She’s fought Lisa Ellis, Zoila Fausto (Gurgel) and Fallon Fox. It was extremely intimidating going from the local amateur scene and girls I’d known and seen fight to go up against a girl who is not only good, but has also been tested against such amazing fighters.
“It was a big step. All I could do was keep my head down, listen to my coaches, and put in the time and effort, and it paid off.”
Though she got the win via unanimous decision, Griffith feels she could have done more in the fight.
“I’m my biggest critic and always will be,” she said. “I definitely wanted to do better and I wish I could have been more aggressive. It was an interesting fight because she just stayed in one corner instead of being the typically aggressive fighter that she is. I tried to adjust to that.
“I always want to do better. Even when I do well, I want to do better and step up my game at every opportunity.”
Griffith (1-0) will make her CageSport return on Saturday when she takes on a familiar face in Amy Caldwell (1-0).
“We fought Muay Thai and I had a definite length advantage and I was able to win that fight,” said Griffith. “The second time we fought it was in (amateur) MMA, and she TKO’d me. She rocked me the worst I’d ever been in a fight; hurt me the worst I’d ever been in a fight.
“She’s the better MMA fighter, but with my reach, if I can keep it standing, I can win the fight. It’s going to be a very typical fight of a striker versus a grappler, and she’s very good on the ground.”
At nearly six feet tall, Griffith’s reach is to her physical advantage, but she also feels she’s added a few things to her game since the last time she’d fought Caldwell.
“I’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve this time and it’s definitely going to be a different look in this fight,” Griffith told MMAWeekly.com. “I know Amy is extremely aggressive, so there’s going to be a lot more engaging on the feet.
“It’s going to be a high-paced fight all over the cage. I’m hoping to show people a little something they haven’t seen from me before.”
(Photo courtesy of CageSport and ErnieSapiro.com)