This past August was supposed to the breakthrough American performance for top women’s fighter Carina Damm.
An early favorite in the Strikeforce women’s 135-pound tournament, Damm had a surprisingly disappointing performance against Hitomi Akano, losing the bout via submission in the second round, derailing her comeback run.
Eager to prove her loss to Akano was only a temporary setback, Damm now moves down to 125-pounds to take on Colorado rising star Cat Albert at Winter Brawl in Grand Forks, N.D.
“I believe that I lost a bit of focus on the second round and fell into Hitomi’s game,” Damm told MMAWeekly.com of her August loss. “For this next fight I’m training twice as much as before so it doesn’t happen again.”
Prior to her bout with Akano, Damm had issues gaining a visa to come to the U.S., when asked if this distraction played a part in her loss, she said, “I believe any problem in the preparation for a fight will take away some of the focus from any fighter, so it wouldn’t be different for me, but now its time to think about the future and focus my energy to the bout on Dec. 10.”
Against Albert Friday night, Damm will be faced with the prospect of squaring off with a superior wrestler, but it’s a challenge she feels she’s well prepared for.
“I trained a lot for this match and my wrestling is better than ever,” commented Damm. “This isn’t a straight wrestling match, so I hope we can put on a great MMA fight for the fans.”
While she’s not sure where a win would place her in the eyes of the powers that be in the women’s 125-pound division, Damm does feel she’s ready for any challenge.
“I know my potential, and my record is one of the best at 125 pounds, (so) if it’s up to me, I will fight anyone in my division,” stated Damm. “I believe I have the skills to beat anyone at 125 pounds.”
One thing Damm knows for certain, she intends to use what she learned this year to springboard herself back to prominence in 2011.
“This was a year of a lot of work and investment in my career,” said Damm. “I believe that 2011 we will be able to harvest the fruits of all our work and effort this year.
“I would really like to fight on Strikeforce next year, but at 125 pounds if possible. 135 pounds isn’t a really good weight for me. We (entered the 135-pound tournament) because it was a good chance for me to get back in the U.S.; I am, and always have been a (true) 125-pounder.”
After trials and tribulations have marked her recent outings in the U.S., Damm is looking to put a stamp on her bout Friday and lay claim to the acknowledgement of being one of the best women’s 125-pound fighters in the world once again.
“I would like to thank God for my health, and all my team in Ft. Lauderdale,” concluded Damm. “Unfortunately my brother Rodrigo won’t be able to corner me for this match, but I will be as focused as ever.
“I hope everyone in North Dakota is able to go see my fight at the venue; big kisses to all my fans; thank you for the support!”