Having achieved success in the sport of soccer at the University of Texas El Paso, Cortney “Cast Iron” Casey is looking to continue to move forward in her athletic career, this time in MMA.
Having compiled a 6-2 amateur record, with two championships to show for her efforts, Casey will be making her pro debut on Friday at XFC 24.
When asked why now is the time to make the move to pro, Casey responded, “I just felt like it was time to step up in competition again, moving up to Tuff-N-Uff (as an amateur) and now to the XFC (as a pro).
“My manager and coaches felt it was time for me to move up as well. I can only get better as the competition gets harder and this is a way to do that.”
Casey feels her time in the amateurs was invaluable and helped her develop her game to the point where she was able to transition naturally between skillsets.
“I feel like I definitely improved my overall game and put everything together,” she said. “It wasn’t just stand-up then Jiu-Jitsu, it was more of a flowing game.
“I had a couple long timeframes between fights that allowed me to focus on the areas that I needed to. I’ve definitely come a long way.”
At XFC 24, Casey will make her debut against veteran Kelly Warren in a featured 125-pound bout live on AXS TV.
“She likes to push the pace, just like I do, but she’s very strong, very aggressive and is a big 125’er,” said Casey of Warren. “I know she likes to stand with a background more in kickboxing and Muay Thai. So if she wants to stand, we can stand. If she wants to go to the ground, we can go there too.
“I’m just ready to make sure that I’m pushing the pace and keeping the high-intensity that I used to do in the amateurs.”
With her background in an endurance-intensive sport such as soccer, Casey told MMAWeekly.com that she feels she’ll be able to push the pace harder for longer than her opponents can stand.
“My recovery time is a little bit quicker than most because of all my training in soccer,” she said. “You have to go 90 minutes and sometimes to overtime, so your cardio has to be up there. It’s constant movement just like in MMA, with short bursts, so it transfers over well.”
Now that she’s putting effort into becoming a full-time MMA fighter, Casey wants to keep things moving forward and see where it takes her.
“I’ve just got to focus on staying healthy and after this fight that I take some time off and then get back into it,” she said.
“I don’t want to have a long time off. I want to get back into it and continue fighting. I don’t’ want to sit back and over-think too many things and over-analyze things. I definitely want to get right back into it.”