Among the fighters benefiting from the support is former Cung Le product Elaina Maxwell, who will be returning full time to the weight class after a difficult transition to 135 pounds last year.
“Unless Mike Dolce wants to move in with me and cook all my meals, I don’t see me moving back down to 135,” joked Maxwell. “I didn’t have a nutritionist, and I was just kind of doing it on my own through trial and error, and I didn’t make the weight twice.
“I gave it my best shot, but it’s just not something I want to do. I feel like I lost a lot of muscle and strength. My CrossFit numbers went down and I didn’t feel well at all. It hurts and it’s just not fun.”
Back at her more natural weight, Maxwell will have her first MMA fight of the year against former 135-pounder Ashley Sanchez in a feature bout for Resurrection Fighting Alliance on Friday night in Kearney, Neb.
“I really think that her style and my style have a lot of the same strengths, but I feel I have a few more weapons than she does,” said Maxwell of Sanchez. “I have the feeling she’ll just want keep it standing, and that’s fine by me.”
While recent happenings have cast some doubt on the future of the women’s 145-pound class, Maxwell is confident it’s not going away any time soon.
“Just because ‘Cyborg’ (Cris Santos) got popped for steroids and Ronda (Rousey) moved down to 135 pounds, it’s not going to ruin the entire division,” said Maxwell. “I really think there’s enough women in the 145-pound division to keep it open. Just because two fighters do a little something doesn’t mean the end of it.”
As Maxwell points out, cooperation will be essential in keeping the weight class viable.
“I’m pretty sure that Strikeforce, RFA and Invicta are going to be able to work together to promote women’s MMA and give us a platform to keep all the girls busy,” she said.
And keeping busy is what Maxwell wants to do. In fact, she already has another opponent in mind in rising Russian prospect Yana Kunitskaya.
“All she fights is tomato cans,” said Maxwell. “(Other than Cindy Dandois) I’ve never heard of any of the other girls she’s fought. I would love to be her first fight in the USA. It’s not personal at all, because I don’t have any grudges in this sport, but I think that she shouldn’t be in the rankings. I don’t think she deserves the spot that she has.”
Regardless of opponent, Maxwell is looking forward to a busy year of competition across multiple sports in 2012.
“If I only end up fighting four MMA fights, one Thai fight, and do some Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, I’m totally happy with that,” said Maxwell. “I just want to stay busy because you’re more focused when you’re busy. If you have more idle time on your hands, you have more chance to get into drama, BS and trouble.”