Coming into MMA from long distance running isn’t exactly what most fighters do, but women’s flyweight prospect Heather Bassett has made the transition in strong fashion.
Following a couple of years on the amateur circuit, Bassett turned pro a year ago and has since gone 2-1, including an impressive TKO victory over Carolyn Biskup in under a minute in May.
“I feel like this year has been pretty productive,” Bassett told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve progressed a lot and I think I’m just getting start.
“The win (over Biskup) was definitely what we wanted – especially coming off a loss – so we put a lot of time into preparing for the fight. I followed the game plan pretty much to a T and it went just how I wanted it to.”
With women’s MMA picking up steam this year, it’s a strong possibility many female athletes in the sport will turn pro right away to strike while the iron is hot. For Bassett however, she feels the amateur path is a better path to success.
“I think that it is really important to be challenged as an amateur before turning pro,” she said. “Not only is it going to build up your skill set, but it will also let you know if this is really what you want to do.
“I think a lot of people are going pro just because of all the opportunities that are out there. I think these opportunities are not going away, and it’s more important going into a pro career prepared and not make that jump too soon.”
Bassett also feels she was able to transition to MMA from long distance running because it prepared her body for the rigors of high level athletic competition.
“It helps in knowing your body and how much you can push yourself as an athlete,” said Bassett. “Things like sticking to a training regimen and knowing how to take care of your body and listen to it is the biggest part of it.”
Bassett (2-1) will look to win her second straight fight at RFA 18 when she faces fellow promotional newcomer Brenda Gonzales (4-1) in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday night.
“I didn’t have a full training camp, but I had been training, so making the jump into a camp was a no-brainer because I’m always ready to go,” said Bassett. “I think it’s not going to be easy for either of us and should be an exciting match-up.”
Having built herself into a solid prospect in MMA from what might have been an unconventional place; Bassett can take another step towards establishing herself with a win on Sept. 12 at RFA 18.
“I think at this point, another pro win will put me at 3-1 and it’s definitely what I need to give my career more of a push,” she said. “I don’t know where it will go from there, but it will definitely be interesting to see.”