Looking back on her March first round submission win over Brandi Narvaez at Legacy Fighting Alliance 7, strawweight prospect Itzel Esquivel was able to pick her spots and come away with her second straight victory to start her pro career.
“I was expecting (Narvaez) to be a really tough opponent for me, and she was,” Esquivel told MMAWeekly.com. “I think I kind of had a lot of patience in that match up in that fight. I was waiting a lot and trying to see what I could get and stuff.
“It ended up being a really good win for me, because even though I’m not a grappler or anything like that, I ended up submitting her in the end, so I think that’s pretty good.”
Prior to turning pro earlier this year, Esquivel spent just over a year in the amateur ranks, which she feels has helped her a lot as she has transitioned to the pro game.
“I think my movement and keeping my distance is what is working for me,” said Esquivel. “I’ve done that in all of my amateur fights. I think I’m using all the knowledge I gained in my amateur fights in my pro fights as well.
“I’m just trying to learn throughout each fight, learn something new, take the good things and bad things from each fight and work on what I need to most to make myself a better fighter.”
On Friday in Houston, Texas, Esquivel (2-0) will look to remain undefeated when she takes on newcomer Maycee Barber (0-0) in a main card 115-pound bout at LFA 14.
“I think it’s going to be a tough fight,” Esquivel said. “She’s one of the only people that has been younger than me that I’ve fought. She comes from a Karate background as well.
“I think it’s going to be a very interesting fight for because I don’t believe I’ve fought anybody who comes from a Karate background and who moves as much as me in a fight. Even though she’s going to be fighting similar to me, I think my striking is what will probably lead me to the win.”
Three fights into her pro career, and Esquivel is looking to continue to make incremental moves upward as she eventually works her way towards getting a shot at the UFC.
“I’m taking every fight opportunity that I can get,” said Esquivel. “I just want to rise little by little and eventually like everyone else make it to the UFC or make it somewhere big in this sport.”