Female strawweight prospect Katherine Roy is familiar with pressure. From doing female search on missions with the US Army Infantry, to making her pro MMA debut against a former Olympian, Roy has been in her share of tough spots.
Throughout it all, Roy has maintained a level head, and refuses to let circumstances get the better of her, like when she travelled to Manilla, Philippines, to face 1992 Olympic swimmer May Ooi to make her pro debut.
“What an exciting way to make your pro debut,” Roy told MMAWeekly.com. “I just remember when I was in the fight, when she’s pushing up against the cage, I remember smiling and having a good time in this stadium in Manilla.
“When I watched it, there were things I couldn’t believe I did, but go back to the gym and work on what coach says.”
Roy believes her military background has helped her in MMA, especially when it comes to powering through difficult aspects of preparing for a fight.
“I was a diesel engine mechanic, and also female search … going out with the infantry guys on missions searching buildings – everything they did,” said Roy. “It was a good experience, because you don’t really realize how dangerous it is while you’re there, until you think back on it.
“Those bad days, especially over there, can be really, really bad, but you can’t stop – you have to keep going. You have to bite-down, pick up your boots and keep going. There is no break. I think having that mentality being in the Army helps with the MMA training.”
Roy (1-0) face another big challenge when she takes on Mackenzie Dern (2-0) in a main card 115-pound bout at LFA 6 on Friday in San Antonio, Texas.
“I’m honestly fighting a pretty big name, but I didn’t really know who she was until she made her MMA debut,” said Roy of Dern. “I never followed that whole world, so to me she’s just another person I’m going to go fight, nothing special.
“She’s going to have some slick grappling and submission attempts, so I’ve got to block those and try to keep it standing. I like to put on a show and be exciting, so I’m definitely going to want to punch it out, have fun, and move around and avoid her takedowns.”