Admittedly over the course of her first two amateur fights, flyweight prospect Pauline Macias has found MMA to be a bit more challenging than what she was used to before in Judo, but nonetheless she’s been able to use her skillset to win both matches.
“It’s been a little rocky,” Macias told MMAWeekly.com. “There’s been some hesitation in striking, which I’m trying to improve on. It is nice that my Judo is second nature, so that’s good.
“My biggest thing is just making sure every fight that I improve, and that’s what I’ve done so far. Take the striking, the grappling, and bring them all together and make a style for myself.”
“The striking initially was frustrating,” said Macias. “I had zero striking prior to this. Once things started clicking things became super fun. But those first two years were really frustrating.”
One thing Macias has been able to use is to help navigate the move to MMA is the example of close friend and training partner Ronda Rousey. But while they come from the same sports background, Macias points out that she and Rousey both have their own way of doing things.
“Just getting to watch (Rousey) and being around her during training camps and knowing her prior to MMA and after, that’s knowledge that’s irreplaceable,” Macias said. “I watched and listened and learned from all of that. It’s been really beneficial.
“At the same time, we are different people and we both have our own ways of doing things. More than anything the experience from all the Judo matches you know how to put yourself in the mental place to go out there and fight.”
Macias (2-0) will look to remain undefeated against veteran Jennifer Clausius (6-4) in an amateur 125-pound bout at Valor Fights 46 on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.
“I know I’m going to be a lot bigger and stronger than Jennifer, so that’s a plus, but I also know sometimes people get anxious, they get wild, so I want to make sure everything is very sharp and proficient,” said Macias.
“I don’t know a whole lot about her because I don’t like to dwell on it too much. I’m more of an instinctual person when I fight. As long as I keep my composure and am in the right state of mind and use my skills, I think I’ll be fine.”
When it comes to next year, though she doesn’t have a definite plan yet to where she wants to take her career, Macias feels a decision on the direction she is going to take will happen sooner than later.
“Definitely after this fight we’ll take a step back and look at the year,” Macias said. “We’re really going to sit down and talk and kind of see where things will go.”