Since turning pro late last year, up and comer Maria Rios has won both of her fights and has become one to watch in the women’s 115-pound weight class.
Looking back on her two wins, Rios told MMAWeekly.com that while she’s happy she’s gotten the victories, there’s always more she can do.
“My first fight was kind of getting back into the feel of the cage again because it had been about a year since I’d last fought (as an amateur),” said Rios. “But it was great. It definitely exposed things I needed work on.
“The second fight was really good, but I felt like I needed to let it go a little bit more, which I was disappointed I didn’t do. It’s a work in progress.”
Though she’s impressed promotions like the RFA enough to sign her, Rios isn’t one to let the hype get to her.
“No matter where I fight, no matter how many people are there, I’m going to put all of myself into the fight,” she said. “Once I’m in there, everything else just kind of disappears.
“Once the cage door shuts, it’s me and her, and everything else goes away and I don’t really feel the eyes on me. That stuff doesn’t really bother me.”
Rios (2-0) will make her RFA debut on Friday night against Jocelyn Lybarger (4-1) in a feature strawweight bout in Costa Mesa, Calif.
“She’s a tough opponent, but all of the girls I’ve fought since I was an amateur have been extremely tough,” said Rios of Lybarger. “I know that for me to win, I’m going to have to leave it all out there. It’s going to be a battle. I feel that completely letting it go is going to give me the victory.”
Picking up the win on Friday night could be the foundation to which Rios builds a breakout year in 2015.
“A win over Jocelyn, because of how well-known she is, will to do a world of good for me,” said Rios. “It will probably get me more fights with the RFA and eventually a title fight, if they get that going, and then hopefully on to the UFC.”