After having been out of action since October of last year recovering from a broken orbital bone, atomweight Paulina Granados believes when she returns to action she won’t feel the effects of her time off.
If anything, Granados feels like her game will be even better for the time she’s been able to put into it since her last fight.
“I don’t believe in ring rust,” Granados told MMAWeekly.com. “I used to think it existed, but at Alliance I train with Dominick Cruz, and he’s told us that it’s nothing real. It’s just something in our heads. I believe it’s just a mental thing.
“I feel like I’m fighting every single day in training. I don’t think (my next opponent) is going to give me any trouble and show me something that I haven’t already seen in training before.”
Prior to the time off, Granados had won two bouts in a row via decision against Stephanie Alba in May of 2016 and Jenna Serio five months later, both in Combate Americas.
“I had already fought (Alba) twice as an amateur before and she came forward a lot, but this last fight with her she wasn’t,” said Granados. “She was staying off a little. I didn’t have the right game plan for her, but I still picked up the win.
“In Jenna’s fight, I didn’t realize how good her striking was, so I took a couple of punches that I shouldn’t have taken, but I discovered that I’m a very (resilient). I adapt to a lot of situations. I turned it into more looking for takedowns and trying to finish her on the ground.”
Granados (4-2) steps into the 105-pound main event of Combate Americas 19 against Kyra Batara (6-4) with a title shot on the line on Friday in San Antonio, Texas.
“I have the range on (Batara),” Granados said. “She’s a few inches shorter than me. I’ve been focusing on keeping my range and being aggressive with counters when she goes in for takedowns. She gets sloppy with her striking to get a takedown, so I have some tricks up my sleeve for countering that.”
Having been on each other’s radar for a while, Granados doesn’t deny there’s a personal element to the bout with Batara, but she feels she’s going to be able to put it aside on December 1.
“I just talk smack because I know (Batara is) sensitive and it bothers her, and it’s just funny to me,” said Granados. “When I fight I literally am emotionless. I just go with what my body does and go with the flow.
“I know all the atomweights in Combate are going to be tough, but I’m focusing on what is ahead of me. I’m ready to fight whoever is next, but right now the focus is on Kyra.”