After a stretch that saw her lose three in a row, flyweight veteran Sarah D’Alelio has been able to win her last five bouts with finishes in four of them.
According to D’Alelio, it was her move down from bantamweight and the work to remain lighter that has been a big key in her recent success.
“A couple years ago my coach told me that it might be a good idea to drop down a weight class for a number of reasons,” D’Alelio told MMAWeekly.com. “It was possible I was fighting up a weight class my whole career.
“The consistent training that came with dropping that one weight class; I can’t take more than five or six days off before I start getting a little bit too heavy for my liking. Whether I have a fight or not, I’m always staying in the gym, staying active and am always trying to learn and continue growing as a fighter.”
Another thing that D’Alelio believes has helped along the way has been her maturation as a fighter. As she’s gained more experience, she’s better learned to deal with the mental aspects of MMA.
“As you fight and learn things, the experience of being in the cage makes it not be so scary,” she said. “You can think through the fear. The fear and nervousness is always going to be there, but knowing that makes it easier to deal with.”
D’Alelio (11-6) will look to keep her roll going when she returns to Invicta FC for the first time in a year on May 20 in Kansas City, Mo., to take on fellow vet Roxanne Modafferi (20-13) in 125-pound co-main event bout.
“I definitely can’t underestimate her,” D’Alelio said of Modafferi. “She is experienced. She is smart. Just go in and know that at any moment she can do anything really that I’m going to have to deal with. That’s a strong, smart, experienced fighter that I have to go in with and find a way to manage.
“Just staying in that mindset where she’s going to throw something at me and do all these things at me, and that I’ll have to deal with it at any point. That’s the biggest thing: keeping my wits about me and not underestimating her.”
Now that she’s gotten her career on the right path, the big thing going forward for D’Alelio is to make a stake for herself to compete at the top of the Invicta featherweight class.
“Definitely the goal is to get the belt by the end of the year,” said D’Alelio. “But first I have to deal with Roxy. I’m definitely not looking beyond her. She’s like the gatekeeper to me. I feel like if I can get past her, I can get past anybody.”