While she may have a quarter of the experience her opponent does at Friday night’s Strikeforce Challengers Series event in Jackson, Miss., Liz Carmouche (4-0) feels she is far from the underdog when she steps into the cage with Jan Finney.
Having gone undefeated so far in her one-year career, Carmouche continues to move forward and develop just as fast as she’s been racking up wins.
“It was definitely not the original game plan,” she admitted to MMAWeekly.com. “From what I was told, I wouldn’t be ready yet for at least a year or two to turn pro, and then once I hit the ground running, things just came one after another.”
She feels like she’s been ready every step of the way thanks to those around her.
“I have a lot of trust in my trainer, and he’s not the type of person to throw you in unprepared,” said Carmouche. “So once he said I was ready, I just ran with it and so far it’s paid off.”
As she has moved forward inside the cage, she’s also working hard to continue to develop outside the cage, as a recent move to train with jiu-jitsu ace Gazzy Parman illustrates.
“She was willing to work with me, and it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss, she being one of the top women’s jiu-jitsu players in the world,” commented Carmouche.
“It’s just a natural progression. I’ve been working on everything, pretty much just trying to step up all my skill levels, which I feel have increased greatly since my last fight.”
Friday night Carmouche will face her toughest challenge yet in veteran Jan Finney. It’s a fight that she says will be more of an eye opener for Finney than herself.
“I definitely think that she’s not used to seeing someone who is pound-for-pound equally as strong as she is,” stated Carmouche. “I think that’s going to be a surprise for her.”
Having previously displayed her wrestling skills in her last Strikeforce fight this past August, Carmouche feels people will be wrong if they think they can use that to strategize against her in this fight.
“I just say (the key to) each fight varies,” said Carmouche. “For my last fight, that was kind of the key for winning that one, but this one is going to be different.
“You can go ahead and concentrate on that, but I’m a much more well-rounded fighter than that now.”
Should she pick up the victory and remain undefeated, Carmouche intends to continue a steady pace forward.
“I want to just to stay at the same pace I’m going now, and if something pops up, take it and keep bettering myself as a fighter,” she stated. “I’m not the kind of person who is going to take a break. I’ll certainly be back at training the week after the fight.”
Though she may be one of the least experienced fighters in Strikeforce’s 135-pound women’s division, Carmouche can find herself right in the title mix with an impressive performance Friday night, which is what she intends on doing.
“I want to thank Armando and Vanessa for helping fund the trip for my corners, and then Brian for helping me throughout this entire process and initiating me getting into Strikeforce,” said Carmouche in closing.
“Expect a new Liz, expect a brawl and excitement.”