“I think I’m doing a lot better,” said Evinger. “I feel like a better-rounded fighter now. I took some time off to get my head straight and expand myself fighting a little bit more and get past certain struggles, moods and styles, and figure stuff out.”
Having raised her record to 10-6, Evinger will be looking to extend her winning streak on Saturday against an opponent she’s long had her eye on, Carina Damm, at Fight Hard MMA at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.
“We were scheduled to fight about a month ago, and then she went off and took a completely different fight,” said Evinger of Damm. “I was scrambling around, trying to find an opponent, but now we’re back on track and that’s fine.
“She’s a respectable opponent with a ton of fights. I don’t feel like she’s quite Top 10, but I do feel she’s experienced enough to know what she’s doing in there and to give me a good fight.”
When it comes to how she matches up with Damm stylistically, Evinger doesn’t see many areas her opponent could get over on her in the fight.
“To tell you the truth, I think when it comes to our styles, there’s no way she’s going to out-wrestle me, she’s not going to be stronger than me and her stand-up doesn’t compare to mine,” said Evinger.
“I’ve been watching her since I started fighting and I feel like she hasn’t evolved that much as a fighter. I’ve travelled around as much as I can to build an arsenal of moves to put together and here I am, I’m just ready to go, and I think I’m going to destroy her standing up and get that knockout bonus.”
Speaking of bonuses, being a veteran fighter with a substantial resume of top opposition on her record, Evinger finds it increasingly difficult to find fights, thus Fight Hard MMA stepped in to entice would-be opponents.
“The promotion kind of put a bounty on my head,” said Evinger. “So if (Damm) knocks me out, they’re going to give her a $5,000 bonus – which I don’t see happening.
“When it comes to fighting me, I think it’s a good thing. There are a lot of girls who want to kick my ass, who actually won’t get in there. So this might be a good way to get some girls to step up.”
Having gone through rough patches both personally and professionally, Evinger told MMAWeekly.com that she’s ready to turn the page for good in her life and go for broke in 2013.
“I’ve made mistakes and got caught, and I’ve learned from all of them – sometimes twice – but I feel like I’m a developed fighter that’s just at my peak,” she said. “I want to get into Bellator’s 125-pound tournament and win the 125-pound belt and become world champ.
“I’m going to make it one hard year and push as hard as I can and try to make it to the top and go from there.”