For American Top Team flyweight prospect Trisha Cicero, having a successful amateur career before turning professional has had a big impact on her transition.
Undefeated in four fights, and having claimed a XFN championship, Cicero believes she’s built up enough experience through her matches to make the move to pro go much easier.
“I definitely had a great amateur experience,” Cicero told MMAWeekly.com. “In each fight I kind of had a different style opponent – which is great to learn from – different size or different backgrounds. I definitely got the ring nerves out each fight, so I see how valuable the amateur experience is leading to the pros for sure.
“I definitely felt like it was the right time (to go pro). Right around when I did my third fight, I fought for a title, and felt like it really was my best camp. It was my first time cutting down to 125, which I liked, and felt great. And just the encouragement of my camp, I felt like I was ready to go.”
With her accomplishments as an amateur, Cicero has some expectations on her heading into her pro debut at Titan FC 42, but she feels like it’s more of a motivator than anything.
“I’ll find out for sure when I get there, but right now I’m very excited,” she said. “I’ve always felt like I perform better under pressure. I feel like the other good thing about my amateur fights is that I was either the main or co-main event for those fights, so it gave me kind of a mini version of that.”
Originally Cicero (0-0) was to debut on Friday in Coral Gables, Fla., against Angie Reinhardt, but an injury has brought in Brazilian undefeated up and comer Barbara Acioly (2-0) to the main card 125-pound bout at Titan FC 42.
“She was supposed to have a fight (at Jungle Fight 91) that also got cancelled, so it kind of worked out for both of us to fight each other,” said Cicero of Acioly. “She’s taller than me by about four inches, I think, and is definitely a Muay Thai striker, so I feel she’s maybe a little one-dimensional.
“I feel like the benefit of being a striker and having trained at ATT, we have an incredible wrestling program, and combining that with MMA and Jiu-Jitsu, so I feel like my game is very complete. We’re ready to either finish it on the feet or take it to the ground and control it from there.”
Having built up a good amount of experience prior to turning pro, Cicero is looking forward to 2017 and making good progress towards her biggest goal.
“This will be my third fight this year, so I kind of like this pace,” she said. “I had a little bit of time to recover and take care of things between fight camps, but still stay active enough. So if I can get in another three next year that would be great.
“I want to make it to the UFC, so whatever fights can take me each step closer to my goal, but I’m still going to take it one fight at a time.”
(Photo taken by Alexis Terrosa of Sonder Marketing)