by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Thursday’s Fatal Femmes Show in Los Angeles will feature the return of one of women’s MMA premier fighters in Amanda Bucker, and she couldn’t be more excited to return to action.

After spending much of last year preparing for the Abu Dhabi grappling championships, Buckner only competed once in MMA, and now she’s poised to make a return for what she hopes will be her busiest year ever.

“I feel really good,” said Amanda of her return. “It’s been almost exactly a year since I fought last. It’s been a really long time, but I feel great about fighting again.”

One of the reasons why it has been so long since Buckner last fought, was that she was slated to participate in Platinum Fighting Production’s “Ring of Fire” team competition that took place in the Philippines in December, but she was unable to compete.

Amanda explained her inability to participate, “It was basically just a big mess. Long story short, I was contracted at one weight and my opponent (Ginele Marquez) at a separate weight, and we couldn’t come to terms on those two things.”

After some unhappiness about the situation, Buckner is focused and ready to return to action Thursday night as she takes on veteran Smackgirl fighter Takayo Hashi.

“My opponent is supposed to be very tough, but I didn’t really watch a lot of video on her, I don’t know much about her, I kind of leave that to Jay (Jack),” commented Amanda. He formulates the game plan and I just go off of what his recommendations are.”

“I don’t like to get too much into the in-depth watching of videos of my opponents. From what I’ve heard, she’s real tough, is well-rounded and doesn’t have a gaping hole in her game, so I’m expecting a really hard fight.”

With her time away from the sport to work on her skills, Buckner looks to continue with an augmented strategy that has served her well over her career.

“I don’t know if I’m going to look that much different, hopefully a little bit better,” stated Amanda. “My game plan has always been that I try to be really well-rounded, and that ends up being my greatest strength.”

“It’s just a matter of working all my skills and try to integrate them together, being able to flow one into the other. I need to think offensively and just on my own attacks. I don’t try to get caught up in the other person.”

Returning to the US to fight for the first time in nearly two years, Buckner looks to avoid a repeat of last year when she fought only once.

“The goal for this year is to fight a lot more,” exclaimed Amanda. “Things went really badly for me last year. I really do not like being inactive, so to not fight for an entire year is like to me, if I’m not fighting, I might as well retire.”

“We’ve had a lot more interest lately, so it gives me hope that there’s going to be things available over the next few months. I’d like to fight every two-to-three months, so that’s really my biggest goal, to stay really active this coming year.”

As women’s MMA becomes more popular and more opportunities arise, Amanda Buckner looks to step to the forefront of the sport and show why she’s truly one of the best it has to offer, starting with Thursday’s Fatal Femmes show in Los Angeles.

“Fatal Femmes show should be great, they are showcasing a lot of higher-level fighters, so if you’re in the area definitely check it out,” closed out Buckner.

“I always have to say thank you to my coach, Jay Jack and our school, The Academy in Portland, Maine. Thanks to my sponsors: Cage Fighter, Freeport Integrated Health, as well as Hell On Earth.”