The first half of 2016 has had both its share of ups and downs for female bantamweight prospect Amberlynn Orr.
During preparations for what was to be her Invicta FC debut against Kelly McGill in March, Orr sustained a knee injury, postponing her pro debut. Combine that with a television shoot and the death of her grandmother, and it’s been a rollercoaster of a year so far for Orr.
“I was getting ready for my fight with Andrea Lee, and went down to Louisiana to train with them for a little while, and my knees have always given me problems in the past, but I’ve just always worked around it, and was rolling and my knee popped like five or six times,” Orr told MMAWeekly.com.
“I ended up coming home and going to a doctor, and got an MRI and it ended up that I partially tore (my ACL). It was absolutely horrible. It happened like nine days before my fight and I was devastated.”
Orr avoided surgery and has fully recuperated, and when she looks back on her year, she chooses to view the positives rather than the negatives.
“In February, I had a national TV show come out and film me for two weeks, which will premiere on ViceLand in September or October,” she said. “I had that going on and then getting ready for my fight with Kelly, and then my knee injury happened, then my grandmother passed away, so it all hit me at once.
“I took two months off from training so I could be with my family, and I think it was the best thing possible that could have happened to me. It not only helped my body physically, but it helped me mentally, and I’m just ready to get back in there and demonstrate my skills and see where I’m at.”
Orr (0-0) will finally make her pro debut at Invicta FC 18 on Friday in Kansas City, Mo., against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Sijara Eubanks (1-1) in a main card 135-pound bout.
“Of course, throughout my amateur career, the majority of my wins were by submission, so I’m not a stranger to the ground game by any means,” said Orr. “I think this fight is going to come down to who is going to be stronger on imposing their will on the other person.
“Whatever happens in this fight happens. I’m not planning on any specific thing, but I’ve faced grapplers before, I’ve faced jiu-jitsu before, I’ve faced wrestlers, a fight’s a fight, and I’ve prepared for every aspect.”
Having calmed things down after a tumultuous period, Orr is focused on making her pro debut mean something and use it as the springboard for a strong career moving forward.
“At this point, the past few months, my whole world has turned upside down. I don’t even know if I can convey in words the emotions and the feelings that I have about that, and everything that’s happened,” she said.
“I love being with Invicta, this would be great for me to win on this card, but I’m not winning necessarily for Invicta or anything but me. This is proving to myself that everything I’ve done the past five and a half years is paying off.”