It’s odd to think that the lockdown created by the novel coronavirus could have had good timing for someone, but for UFC strawweight Ashley Yoder, it actually worked out.
Following a loss to Randa Markos at UFC on ESPN+ 20 in October of last year, Yoder was already taking time off when the lockdown hit. And as things began to open up, it came right as she was ready to begin upping her own activity level.
“I was in the midst of finishing out a recovery from an injury earlier, so I wasn’t full-fledged training to my max like I normally am,” Yoder told MMaWeekly.com. “So when we started getting into quarantine it wasn’t that hard on me just because I was training pretty light. I was training online through a Zoom class with Combat Sports Academy, so it was not much different for me.
“When I did get the fight it was pretty perfect timing. It just kind of worked out that it was good timing because I was able to train harder when it was starting to come back around.”
Having to reduce her training due to the injury and later the lockdown gave Yoder the time to do some reassessing of her game, which she feels will help her out in her return.
“When I had gotten my injury I had taken a step back from training; instead of training three times a day it was once focusing mostly on technique and not trying to push it to the limit like I’ve always have been,” said Yoder.
“It gave me the time to go back and re-watch some of the top fighters in each weight division and kind of see where they’ve had success; the IQ getting a little bit more intelligent on reading fights, understanding fights, and that sort of thing. I’m excited to see where my progression has led me.”
On August 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Yoder (7-5) will look to get back on track when she faces Livia Souza (13-2) in a 125-pound preliminary bout at UFC 252.
“As most people know, my style is pretty all over the place, so I’m comfortable anywhere the fight wants to go,” Yoder said. “When it comes time to stand up, we’ll stand up and fight, and when it comes time to go to the ground (we’ll go to the ground).
“I think (Souza’s) a very well-rounded as well. So it could be a stand-up fight, it could go to the ground, it could be a mix of both, so I think the surprise of where it’s going to happen is going to be exciting for all of us.”
Back to fighting again, Yoder wouldn’t be faulted for wanting to fight as much as quickly as she can, but rather than look too far ahead, she instead is choosing to take things as they come to close out 2020.
“It’s definitely one fight at a time,” said Yoder. “You can’t get to the next fight until you get through the first one. I have a great team behind me that will take this fight, see how it goes, see what there’s for me to work on, what we have to fix, and then go from there.”