Leading up to the bout Bennett’s training camp went as well as it ever had, her weight cut went perfectly, and yet it all counted for nothing just a minute and a half into the bout thanks to a Souza liver kick.
“In that fight camp, everything went perfectly, and so for that to happen, it just kills me,” Bennett told MMAWeekly.com. “I felt great to begin with and felt I that I was winning most of the exchanges, and then that kick hit me in the liver and I fell to the ground.
“I was telling myself to get up, but my body was locked down. Just as I was getting up, the ref called it. What are you going to do, honestly?”
Having been undefeated in her first eight bouts, Bennett admittedly took the loss hard, but realized that the outcome was a singular moment and came as no fault of hers.
“I took a while thinking about it, but stuff like that happens,” said Bennett. “It’s not like I went out there and did something wrong and got caught by something. It just happened to be a perfectly placed kick.
“You just kind of have to take it for what it is and go out there and be smart for the next fight and not let (the loss) affect me mentally.”
Bennett (8-1) will look to rebound when she returns to Invicta on Friday night in Las Vegas to face women’s MMA pioneer Roxanne Modafferi (18-12) in a main card 125-pound bout.
“She’s had 30 fights, and that’s crazy to think of, having that many fights and being around so long,” said Bennett of Modafferi. “She had a rough patch, but has been doing well in Invicta.
“When you have that many fights, your fight IQ is very high. She’s seen a lot of different situations and has been able to navigate and deal with that. Seeing how much she’s improved and how well-rounded she is, you have to be prepared for anything.”
For Bennett, Friday night is an opportunity not so much to prove naysayers wrong, but to regain confidence and set herself back on the path towards an Invicta championship in 2016.
“I feel like this is an opportunity for me to go back out there and put on a good show and to get my hand raised again,” said Bennett. “I want to go out there and prove to myself that I’m a fighter and I know what I’m doing out there.
“My goals haven’t changed. I had a little hiccup with my plans with the loss, but it’s the same goal with a new direction. I definitely want to work my way back up to title contention.”