Over the course of the past two years, Invicta FC atomweight Jinh Yu Frey has worked her way up the division’s ranks to earning a title shot.
According to Frey, what has helped her reach an opportunity to fight for a major MMA championship, has been a change of teams, and the impact it has made on her game.
“Everybody just kind of had stuff going on in their lives and ended up taking a step back, so I had to switch camps and started working with Steven Wright, who was the ex-striking instructor for Team Takedown,” Frey told MMAWeekly.com.
“He started his own school, and he and I have been working together and mesh really well. I think he believes that every person has their style specific to them, and it’s important to maintain, so he just tweaks things here and there to see what we can add to it.”
After suffering a loss in her first Invicta FC bout to Jodie Esquibel in 2014, Frey has won three bouts in a row, and now believes she’s placed herself in a position to compete against the top women in her division.
“You work so hard and put your nose down to the grindstone and work, and work, and work, so it’s a little surreal to step back and see that I’ve made it to this point,” she said. “All the girls that I was watching as an amateur or just turning pro, I’m kind of on equal standing with them now.”
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On September 23 in Kansas City, Missouri, Frey (5-1) will challenge Ayaka Hamasaki (13-1) for the Invicta 105-pound title in the evening’s co-main event.
“I’m really excited for the fight and to test my skills against Ayaka,” said Frey. “She’s a very seasoned veteran and a great champion, but I’m here to dethrone her.
“I always feel like my striking is going to be key, just because I have a couple of knockouts in my amateur and pro career. That’s not something you see commonly in that weight division. All it takes is one good connection and it’s lights for whoever I’m standing against.”
While a title could mean big things for Frey’s career, he focus is set on Sept. 23 and claiming her first major MMA championship.
“I kind of like to take each fight as it comes and not get too far ahead of myself,” she said. “I never try to overlook anybody.
“It’s a fight, and I’m nothing if not practical and pragmatic, and understand that anything can happen in a fight, so I never assume that I’m going to beat somebody or it will be an easy fight. I try to focus my attention on each fight in front of me.”