Looking back on 2014, RFA strawweight Jocelyn “Lights Out” Lybarger takes the good with the bad, knowing that she’s working to improve upon what she did and have a big year in 2015.
On the plus side, Lybarger was able to secure a contract that will keep her busy over the next several months.
“I signed a four-fight deal with the RFA and I went 2-0, so I’m pretty happy with it,” said Lybarger of her 2014. “I wish I was a little bit busier, but to even sign with them was a big deal knowing that I’d have four fights with them in the future.”
While she was able to win both her bouts last year, Lybarger feels her performances could have been better.
“I was riding out some decisions, and I needed to get out of those and start off faster, like right when the bell goes,” she told MMAWeekly.com. “This year I want to focus on finishing the fight and not going to a decision.”
Lybarger (4-1) returns to the RFA on Feb. 6 in Costa Mesa, Calif., to take on undefeated prospect Maria Rios (2-0) in a feature 115-pound showdown.
“She’s more of a ground fighter, and watching her previous fights I haven’t seen any great striking and wrestling or anything like that,” Lybarger said of Rios. “I want to go in there, push the pace and break her mentally and physically to where she doesn’t want to get hit by me anymore.
“I’m originally from San Diego before moving to Arizona to train at MMA Labs, so I’m excited to go back to Orange County and have my friends and family come watch me fight.”
After establishing herself a base in 2014, Lybarger is looking forward to this year being a turning point for her career.
“I have a feeling this will be a good year,” said Lybarger. “A win in this fight will put me at 5-1, and 3-0 in the RFA, and one step closer to getting into the UFC.
“After this fight we can talk about an RFA title and stuff like that. The RFA hasn’t had a female title holder, and I want to be the first one, but the UFC is the ultimate goal.”