After starting her pro career with two straight losses, strawweight up-and-comer Mandy Polk rebounded in 2015 by picking up back-to-back wins.
According to Polk, the turnaround wasn’t just an overnight thing, but the result of hard work and the natural growth she experienced as a fighter.
“The first half of my career went pretty hard, but the second half has been pretty awesome. I’ve learned a lot and have gotten in a lot of great training all the way and have gotten better,” Polk told MMAWeekly.com.
“It’s maturation as a fighter. With that comes knowing what you need to do, even if it’s uncomfortable; being responsible for your own growth so that you improve noticeably, even in your weak spots and the places you don’t work.”
Having previously experienced being on an athletic stage in fitness competitions, Polk has been able to bring some of what she learned in that world over to MMA.
“Fighting is not fitness competitions. I know that; I get it. They’re completely different,” she said. “But for example, when I did fitness competitions, I would do well, rest up, recover and make a ton of improvements over time, then make a huge jump in competition and do well, and it has been my goal to do that in fighting.
“Performance nutrition helps with the cutting process and fueling my training. If something is off, I typically know why. The things I bring from fitness are being positive, knowing how to have effective training sessions, to when I know when I’m over-training, knowing how to deal with it and have recovery.”
Polk (2-2) will look to win her third straight bout Saturday when she takes on Ronni Nanney (2-5) in a 115-pound main event at V3 Fights in Robinsonville, Miss.
“I know she has a lot of experience as a pro, and I think she has a lot more cage time, and has a fairly even record at this point and more fights,” Polk said of Nanney. “I have an even record. She’s coming off a win. I haven’t fought in a year.
“I hope I’m brilliant and amazing and really as sharp as a tack – and I’ve done everything I can to ensure that with my preparation – and that’s what I have up to this point. As long as I show up, whatever happens is going to happen. I just think I need to show up and go to work and things will work out in my favor.”
Now that she’s back to MMA after a year off, Polk is eager to fight as soon as possible, and perhaps pick back up on a contract that she wasn’t able to have go through before.
“Jessica Aguilar from ATT had contacted me directly about a potential Titan FC contract,” said Polk. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to start with them before the end of the year, but you always like to see how you feel after a fight.
“I feel pretty good, so I’d like to keep going and get started on that Titan contract if it’s still available or anything else that comes up that might be cool.”