Following picking up a unanimous decision victory over Kayla Hracho at UCC 48 in January of 2020, strawweight Piera Rodriguez had gone through a tough time last year trying to keep her training and MMA career going due to the novel coronavirus.
Forced out of traditional gym training, Rodriguez adapted the best she could and was at least able to get in some work during 2020.
“This last year has been really, really hard to train and to stay in shape,” Rodriguez told MMAWeekly.com. “But I have been trying to do camps, even though I have not fought this year.
“In the lockdown I was training in my house, doing online sessions with my coaches, and we figured out some way to keep working because we cannot stop completely training.”
As restrictions were lifted, Rodriguez made the move this year to a new team and feels like the training she’s gotten so far in 2021 will be a big help to her game.
“I started training at Black House,” said Rodriguez. “I’ve been training really hard for the last two months. It’s different. Each coach has their own way to teach and their own techniques, but I really like to get to know new people and to share knowledge and be shared knowledge.
“I’m really open to get some learning for wherever it comes. I’m respectful fighter and I respect every style, so I like to learn from every person that I train with and every coach. They’ve been really nice to me and the coaches are helping me out a lot in Black House.”
This Friday, Rodriguez (5-0) will look to pick up her first win in over a year when she faces Svetlana Gotsyk (13-4) in the 115-pound championship main event of LFA 105 in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
“It’s going to be tough because I just knew about it (the week before the fight),” Rodriguez said. “I didn’t make a plan for this fight, but I’ve been training so hard, so I think I’m prepared for anything (Gotsyk) throws at me.
“For this fight I think she has some very strong punches; the jab and the overhand; and she’s very good with armbars, so I’m going to avoid those as much as possible and use my distance and my footwork. I’m a very good striker too, so I’m going to try to keep this fight on the feet.”
While winning an LFA championship can be a huge step forward in her career and open up a lot of future endeavors, Rodriguez is focused on Friday night first and foremost.
“When they told me (about the fight) I thought, ‘oh this is big’, you know I feel the pressure that day, but after I made the decision to say yes I started focusing on what I had to do,” said Rodriguez. “I don’t care too much right now who is watching, who is not watching, I know I’ve trained as hard as possible and I’m going to do my best performance.
“Whatever happens, MMA is an unpredictable sport, things happen, but when I step into the cage, when I put my feet in there, I’m going to be 100 percent there and am going to make a war – whatever it takes. I’m confident. I know I’m a good fighter. I am going to do the best I can and do my best to come home with the belt.”