by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
It’s hard to deny that over the last couple of years Colorado has produced more than its fair share of top-level talent to MMA.

Long familiar veterans like Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Nate Marquardt and Duane “Bang” Ludwig were joined by the likes of Alvin Robinson, Shane Carwin and Eliot Marshall, among many others on the biggest stages of MMA.

And yet with all the Colorado talent represented across multiple promotions, the well is far from dry, including on the women’s side of the sport.

Cat Albert has quickly established herself as one of the state’s premier young fighters. She looks to continue her ascension upwards in a women’s 135-pound Young Guns title fight at Saturday’s Ring of Fire event in Broomfield, Colo.

“I would say that the first few fights were definitely uneducated,” Albert said of her entry into MMA. “I had always been a wrestler, then picked up jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai, and had a hard time combining all of those into MMA.

“The more I get in the cage, I’ve become a lot more well-rounded and it’s comforting to me to know when I want to stand up, I’ll stand up. If I want to go to the ground, I’ll go to the ground. I will be the one who determines how that goes and I’m not too worried about anyone else being able to take me down or stand with me.”

So far things have gone well for Albert as she’s made a name for herself as a powerhouse fighter who overwhelms her opponents. Still, she’s continued to work hard and develop further aspects of her game in preparation for her upcoming title fight.

“For my last fight (in June), I had worked my stand-up a lot, but it still wasn’t to the place where I think I’m at now with the time and effort I’ve put in for this fight,” she stated. “I spent a lot of time working on that, harder stand-up combinations and finally piecing everything together.

“All the time I spent on that is definitely going to show in this fight.”

Eager to showcase her new skills, Albert admits there’s also something of a personal agenda for her fight Saturday night against Angela Samaro.

“To me, this is kind of avenging my only loss,” she admitted. “Louise Johnson refuses to fight me again no matter what people have offered her. (Angela) actually beat Louise, so in a roundabout way, I somewhat get to avenge my loss.

“I think she’s going to be a lot tougher than I think most of my opponents have been before and I’m looking forward to that because I’m always willing to test myself and take things to the next level. I’m excited to get this opportunity for my first belt and to test myself and put all the pieces to the puzzle together that I’ve been working on.”

A win not only would give Albert her first title, but also would further establish the fact that she is ready for the national exposure that could come quickly if she keeps to her plans for 2009.

“I’m thinking I’d like to work on three or so fights at a time and then take a break in between,” she stated. “I think having them throughout the year without a break was kind of hard on me mentally and physically.

“Throughout this year, I hope to learn more about myself and what I can and can’t do and what I can do to perform at my peak. I’m going to think about them one fight at a time. I don’t want to put more on my plate than I can handle. I need my focus to stay where I’m at instead of in the past or the future.”

With definite plans of where she wants to go and how to get there, there are few reasons why Cat Albert couldn’t be the next big star out of the Colorado fight scene.

“I’d like to thank Zingano BJJ, Muay Thai of Colorado, Bach Builders, Colorado Fight Events, Jus-Burritos, Precision Edge Hockey, Cat Fight MMA, H&K Home Solutions, and Instant Imprints of Westminster,” she closed out.

“The fans are who drive me to have fun and are my inspiration for putting on a good show. So definitely show up, it’s going to be a good time for everyone.”