Coming off nearly a three-year layoff, atomweight prospect Tessa Simpson was able to pick up a win in her last fight this past March over late replacement Satomi Takano at PXC 52.
Despite problems stopping Takano’s takedown attempts, Simpson was able to keep her composure and score a third-round submission victory.
“Satomi definitely had a lot more fights than I did and I was really happy that she took the fight,” Simpson told MMAWeekly.com. “She was definitely able to use her Judo, as far as being able to take me down and control the fight in that aspect, but she wasn’t able to do anything with it on the ground.
“By the third round, I was able to catch a submission and finish with an Americana. I was happy to finish the fight in general, just because she was able to take me down quite a bit in that fight.”
While Simpson would have preferred to not have such a long layoff, she was able to use the time to her advantage and add some stand-up to an already solid grappling base.
“I feel a lot more comfortable with my striking, but definitely my strength is on the ground,” said Simpson. “I knew eventually as (Takano and I) were on the ground, I would either be able to dominate control or catch the submission.”
After Simpson (4-1) had her initial May Invicta FC debut cancelled due to an injured opponent, she’ll finally be stepping into the promotion’s cage on Friday in Kansas City, Mo., against veteran Simona Soukupova (5-3-1) in a main card 105-pound bout.
“I don’t think she’s been finished, and I think she’s fought some girls too and is a good challenge, but all-around I feel like I’m better in all areas,” said Simpson of Soukupova. “Whether it’s going to be on the feet or in the clinch or on the ground, I feel comfortable no matter where the fight goes.
“It’s just a matter of how the fight plays out, and I’ll just react to the situations and adjust as I see fit once I go in there and feel her strength or see how she moves or her timing. We can adjust our game plan based on that.”
Now that she’s made it to Invicta, Simpson isn’t thinking short-term. She has a singular goal set that she’s looking to achieve in the company.
“My goal is to work towards a title shot,” she said. “Whatever I have to do to get there, take two or three more fights or take a tough veteran fight, it doesn’t matter to me. I am taking it one fight at a time, but whatever I have to do to get a title shot down the line is what I want.”