This weekend, UFC 260 will feature a showdown between two of MMA’s top female prospects.
American Miranda “Fear The” Maverick (8-2) will share the octagon with Canadian Gillian “The Savage” Robertson (9-5) in what promises to be an exciting matchup in the women’s flyweight division.
Despite being younger than the average UFC fighter, there will be no shortage of experience in the cage on fight night between these two women.
With a combined amateur record of 16-2, both fighters were more than prepared for the next level back when they turned professional.
“My coaches felt it was very important to have an extensive amateur career to be prepared for anything the pros might bring,” Maverick said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“So, we tried to get the hardest competition and fight girls with a lot of different experience and techniques.”
Their success as amateurs has translated to the next level, and one aspect that stands out for both Maverick and Robertson has been their ability to add a new element to their game each time out.
“Looking at videos and highlights from the last four years or so, it’s insane how much I’ve improved and how much I’ve changed my whole style,” Maverick said.
“I’ve always had a passion for jiu-jitsu, but now I’m getting to the point where I’m liking striking a lot too, especially muay-thai.”
Robertson is also known for her jiu-jitsu prowess. With the most submissions in UFC women’s flyweight history, she’s always a threat to end the fight.
Robertson said she’s constantly adding to her overall game as a fighter and she’ll be looking to add to her submission record on Saturday.
“Obviously, I’m known for my jiu-jitsu, so I’m just trying to make my wrestling and striking catch up and just trying to mix them all together a little better,” Robertson said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I think everyone knows what my favourite submission is and what I’m looking for. I’m never trying to fight a full 15 minutes, so I’m confident in a rear-naked-choke.”
At just 25 years of age, Robertson has already spent the majority of her career in the top MMA promotion, and that has not only impacted her skill level, but her confidence level as well.
“Not just experience, I definitely feel I have a lot of high-level experience,” Robertson said.
“All of my losses are to girls who are currently in the UFC and I feel that makes a huge difference going into this fight.”
Maverick, 23, said she’s fully aware of Robertson’s UFC experience and has a lot of respect for her opponent on Saturday night.
“I think she’s pretty well-rounded. It’s crazy how young she was when she got into the UFC. Of course, it was a little bit earlier, so it might have been a little easier to get in as a female, but she’s really worked to the top and kind of stayed at the top ranks,” Maverick said.
The respect is mutual as Robertson said she knows she’ll be standing across the cage from a capable fighter, and she expects someone to leave the cage with some extra spending cash.
“I definitely feel like she’s a gamer, a strong up-and-comer,” Robertson said.
“And actually we met each other on the grappling scene. We’re both always trying to compete, we’re both very active in jiu-jitsu, so I have a lot of respect for girls like that and I know it’s going to be a $50k fight.”
When it comes to game-planning, Maverick mentioned “The Savage” poses a legitimate threat on the ground, but it’s something she’s been preparing for.
“I treat every fight like it’s my hardest and this one is no different,” Maverick said.
“Honestly, I feel like I’m going to put her on her heels. She’s not going to be able to come forward on a fighter like me. I think her gameplan will be taking me to the ground and, whether it goes there or not, I feel like I’m the stronger, bigger fighter that can pressure her, stay on top if it gets to the ground and standing up I think I can beat her with my striking.”
Although Robertson does enjoy leading the dance, she has no problem sticking, moving and being the counter striker, which is part of what she plans to implement on fight night.
“Fighters that like to come at you, I guess you have to kind of move with them, let them bring the force and counter to their actions,” Robertson said.
“It’s going to be a lot harder to pressure me when she’s on her back that’s for sure.”
“Main training partners Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres and David Evans, and my coach Din Thomas.” Follow Robertson on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM
“The House of Muay Thai and Norfolk BJJ. All my training partners, check out my sponsors on my Instagram. Shoutout to my family as always and my boyfriend who’s been helping me out this training camp.” Follow Maverick on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM