Flyweight Kristina Williams has another big test ahead of her at Bellator 195, but she expects to handle that test by staying calm and collected.
Bellator 195’s Kristina Williams surprised the MMA world when she beat ‘It Girl’ Heather Hardy bloody in Williams’ pro debut last October. Hardy was the talk of the town heading in, the pro boxing champ who made a splash in her debut at Bellator NYC last June. Williams was overlooked at best, and peppered with asinine questions following the victory by journalists no doubt scrambling to remember her background. Was she ready for a title shot? Did she credit training partner Emily Ducote with her success (No 1-0 fighter is ready for a title shot, Ducote wasn’t a training partner of Williams).
That brings us to Friday night. At Bellator 195, Kristina Williams will take on Emily Ducote, a fighter who recently challenged for Bellator’s inaugural women’s flyweight championship. That’s a big step up for a fighter with just one appearance in the company, but Bellator MMA no doubt wants to cash in on Williams’ high profile debut.
Cageside Press had the chance to speak to Williams ahead of tonight’s bout, and we touched on that debut, and one of the more surprising aspects of it: composure. Lots of poise and composure. With her debut on such a big platform, does Williams think that it has helped alleviate any future jitters, especially heading into another fight against a top name in the promotion?
“I hope I’ll continue to be that calm and collected in the ring,” she told us, reflecting on the fight from several months back. “I didn’t get into a lot of situations that are difficult for me, but usually when I do I can stay pretty calm. And I expect to handle my next fight like that.”
Come Bellator 195, it will have been a five month turn around for Williams. We asked if she would have preferred to get back in the cage sooner, or whether five months was ideal. For Williams, a little sooner would have been nice. “Every three months would be fine, but I don’t like anything more than that,” she said.
With so many fans unfamiliar with her, it’s no surprise that Kristina Williams was, well, a surprise in the Hardy fight. Yet her background explains at least some of that. “I did Taekwondo for five years, I have my black belt. I did cardio kickboxing before that,” the flyweight explained.
The Taekwondo definitely showed up in the Hardy fight. Yet Emily Ducote is a ground specialist. So what’s the plan? Keep her away, and keep it standing as long as possible?
“I love to keep it standing,” Williams answered. “If it goes to the ground however, I will be prepared. I worked really hard on this camp, with grappling,” she told us.
Catch Kristina Williams take on Emily Ducote live at Bellator 195 on Friday, March 2 on the Paramount Network. The fight goes down in Thackerville, OK, with the main card kicking off at 9PM ET.