Already signed to a deal with the UFC via Invicta, Leah Letson felt she had something to prove on The Ultimate Fighter 28.
The Ultimate Fighter has launched the careers of several UFC champions. Should she achieve her goals, TUF 28 semi-finalist Leah Letson may add her name to that list of title holders. Having picked up a win in her debut at the TUF 28 Finale just a week ago, she’s off to a good start.
Letson entered the TUF 28 house in a rather unique situation. Having previously snagged a win in Invicta FC, Letson was actually already under contract with the UFC when the most recent installment of the reality series began. And boy did she feel the extra pressure.
“I felt like I needed to prove myself,” Letson told Cageside Press in a recent interview. “I already had a UFC contract before I agreed to the show. I really felt like I needed to prove myself worthy of signing my deal.”
The 26-year-old Letson had a terrific showing on season twenty-eight of The Ultimate Fighter. She made it all the way to the semifinals, where she dropped a decision to the eventual winner Macy Chiasson. Some fighters love their time in the TUF house, and others hate it. Letson is the former.
“It was a crazy time but I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Letson explained. “It was kind of like basic training in a way, living with the same people and building relationships. The big difference is you get to fight the people you’re living with at the end of the day,” she joked.
Letson continued, saying that “I’m glad the show is over but I really did enjoy my time there. I’m looking forward to growing as a martial artist and getting back to work as soon as possible.”
Hard work is a staple of Letson’s game. She forges her work ethic at Pura Vida BJJ/MMA in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with UFC vet Zak Ottow. Letson has returned home to Wisconsin after the show albeit with some minor differences.
“Just the other day I ordered a pizza and when the delivery driver came here he recognized me from the show,” said Letson. “I felt special, like I was famous or something,” she joked again.
Letson is young, talented, and she has the work ethic that is needed to reach the highest levels in this sport. She has some lofty goals too, but it wouldn’t be wise bet against Leah “Nidas” Letson.
“I’m going to be a UFC champion,” Letson said. “That’s my goal, that’s my dream. I’m going to work my butt off and do what it takes, I won’t be denied.”