Jodie Esquibel returns at UFC 241 with her back against the wall. But after a tough first three fights in the promotion, she’s treating her bout with Hannah Cifers like any other.
Anaheim, CA — There isn’t a worse place to be in the UFC than on an 0-3 run. That’s the spot Jodie Esquibel finds herself in this weekend at UFC 241, however. Esquibel, a former Invicta FC fighter, has yet to find her first win in the promotion. She’ll get one more chance, this time against Hannah Cifers, on the preliminary portion of the Anaheim card.
Ahead of UFC 241, Cageside Press asked Esquibel what those counting her out were overlooking. “I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready. And I am now. And that’s different, that makes everything a lot different,” said Esquibel. “I had three super-tough opponents. There’s no easy fights in the UFC, it’s the highest level, we all want to be here. But I didn’t have everything put together yet. It took me those three fights to put everything together, and here we are. And that’s what is different.”
Esquibel’s first three fights came against Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Jessica Aguilar, and Angela Hill — the first having challenged for gold in the UFC, the others holding titles outside it. Now, she’ll get Cifers, who earned her first UFC win back in March against Polyana Viana at UFC 235.
Summing up Cifers’ best attributes, Esquibel noted that “she’s strong. She has that big power. She’s strong, I think that’s what she brings to the table.”
Knowing that it’s do or die, how does Esquibel maintain her focus and handle the nerves? They key is to treat it like any other fight, she said. “Every fight’s an important one, and I think that’s what’s important to keep in mind. I can’t put any more weight on any fight than any other fight.”
Having said that, however, Esquibel added “but it’s cool to have a little sense of urgency. To train that way, it made camp that much harder, it made me train that much more. And it made me more hungry. I’m thankful for that. I really was able to take that three fight skid in the UFC to light a fire. Every fight could be it, this could be it, and I like the match-up. Everything for a reason. I think it’s great, I think it’s awesome.”
Watch our full interview with Jodie Esquibel ahead of UFC 241 above!