Abu Dhabi, UAE — Making a successful debut on Fight Island, Miranda Maverick got to show a bit more of her game at UFC 254.
Against Georgia’s Liana Jojua, the debuting Invicta FC flyweight proved she has the skills on the feet to match her impressive ground game. Stand-up isn’t something she’s had to show a lot of in her career, but that changed on Saturday.
“The only reason I haven’t struck in the past more is because I didn’t have to,” admitted Maverick, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press post-fight. “‘Why get punched in the face if you don’t have to?’ is my whole philosophy. But this time they were like ‘I’m going to keep it standing because Miranda has good grappling’ and I was like ‘alright, let’s do that then. I’m ready to go!'”
Maverick’s debut went exactly five minutes, with a gash on Jojua’s nose, care of a late-round elbow, bleeding profusely. That gave Maverick a doctor’s stoppage TKO. But like her opponent, Maverick was ready to fight on.
“I was ready to go. I’m almost upset that it ended too,” said Maverick, who was ready to show UFC President Dana White, and everybody else, that she’s “one of the best well-rounded fighters out there. And I’m the next young gun to come up in this division.”
Balancing her PhD studies in Industrial Psychology, and Teaching Assistant duties, Miranda Maverick certainly has a full plate. Her students, she joked backstage, had better turn their homework in, “or they might get beat up. That seems to be the theme.” But she’s ready to push forward in her career. Though not quite ready to call out any names just yet.
“I want to fight a top contender. I want to fight a top ten. I don’t necessarily want to pick names yet, I haven’t adjusted myself to the division enough to know who to pick, exactly, name for name,” Maverick stated. “But I’m ready to get to the top. My goal is to fight Valentina [Shevchenko] at some point, because it doesn’t seem like anybody else in the division is getting the job done.”
Still, Maverick would like to get to the title “within the next two years,” she said. “I’m ready. I want this degree and the world championship to come near the same time.”
Watch the full UFC 254 post-fight press scrum with Miranda Maverick above.