Fighting in the COVID-era has been a tricky situation for nearly every fighter. Gyms, coaches and training partners all with variable accessibility depending on your location makes it such that a lot of fighters find themselves doing things differently.
While no fighter has been untouched by the changes in the world, bantamweight Sarah Moras has had the added difficulty of working a national border into the equation as well. The fighting pride of Kelowna, British Columbia does her fight camps in Las Vegas at Xtreme Couture, and therefore had to make some quick decisions when lockdowns started.
“When COVID hit after my Sijara [Eubanks] fight [my boyfriend and I] moved back to Canada — we weren’t sure about visas and being in the country and not having medical here,” Moras explained.
After spending a few months at home, Moras got the call to fight Vanessa Melo and packed her bags to head back to Vegas. However, after getting into the thick of training camp for the fight, she dealt with the first of many hiccups.
“I actually had a fight lined up in November with the same opponent, but it got postponed until January,” she said. “So I’ve been in fight camp for six months for the same fight.”
And while she’s happy that the UFC was able to give her the same opponent she had been preparing for for months, a six month training camp is never ideal. Moras though was presented with a way around the typical burnout of a camp that drags on — although it was another unwelcome one.
“I actually got a tooth infection mid-camp,” she said. “So I kind of had to take some time off and that kind of helped me take the right amount of time to reset and come in fresh again.”
Now back peaking for the fight, Moras is sure Xtreme Couture has her in position to pick up her fourth UFC victory. Even though the team has put her in the best position for her upcoming fight, when pressed, Moras wasn’t able to say whether or not the famed Vegas gym would be her home for the foreseeable future, especially given how uncertain the future is at the moment.
“I don’t really know how to answer that,” Moras stated honestly. “When I got this fight, we came back to Vegas and now we’re in Vegas, but our cats and our vehicles and our stuff is in Canada. So we’re just kind of playing it all by ear and seeing where it all goes. Right now we’re liking Vegas. This is the place to be for fight camps, but I guess we’ll see what happens with the world.”
And while the extra long fight camp has been tough on her body, the mental aspect of being away from home has also been difficult. There is, though, one aspect of the space that is harder for Moras than the others.
“Honestly, it’s mostly my cats back home that I really miss — they’re always cuddling,” she admits. “The rest is just stuff.”
The long wait to fight and see her cats is finally almost over as her bout with Vanessa Melo takes place on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Island 7 this Saturday.
You can listen to the full audio of this interview at 28:02