UFC Vegas 42’s Leah Letson Thanks Fans for Helping Her Through Hard Times

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Leah Letson
Leah Letson Credit: Invicta FC/UFC.tv

The road to a sophomore fight in the UFC has been a long-time coming for Leah Letson. After appearing on the 28th season of The Ultimate Fighter, Letson was given a fight at the finale against Julija Stoliarenko. Letson was then poised to make a move down to bantamweight and was eager to get back in there. However, it wouldn’t be that easy.

A number of health issues postponed her scheduled fight with Sarah Moras and then the next one with Duda Santana. Following that cancellation, which happened back in 2019, she didn’t see another booking until now. Three years out of the cage was understandably hard for Letson and even forced her to question some things.

“There were several times when I considered [giving up], but then I would think, what else would I do with myself? I did a lot of soul searching – I call it my quarter-life crisis,” Letson said. “I was searching and searching and searching – and I was like ‘no, I truly believe that this is my passion. I’m going to get back in there.”

But it wasn’t just the drive and passion that kept her in the sport through the difficult time. There are a lot of people in her life that encouraged her to stay on that track, even when things seemed bleak.

“I had a lot of family and friends that were very supportive and encouraging. I also had a lot of fans that reached out to me and kept encouraging me throughout the three years that I took off,” she shared. “That was so nice, to have such a good support base, a fan base, even taking that much time off.”

Letson realizes that without some supportive people, there would have been no way that she would have been able to do it.

“That, honestly, helps keep me going,” Letson said of the support she got. “I never ever quite gave up. I was close a couple times – there were some dark times in there, but I never did quite give up.”

Although she does think she gained quite a few fans with her exciting bout with Stoliarenko, Letson says her fans have been loyal from long before that. Dating back to her time on the regional scene, she’s always had lots of people in her corner.

“I had a lot of fans even before I made my UFC debut and they’ve stayed loyal to me as a local level amateur all the way to being a local level pro, and then throughout the Ultimate Fighter,” she said. “It means a lot to me that they’ve been so supportive.”

Letson looks to give those fans another signature performance this weekend. She returns from her three year layoff to face former title challenger Felicia Spencer on the main card of UFC Vegas 42.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 37:47. 

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