It’s been two years since Danyelle Wolf won her way into the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series. This Saturday at UFC 279, she’ll finally make her debut in the big show.
Wolf is a rarity in mixed martial arts: an 0-0 fighter on DWCS, she won her bout and was signed to the UFC despite the lack of experience. Of course, her status as an amateur boxing champ, one of the most decorated, helped.
In an exclusive interview with Cageside Press, Wolf noted that her path to the octagon has been a little different than most.
“My journey’s a little bit more unique than others. I was a boxer, I did have a boxing record. So it is a little bit difficult to get amateur fights, get amateur MMA fights. Even to get smaller pro fights,” she explained. “If you want a pro fight now, you have to sign a contract. If I would have signed a contract with a different league or organization, I would have been locked in with them and I would have never been able to fight for the UFC. But with my credentials with boxing, I had a little more of a platform to play with.”
Danyelle Wolf’s debut has been a long time coming, especially after a match-up with the now-retired Felicia Spencer fell through.
“For sure. The Contender Series was such an awesome experience. Crazy time during COVID, all the gyms were closed down, it was tough to get a camp together and to get training partners. But now everything’s up and running, all the training partners are here, gyms are full stock now. It’s a way easier time.”
During the pandemic, Wolf had started up beach workouts, getting like-minded individuals together to work out on the beach. Now, she’s got a lot more going on, with business interests and a fight camp.
“It’s a lot being an independent woman business owner,” Wolf noted.
As for the Spencer fight, Wolf had a 43% tear in her UCL. “It was right on the brink of having to get surgery or letting it heal by itself,” Wolf revealed.
“I tried to start up a little bit too soon at seven months, had to kind of go back to getting off of it. And then obviously I was still training, I was still active and everything, doing everything with my left arm. Then you get a little bit of left arm problems because you’re doing everything with it. That’s MMA, injuries come with this came. It’s not baseball or whatever. This is a tough sport. You’re going in every single day trying to kill each other, trying to drill. Things happen during training, even drilling. Things just happen.”
“I’ve had many injuries during this journey,” Wolf added. “These were all new movements, these were all new sports for me to learn after my boxing career. So it just comes with the game, it just comes with the territory of MMA.”
Norma Dumont is obviously going to have an advantage in a lot of areas come their fight Saturday, outside of striking at least. Wolf believes she’s ready for the challenge.
“No matter who my opponent is, I’m always going to be ready. I train 100%, doesn’t matter who it is,” she stated. “I don’t really focus on just the opponent, I focus on being my best. I want to be the best MMA fighter that I can be, so I don’t really compare myself or see what they’re doing or see what their game plan is or whatever. I’m trying to be the best MMA fighter that I can; I was a great boxer and four time national champ at boxing, and I plan to do the same thing with MMA.”
Watch our full interview with UFC 279’s Danyelle Wolf above.