While she only has two professional MMA bouts, Vanessa Mariscal is not a newcomer to the world of martial arts.
Having studied striking and jiu-jitsu for over 10 years, Mariscal says to those who may underestimate her, “I don’t think my record reflects my capabilities at all. I’m beyond what my record shows.”
Last year Mariscal got some exposure as a trainer on an episode of MTV’s I Used to Be Fat. While the show didn’t make a big impact on her fight career, her lone bout against Colleen Schneider went a long way towards boosting her confidence in the fight game.
“It was a challenging fight and I learned a lot about myself,” said Mariscal. “I was able to put all my skills together and put all the right things together at the right time. My coach told me I did everything correct and I didn’t make one mistake, so that felt great.”
After struggling to secure a fight this year, Mariscal got the call to replace an injured Shana Nelson against Sara D’Alelio at the April 28 debut Invicta FC show in Kansas City, Kan.
When asked about the match-up, Mariscal replied, “I know everybody wants to hear, ‘I’m going to knock her out. I’m going to take her down. I’m going to do this; I’m going to do that.’ I’m going to fight a good fight; that’s what I plan on doing. I know she’s a tough girl and she doesn’t give up, so hopefully I can make her give up and do what I do best, which is fight.
“If you’re worried too much about what you’re opponent’s going to do, you’re not thinking about what you’re going to do.”
While press releases have touted Mariscal as a student of UFC legend Royce Gracie, it’s actually fighters from the more recent history of the promotion that have shaped the way she fights.
“I haven’t trained with Royce in years,” Mariscal told MMAWeekly.com “That was probably eight years ago. I’ve mostly trained with Vladimir Matyushenko, Jared Hamman and Anthony Hardonk (at the VMAT Gym) for the last five years. So that (assumption I’m just a submission fighter) is kind of incorrect.”
Because she is in such tremendous shape, the 38-year-old Mariscal feels that if Invicta can become a longstanding promotion, she has just as much opportunity to do something special as fighters 10 years younger.
“I told my coaches if things work out well in Invicta, I’m going to continue to do it,” she said. “I always try to take one day at a time, because if you look too far into the future, you can be disappointed, so I just try to make every day the best day.
“If they offer me something great and it looks like it will be positive for me and my career, I’ll take it. At the end of the day what do I want to do? I want that (135-pound) title belt.”
Invicta FC 1 streams live for free on Saturday, April 28
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