After winning five straight fights to start out her career, Liz Carmouche suffered setbacks last year when she lost back-to-back bouts.
According to Carmouche, changes needed to be made. “The harshest critic I know is myself. Even if I win, if anything, I’m harder on myself. I see more holes in my game with a win than I do with a loss. Having two losses definitely made me look at myself and how I was training and has made me work that much harder wanting another win.”
Having high profile fights with Marloes Coenen and Sarah Kaufman may lead people to forget that Carmouche has just a little over two years of experience in the sport.
“I’m really new to it,” said Carmouche. “I’m going up against people who decades of experience of fighting, and I’m still learning as a go.
“I’ve definitely made a lot of changes. My schedule’s a lot different and it allows me to concentrate on every aspect of MMA, to commit the time I need to it.”
With Strikeforce’s schedule cut in half for 2012, Carmouche was more than happy to hear that she’d be allowed to fight for Invicta FC on April 28 in Kansas City, Kan.
“It’s been almost a year now since I’ve had a fight, and while I’ve trained the whole time, it’s different when you don’t have that pressure and end goal, so just have that opportunity alone, I’m happy for,” she said.
“To work with people who really want to build up women’s MMA is just wonderful. These are people who had previously worked for Strikeforce, so they definitely know what they’re doing, so I’m really looking forward this.”
Carmouche is scheduled to face Ashleigh Curry on Invicta’s inaugural show. It’s a fight that Carmouche is not taking lightly.
“I know she doesn’t necessarily have a lot of MMA experience, but she’s an athlete all-around,” said Carmouche of Curry. “She went from basketball to boxing and has 10 boxing matches, so she’s by no means inexperienced.
“She’s five-foot-nine and I’m five-foot-six, so just trying to get in and get away from the exchanges is going to be difficult enough in itself. Because of her reach (I’m) practically running to try to get in there.”
With women’s fights at a premium, Carmouche knows it’s not just enough to win, but she must win in impressive fashion to not only keep herself busy, but the sport as a whole alive.
“As much as I’d like to think it’s not constantly nagging me, we have to prove ourselves and show that we have just as much a right to be there as the men,” she said.
“We have to have a great show that leaves a mark in everyone’s minds. It’s not just go out there and give your best performance, it’s go out there and give a performance that they will remember.”
Invicta FC 1 streams live for free on Saturday, April 28 at InvictaFC.com