Strikeforce Challengers: Sarah D’Alelio has No Pressure to “Live Up to the Hype”


Strikeforce Challengers LogoSarah D’Alelio is not under any delusions heading into her Strikeforce Challengers 18 fight against former Olympic bronze medalist Ronda Rousey Friday night in Las Vegas.

As she told MMAWeekly.com, “I’m expected to be the underdog and be the sacrificial lamb; and if people want to think that, fine, that just puts all the pressure on Ronda.

“I don’t feel any pressure anywhere else because Ronda’s the bigger star; she’s the Olympian and has to live up to the hype.”

D’Alelio’s outlook doesn’t just stem from this fight, but also her originally scheduled Strikeforce debut, which was to have taken place on June 18 against returning superstar Gina Carano. That fight was cancelled due to Carano mysteriously being pulled from the event when she failed to gain medical clearance for unspecified reasons.

“When they originally called me it was to fight Gina, so that was like winning the lottery, and then that didn’t happen. So it was like losing the lottery a little bit,” she said. “They offered me Ronda, and I talked to my coaches about it and they said it was a good fight and we took it.

“I’m just happy to have a fight on Strikeforce. I’m a fighter, I like to fight, but to do it on Strikeforce on a big stage is like four years of hard work coming to fruition.”

After four wins in her first four pro MMA bouts, D’Alelio suffered her first loss, to Julie Kedzie, this past December, which acted as a catalyst for major changes in her career.

“You can’t lose a fight based on cardio, and once you do, that’s a really big kick in the pants,” she said. “To lose just because you’ve gotten tired, that’s the biggest disappointment that I had. I had to change my environment.

“I think the move to California is what really changed everything. Out here I can train for six or eight hours a day, whereas in Washington I could only train for two hours a day without getting kind of sick.”

Working with the likes of top women’s grappler Lana Stafanac and Sports Combat Academy head coach Kirian Fitzgibbons has elevated D’Alelio’s game tenfold.

“I started at CSA which is predominantly a stand-up gym, so my stand-up has gotten much better – better than I ever thought it could be,” she said. “I feel like my cardio is spectacular, so everything is improving; not only with my health, but everything is better than it ever was before.”

D’Alelio’s strategy for Friday night is simple, equalize Rousey’s strongest skill and the rest should fall in line.

“Shutting down her Judo will put us on a pretty even playing field,” said D’Alelio. “She’s obviously good at Judo; she went to the Olympics and medaled, and that’s where she excels; so if I shut that down I will excel in the other areas.

“I’m pretty confident in my stand-up right now, and my jiu-jitsu has gotten a lot better since I moved to California.”

Given the opportunity at hand to take her career to the next level, D’Alelio is firmly affixed on Friday’s fight and doing the best not only for herself, but women’s MMA.

“I haven’t even thought about (what’s next),” she concluded. “I just focus on what’s in front of me. I want to go out and put on a good show and keep fighting.

“Just expect a war, so everybody come watch the girls fight.”

E-mail Mick Hammond
For more UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 24 days ago
  • 13 views

The monumentally hyped light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier was every bit as gritty and exciting as advertised. Thousands of fans piled into the sold-out MGM Grand Garde read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 36 views

Watch the official weigh-in for UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier streaming live on Friday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena at 7 p.m. ET. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

Watch the UFC 182: Jones vs. Cormier Q&A featuring UFC newcomer and former WWE professional wrestler Phil "CM Punk" Brooks streaming live Friday from Las Vegas at 5 p.m. ET. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 10 views

UFC 182 is almost guaranteed to start the new year off with a bang. In addition to a long-awaited main event featuring reigning light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and rival Daniel Cormier, the Las read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 2 views

Watch the live video stream of former WWE superstar and UFC fighter CM Punk on Friday, January 2nd at 5 PM ET/2 PM PT. The UFC has been very active in getting CM Punk's name in the press. CM Punk has read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 117 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is just a few hours away from the UFC 182: "Jones vs. Cormier" weigh in event, the last stop before this Saturday night's (Jan. 3, 2015) light heavyweight champio read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

LAS VEGAS – MMAjunkie is on scene and reporting live from today’s UFC 182 fighter weigh-ins. Get text results inside.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 5 views

LAS VEGAS – UFC 182 fighter weigh-ins take place today, and you can catch a live video stream of the proceedings here on MMAjunkie at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT local time).Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 390 views

UFC 182 is Saturday, but we are not quite there yet. First, all 22 athletes hit the scale on Friday to make weight for the event. The Las Vegas fight card is headlined by one of the most heated grudg read news >>