Following a disappointing loss in her last XFC outing in February, Heather “Hurricane” Clark was looking to make a statement at this past Friday’s event against Avery Vilche.
Heather Clark (Courtesy of XFC)
“I think I performed pretty well,” said Clark. “I think I could have done some a few things better, but all in all I listened to my corner and stuck with the game plan and it worked pretty effectively.
“She actually pulled me on top of her into half-guard and from there I kind of baited an arm bar to pass to side and from there I set up mount, and from mount I did a little ground and pound and made her turn her back and finished with the rear naked choke.”
The victory over Vilche gives Clark five wins in her last six fights, but it’s that loss in February to Marianna Kheyfets that still bothers her.
“Looking back at the tape, all my coaches and friends haven’t been able to find exactly where the strike happened that made the eye swell, so it’s a little bit frustrating,” said Clark. “What happened was, I thought, ‘fair enough, she got me,’ but looking back now on the film, I can’t really find it, so I believe it should be a no contest and not a loss.
“It kind of gave me a little bit of a drive to show XFC what I’m capable of doing.”
With so few nationally televised events carrying women’s MMA, Clark feels that finding a home in a promotion like the XFC is a boom for her career.
“I feel completely honored and blessed to be with XFC,” she said. “Honestly, I don’t believe there is anywhere better I could be at my weight class. Bellator’s a good show as well, but I honestly think that the XFC does a better job at promoting their fighters, especially their female fighters. I couldn’t be anywhere better.”
For her next bout, Clark told MMAWeekly.com that she’d like to move down to 115 pounds and establish a title in the XFC at that weight. And thanks to the level of training she gets at Greg Jackson’s gym in Albuquerque, N.M., whomever Clark faces, she feels will be at a distinct disadvantage to her.
“I moved out here from Los Angeles just to train at this gym,” she said. “Working with Mike Winklejohn and attending Greg Jackson’s classes and learning from the best of the best. Going against that tough competition like Michelle (Waterson), Julie (Kedzie) and Holly (Holm), I can’t tell you how much confidence it gives me.
“When I get in the cage before my fights, I say, ‘This ain’t Julie, Holly or Michelle. I got this.’ I’m kind of joking, but I’m also serious because it’s true. What I have to face with these girls on a daily basis getting my butt kicked, when I get into my fights, it’s been nothing compared to this.”
Considering the opportunities afforded her by the XFC and her training camp, Clark doesn’t see anything less than a title around her waist a year from now and a spot amongst the top ranked female fighters.
“I’ve got to keep working on all my different skills and continue to be a well-rounded fighter, so that no matter who they put in front of me, I’ll be able to dominate and get through people and finish the fights,” she said. “I’ll keep working my butt off to become the best female fighter in the world, and I won’t stop at anything less.”
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