PHOENIX – When she entered the home of "The Ultimate Fighter 26" after 10 years of waiting tables, Emily Whitmire was ready to leave her job as a server.
Two UFC fights and 18 months later, however, Whitmire (3-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is still balancing his MMA training with his regular work. In fact, while taking the Super Bowl night pass to avoid getting sick, he was working up to two weeks ahead of his UFC in ESPN 1 in a meeting with Aleksandra Albu (3-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC).
"Money is just too good to leave," Whitmire told MMAjunkie during a media day ahead of the preliminary card meeting, which runs on ESPN + from Talking Stick Resort Arena. "The people I work for are really cool, and it's just a fun gig, so if I can get in and earn a few hundred dollars in one night, it's like, why should not I do it? And the people I work with are fun. after the rush, you're just going out with your friends having fun. "
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Whitmire will start a bit of an involuntary dismissal with Sunday's light-weight game. His most recent battle was in July, when he made a unanimous decision on Jaime Moyle, and Whitmire was asking for a fight. She actually offered a matchup that interested her, but it was short-term, so she chose to wait.
"I was having fun, just training, improving, so it was not lost or anything," Whitmire said. "But I'm definitely ready to spin the ball again."
When it comes to time away from the cage, however, Albu has beaten Whitmire. He has not fought since July 2017, when he beat Kailin Curran to keep his unbeaten record. With only three pro MMA bouts, Whitmire does not have much to analyze to analyze the opponent's game, but an alternative source of footage does not necessarily hit her.
"I think she has some good parts in her game, but I think there are some holes I've seen in that fight (with Curran)," Whitmire said. "I know it's been a long time, but I saw some videos posted on Instagram, where she still had that kind of stiff and suspicious movement.
"So I have not seen a big change or movement there, where the fighters who usually take off that time usually can see a little bit of that sharpness, a little more smoothly, a little bit more. better movement, I did not really see those videos, you could post old videos, I do not know. "
Whitmire felt a lot of pressure on herself in her last bout, coming out a loss of submission to "TUF 26" cast partner Gillian Robertson in his octagonal debut and a loss to Roxanne Modafferi during the show. Now, bringing the moment of his first UFC victory, Whitmire does not want to repeat that narrative.
"I do not want to find myself in the same position where I have a 50-50 record, in which the next fight will put pressure on me again," Whitmire said. "This is a good match for myself, and I think that if, for some reason, the night does not go my way, it means that surely (imprecation) are somewhere.
"Because I know how much I've trained, I know what I've done at the gym, I know how my sparring rounds went … The people who are normally putting me on top of me, I'm starting to put it on them. intensity and I maintain that rhythm, I think I will come out with the victory ".
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