ST. LOUIS – Jessica-Rose Clark won’t deny she’s the lesser-known commodity in Sunday’s matchup with Paige VanZant at UFC Fight Night 124. Instead of that being a bad thing, though, Clark views it as a positive.
“Every fight’s an opportunity for (to get more popular),” Clark told MMAjunkie at the UFC Fight Night 124 open workouts today. “She’s done really, really well for herself in the short time she’s been fighting. I’m down to take some of that.”
UFC Fight Night 124 takes place at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The flyweight bout between Clark (8-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. VanZant (7-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) airs on the FS1-televised portion of the card following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Over the past few years, VanZant has received an above-average share of promotional push from the UFC. She’s also appeared on “Dancing with the Stars,” giving her name recognition to those beyond just the MMA audience. For Clark, it’s been a stark contrast.
Clark made her UFC debut on short notice at UFC Fight Night 121 in November. She earned a split decision victory over Bec Rawlings at the event, and less than two weeks later was booked to fight VanZant. For some, that would be an overwhelming amount of career progress to make in such a short time. For Clark, though, it’s perfect.
“It’s happening at the right speed,” Clark said. “Obviously quicker than I thought it was going too when I got out to Vegas (to train at Syndicate MMA), but now everything is working exactly how it needs too. I feel prepared, I feel excited. I’ve never been excited for fights before. Now I’m excited.”
Although it would seem like everything is going great for Clark, the road to UFC Fight Night 124 hasn’t been entirely smooth. On Thursday, news broke of an alleged invasion to Clark’s Las Vegas home, which also apparently included an attack on her cat. Clark said she won’t allow the troubling situation to be a distraction.
“I’m all right,” Clark said. “I’m missing a lot of shoes and obviously we’re missing a cat, which sucks. But we’re all right. They’re dealing with it back in Vegas. I’m here for a reason. I’ve got to make that money to go back home and replace all my new shoes, so nothing’s changing.”
As far as the fight goes, Clark believes VanZant is a favorable matchup for her. “12 Gauge” is moving up to the women’s 125-pound division for the first time, and Clark seems to believe size could be one of many factor that tips the scales to her side.
“I think I have advantages everywhere,” Clark said. “I’m comfortable wherever it goes. I never really focus on who I’m fighting. It’s all about what I need to do.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Jessica-Rose Clark down to take Paige VanZant's fame for herself at UFC Fight Night 124