Genah Fabian is unfazed by her underdog status at PFL 2019: Playoffs 1.
In fact, she’s become used to being counted out. There were times she’s even counted herself out. But in the end, she overcome her struggles to become a better version of herself.
Friday, Fabian (2-1 MMA) looks to overcome perhaps her biggest obstacle in the form of Kayla Harrison (5-0 MMA) at PFL 2019: Playoffs 1. The event takes place at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The main card airs on ESPN 2 after prelims stream on ESPN+.
Fabian has been passionate for athletics for as long as she can remember, but her love didn’t always center around combat sports. During her youth and through her adolescence, Fabian was a standout runner. She competed on the international level, having partaken in the Junior Olympics and Pan Pacific games.
A torn hamstring derailed her track hopes, so she turned to rowing. That’s when a bad car accident turned things from bad to worse. It took some time, but Fabian had to regroup physically, but even moreso mentally. In the process of doing so, she fell in love with muay thai during a trip to Thailand.
“Long story short, I got immersed and got addicted and started fighting,” Fabian told MMA Junkie. “I took it the point I am now. I haven’t stopped since.”
The switch from running to fighting was easy, according to Fabian. The physical actions are different, but the mental principles and overall mindset are the same.
“The dedication, professionalism, and the discipline definitely crossed over from my background,” Fabian said. “Being humble and having that mindset was major. Once I fell in love with the technique and the sport itself, I appreciated it for what it was.
“The switch had been in my mind. I was greatly athletic and able to pick things up really fast. I just switched that mindset to like, ‘Okay, I’m going to do this for real.’”
After almost four years away from pro MMA competition, Fabian returned for her sophomore fight at PFL 2019: Week 1, where she lost an unanimous decision to Bobbi-Jo Daziel.
In her second regular-season fight, Fabian reentered the win column when she knocked out Moriel Charneski in the first round at PFL 2019: Week 4. The victory earned her six points and punched her ticket into the postseason.
A product of CSA Gym and City Kickboxing, Fabian has been able to train with some of the best martial artists in the world over the past years, including newly crowned UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Her journey through the PFL regular season helped her improve leaps and bounds, alleged Fabian.
“It was getting that cage time,” Fabian said. “The opportunity with PFL has been enough for me to really put them to practice and put them into play under the lights. I belong in there.”
She’s under no illusion – Fabian knows she’ll be an underdog on fight night. Going up against not only the face of the division, but arguably of the entire PFL promotion, Fabian has embraced the underdog title.
“It doesn’t negate what I’m about to do or what I’m preparing to do come fight night,” Fabian said. “I’m okay with being the underdog or being counted out. It’s just gives me the opportunity to really showcase me. It’s a huge opportunity and I feel really confident.”
So what does Fabian think makes her different from the other five females who have tried to rid Harrison of the zero in her loss column? There are a few factors, but none more prevalent than Fabian’s physicality.
“She’s never faced someone as physical as me,” Fabian said. “She’s got a specific skillset that has proven to make her dominant, thus far. Just as much as she specializes in her area, I’m just as specialized in mine. I’m world class in mine and that will be my time to showcase it.
“We left no stone unturned for her style and what she showcased to date. My physicality, my accuracy, my timing, my range is something she hasn’t come up against yet. It’s who can do that the best that night and keep it where we want it.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: PFL's Genah Fabian: Kayla Harrison's never faced someone as physical as me