DENVER – Amanda Cooper learned an important and mindset-changing lesson in her loss to Mackenzie Dern earlier this year. That lesson was that the best-prepared fighter doesn’t always win.
Cooper (3-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) took the highly touted unbeaten prospect Dern (7-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC 224 in May and lost by first-round submission. The big story of the fight was how Dern missed weight by a whopping seven pounds, but Cooper agreed to move on with the bout despite the obvious weight disadvantage.
The fight didn’t go in Coopers favor, and for a moment she didn’t understand why. She had done everything right and by the book throughout training camp and was facing someone who obviously didn’t. In her mind she should have won, but now understands that’s just not reality.
“I pride myself on my fight camps by being perfect,” Cooper told MMAjunkie. “Eat perfect, I train perfect, I do the extra mile, I always make sure I’m in bed by a certain time. I’m like pretty perfect all the time during fight camp. I make sure my warmup’s perfect, my coaches are perfect. I make sure everything around me and my friends are next to me. I bring my friends next to me in my fight camp. I try to be really perfect. And I’m hearing Mackenzie not training and not getting ready and not making weight and I’m like, ‘I’m doing everything perfect, I deserve to win.’
“At the end of the day a fight’s a fight. You’ve got one person next to you that wants to take your dreams away from you and I think I learned that you don’t need to be perfect to win a fight. You don’t need to have the perfect warmup or the perfect walkout. I’m just kind of accepting that not everything has to be perfect in my fight camps. I just have to be there, I just have to show up and want to win.”
Cooper will bring that lesson into her next fight, which takes place Saturday at UFC Fight Night 139 against Ashley Yoder (5-4 MMA, 0-3 UFC). The strawweight bout airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
“ABC” said she likes the style matchup against Yoder and believes it suits her in a way that will allow her to rebound from the loss to Dern.
“I feel like my striking is going to really overwhelm her,” Cooper said. “I switch stances a lot, it’s definitely better for me in the standup. But I feel confident to get the takedown and beat her up from ground. I don’t think she has a very – she has one style. She likes the takedown, she likes jiu-jitsu, but, I don’t think she’s very dangerous.”
Cooper, 27, said she’s feeling the significance of her bout at UFC Fight Night 139. As the only female on the roster with a sub.-500 record, Cooper already feels she has to prove she deserves a spot on the UFC roster. Moreover, though, it’s the final fight on her current contract, so she needs a performance that will persuade the company into giving her a solid offer.
“This is my last fight so I want to go out there and go really hard,” Cooper said. “This is a fight where I want to go out there and prove something. Ashley’s got a losing record in the UFC, so I can’t just beat her and slide by with a split decision. I have to go prove I can go out there and beat someone who should be out of the UFC. So I’m going to go out and do that.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC Denver's Amanda Cooper: Loss to Mackenzie Dern taught me lesson on perfection