ByJocelyn Jones-Lybarger, writer at Creators.co
Official Creators account for UFC fighter Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger, the first RFA strawweight champion
Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger

I’m making my third walk to the Octagon next Sunday, January 15, fighting in front of my hometown crowd at , and I’m super excited.

This isn’t my first time in the big leagues, but after two tough matchups, including a short-notice fight on the biggest card of 2015, I think my matchup with is gonna be a really good one because wherever the fight goes, I’m ready.

When I made my UFC debut, I was just coming off a huge win over veteran Zoila Frausto. I dominated her for five rounds to become the first strawweight champion, and ever since, people keep asking me, “when are we gonna see the Jocelyn that fought Zoila?”

I agree. I just gotta go in there and be confident in my game; everyone watching UFC Phoenix will see me push the pace because the nerves are gone. I’m finally ready to show off all of my skills inside the Octagon; I’m going to go in there on January 15 and have a standup war.

It’s been an interesting camp at the MMA Lab for this fight. I have a feeling Nina may have taken some pointers from her teammate , who I fought at UFC 194. But that was a year ago, and I’ve changed as a fighter.

The biggest difference in my game, and in this camp, has been my new standup coach, Eddie Cha.

Eddie came to Phoenix from California, where he coached UFC fighters like Cisco Rivera and Bobby Green. We have him full time at the MMA Lab now, and we changed a lot of things the last six weeks.

We feel really good about it.

Coming from a boxing background -- that’s what led me to move into mixed martial arts -- striking has always been a focus for me. But we train two-a-days, and we’re training everything all day, so adding Eddie to the picture, working with him one-on-one five days a week, has been great.

And not just for me, but also for all of my teammates at the Lab.

The MMA Lab has always been my home ever since I started fight, even though I’m originally from California. But right before I signed to , I knew I had to make the move over here. I’ve been with John Crouch ever since, and that was six years ago.

We have a great environment, a great team, and we're really family oriented at the Lab. There are four of us from the team fighting on the UFC Phoenix card, so we're all in the final stages of preparing for our fights, which means the occasional visit from .

It's fun actually.

Now, I just have to go in there, be myself, and fight my fight; I’m ready wherever it goes.


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