(Video courtesy of PFL MMA)
During an amateur career that saw her spend more time waiting than actually fighting, for lightweight Laura Sanchez, to finally make her pro debut this past January against Miranda Barber at Chosen Few FC 18 was almost as exhilarating as picking up the win itself was.
Perhaps releasing all her pent up frustration, Sanchez used her reach advantage to break down Barber before finishing her off just under a minute left in the first round to pick up a victory in her pro debut.
“I can tell you it was about time,” Barber told MMAWeekly.com. “In my amateur career it was really hard to get fights. Each fight was maybe a year in between. It was only a very short span when I had two fights within a couple months of each other. Fights just kept calling through.
“By the time I got my pro debut I was just ready to go. I wanted to go in there, get the finish, and make a statement because I had been waiting a long time for it.”
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Unfortunately for Sanchez, the novel coronavirus put a halt to her momentum as it was just starting. Still, she chooses to focus on the things she can do during the downtime rather than be down.
“Finally I thought I was going to be on a roll,” said Sanchez. “When the virus happened it was a bummer. But I realize throughout my career, even in basketball before fighting, that even though it’s cliché, everything does happen for a reason.
“You work so hard for something, and it’s your big break, and everything comes to a halt. You have to realize you’re not the only person. It was the whole world was on hold. I just take it as it comes. I just focus on keep on improving and keep working on myself.”
While Sanchez’s PFL fighting debut may be delayed, she is still nonetheless a focus for the promotion, as she is featured in this week’s Prep Point digital series with Lilian Garcia.
“It means a lot (to be featured on Prep Point),” Sanchez said. “They didn’t bring me into the promotion for nothing. They see something in me. They’re going to help push me. It’s encouraging.
“People watch you while you’re in the cage and want to see you perform, but it’s fun when you can actually connect with fans. As people get to know me, maybe it will help me outside of fighting. People will get to know me for the heart that I have and what I want to do for others.”
When Sanchez’s PFL career kicks off proper and she finally gets a chance to step into competition again, just like every time before it, it’s going to be statement time.
“I think every time you step into the cage it’s going to be statement,” said Sanchez. “If you show everything that you have in one fight, you’re easy for people to prepare for, so every time I go in there I want to show something new and make a statement for myself.
“I’m going to be on the biggest stage yet. They’re going to invest in me, and I’m going to take that opportunity and give everything that I’ve got and let everybody know who I am. I can’t wait for the season to come, because when I step on that stage everyone is going to know who I am.”