Tonight in Kansas City, Invicta Fighting Championships will hold an all-female mixed martial arts card featuring some of the world’s best female fighters. Two of the most notable fighters are former Strikeforce bantamweight champ Marloes Coenen and the lady who gave the Golden Glory fighter all she could handle when the two met in March of last year, Liz Carmouche. No one gave the 28-year-old Carmouche much of a chance, but despite taking the fight on less than two weeks’ notice “Girl-Rilla” controlled the first two frames before succumbing to a fourth round Triangle Choke.
Carmouche would go on to face another former champion in her very next bout when she took on Sarah Kaufman four months later on a Strikeforce Challengers card. Despite putting up a valiant effort she would go on to lose via Unanimous Decision. She hasn’t fought since, but she has used that time to strengthen up all areas of her game and she is looking to make it a rough night for her opponent former boxer Ashleigh Curry who is 1-0 in her MMA career. Carmouche a former Marine with three tours of duty in the Middle East is excited for Invicta’s prospects and looking to end her two fight losing streak with an exclamation point.
She recently sat down with Five Ounces of Pain and spoke about her career, fighting for Invicta FC, and much more…
Can you give us a little insight into your background and how you got started in MMA?
Liz Carmouche: I was in the Marine Corps for five years and I was looking for something that would offer me a physical and mental challenge. MMA seemed to meet every aspect. Mentally you have to be prepared for all the different forms of martial arts and physically it will push you to the next level. After week one of getting beat up and I was hooked.
Where are you currently training in preparation for your bout with Curry?
LC: I’m currently training at the San Diego Combat Academy. My main trainer is Manolo Hernandez, I have Matt Fort who is my wrestling coach and Landon Piercy teaches Muay Thai. Fort is also my main training partner.
What can you tell us about your opponent Ashleigh Curry?
LC: She was a professional boxer who is now transitioning into MMA. Her record was 4-7-2, she is a southpaw, she won her one and only MMA fight via TKO.
What would consider your strengths in MMA?
LC: I feel like I consider myself to be more of a well-rounded fighter. I haven’t really decided to focus on just one aspect of the sport as I’d rather be capable in all areas.
What do you feel are the keys for Invicta FC being a successful MMA organization?
LC: I’m not exactly sure what the plans are for Invicta. I would imagine that this card is more or less like a test show to see how things go and what the reaction is to it. If it works out as well as everyone is expecting it to I would think that there would be more shows. I know that’s what I am hoping for; I am looking forward to going around the country putting on shows in venues like the one in Kansas City.
What were your thoughts on the Miesha Tate-Ronda Rousey bout that took place in March?
LC: I was thought it was a great fight and there were certainly a few moments when I was watching when I was like, “Oh my God!!” I thought they were both amazing and I don’t know how Tate was able to deal with that pain.
Who do you feel is the face of women’s MMA at this time?
LC: I don’t necessarily feel that any one fighter is the face of women’s MMA right now. I think there are three main names that everyone recognizes and they are Coenen, Rousey, and Tate. Tate and Coenen have been around longer than Rousey, but to say only one of them is the face of MMA wouldn’t be accurate.
Do you feel it will be tough for Cris “Cyborg” Santos to come back from her suspension and do you feel it was a black eye for women’s MMA?
LC: I think it was just one negative hiccup for us as it’s certainly been happening in men’s MMA for quite some time. I mean it’s constantly coming up. It seems like every other day there is another male fighter failing a test and this was just one for us out of every female fighter. She is certainly very well recognized and it kind of set us back a little bit. As far as her coming back I know she is still training so there won’t be any difficulty for her in that regard. She is going to be under a lot of skepticism and she will have some difficulty coming back from that.
How did you enjoy your time with Strikeforce and will you be fighting for them again?
LC: I’m still contracted through Strikeforce and still have three fights left with them. They are booked up for a few months so they allowed me to fight for Invicta because it’s been so long since I last fought. I’ll be fighting for Strikeforce again at some point.
How did you become involved with Alchemist?
LC: I was introduced to the organization through Alex Soto as he helped me with my sponsorship with Ranger Up and then talked to Lex McMahon about me. They came and met with me and I’ve been with them ever since.
What can your fans expect from you come Saturday night?
LC: It’s been quite a while since my last fight and I feel as though I didn’t get a chance to showcase all of my skills. I am looking to show them that during this time off I haven’t been slacking, but I’ve been growing as a fighter and that’s what I want to show them. I’ve adapted my game and I just want to keep growing.
Are there any sponsors or anyone else you’d like to thank?
LC: Other than Ranger Up I am also sponsored by Build and Destroy since day one they are an up and coming business and even though they don’t have much they always make sure to do whatever they can for me. I’d also like to thank Secret Savage and Out of Bounds. I’d like to give a special thanks to my mom and my girlfriend Lisa. They have been super supportive in all the fights I have ever had. I’d also like to thank Matt, Bill Crawford and Landon for all they do for me back home.
Fans can see Carmouche fight tonight for free through Invicta FC’s website along with the entire card when things start up tonight at 8:00 PM EST.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE