Though she had some personal difficulty heading into her bout versus Amanda Cooper this past November at UFC Fight Night 139, strawweight Ashley Yoder was able to overcome them and pick up a split-decision victory.
Still, looking back on her performance against Cooper, Yoder acknowledges that she could have done better and is just happy to have picked up a win.
“I definitely had a lot going on, and there is no one to blame or no excuse for the performance that I had. I was more disappointed in my performance than in any of my other ones, actually,” Yoder told MMAWeekly.com.
“But that being said, I did come across a lot adversity before they closed the cage door. Overcoming those personal battles and staying focused on what I had to do – whether it was a pretty fight or not – I think I did what I had to do to get the win.”
For Yoder, seeing the development of her game and the improvements she makes comes from the final stretch of training for a fight.
“I see the improvements when I have a fight lined up,” said Yoder. “I get upset that I don’t get to fight as often as I’d like, but at the same time it gives me more time to work on things and get more confident and be more secure in my game.
“I think in the time off between my fights, it’s a struggle at the beginning, but then things I was struggling with start to come together in a good time.”
At UFC on ESPN+ 12 in Greenville, S.C., Yoder (5-4) will look to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time in three years when she faces Syuri Kondo (6-2) in a main card strawweight fight.
“She likes to strike too, and I think she also likes to come forward and engage in a fight, which is perfect for me,” Yoder said of Kondo. “I think it’s going to be a fun fight.
“To win the fight I do believe that she is really a point fighter, so I’m going to have to get that finish. I want to go out there and showcase the improvements in my game. Either way it’s going to be a good fight for the fans and that’s what I’m excited about.”
For Yoder, her mind is set on June 22 and nothing beyond that, as she’s just not someone to forsake the present for the future.
“I take my life day by day, hour by hour,” said Yoder. “Nothing is promised. Unfortunately I’ve had too many close people that I’ve lost suddenly, so I live my life differently than most people.
“I honestly don’t focus too far on the future. Of course I have goals and work towards those goals and not just train and try to get fights. I would like to be able to fight more than twice a year. I think I put on good shows, and my fights have proven it, so hopefully they just keep me busy.”