Jan Finney has heard it all since she was announced as the next challenger to the throne of Cris “Cyborg” Santos. Some have even told her that she has a better chance of beating Fedor Emelianenko, then she does at pulling an upset victory over “Cyborg.”
Despite what fans are saying, Finney has proven that she belongs in the cage with the best, having faced the likes of Julie Kedzie, Erin Toughill, Miesha Tate, and Shayna Baszler, and despite starting 4-6 in her career, she has reeled off 4 consecutive victories coming into this 145-pound Strikeforce title fight.
Finney has competed at 135-pounds for most of her career, but once the opportunity came to have a shot at a world title at 145, Finney jumped at the chance without hesitation.
“When my manager brought me this opportunity, my first answer was ‘yes’, without asking any details, pay, when, or where,” said Finney. “With the chance to fight the champ on a huge stage at StrikeForce, how could I say no.”
Finney has nothing to lose and everything in the world to gain coming into this fight against the seemingly indestructible “Cyborg.” If she suffers a loss, it is what everybody expected, but if she happens to pull off the upset, everybody will know the name Jan Finney, and being a world champion is exactly what Finney plans to be Saturday night.
ProMMAnow.com - Fans might not realize this, but you have fought some of the biggest names in the sport, like Julie Kedzie, Shayna Baszler, Miesha Tate, and Erin Toughill, and have won 4 fights in a row. What would you say has been the biggest change in your game that has allowed you to build this winning streak after dropping some tough losses earlier in your career?
Jan Finney - When I first came up I was pretty much just a striker not a MMA fighter. I have been working very hard to become a complete MMA fighter, and hard work is starting to pay off.
ProMMAnow.com - Everybody knows that “Cyborg” is going to come out fast and look for an early finish. Do you think your toughness and durability will make the difference as the fight goes on and you truly test her cardio in the championship rounds?
Jan Finney - “Cyborg” is the champ and some say the best ever. I know she is going to come out strong, and yes I will have to depend on my experience, toughness, and durability, and my heart. This is going to a great fight with “Cyborg” not backing down, and I am not going to back down, so I can’t wait to find out what happens.
ProMMAnow.com - What would it mean to you to be the one that takes “Cyborg’s” crown as an unbeatable fighter, and in the process becoming the Strikeforce 145 lb. champ?
Jan Finney - My dream come true, I really see it as a true life “Rocky” story.
ProMMAnow.com - How has the hype for this fight motivated you, with the fact that many fans don’t give you much of a chance to pull off the upset?
Jan Finney - Oh yeah… I read a good one last week, that I have more of a chance to beat Fedor. It just gives me more energy when I am training. I really get inspired when someone tells me I can’t do something, and now I have the whole Internet world telling me I cant, but it has happened before. If I win this fight I will have thousands of people coming up to me saying, “I knew you could win all the time.” Maybe if I win I should challenge Fedor… [laughs!!!]
ProMMAnow.com - In your eyes, where does women’s MMA stand, and do you think it is on the cusp of truly exploding in popularity to the casual fan?
Jan Finney - I do say the fans are becoming more educated on women’s MMA. I have been fighting for awhile, and I do see women’s MMA growing.
ProMMAnow.com - If the UFC ever had a Ultimate Fighter competition for women, would you audition to get into the house, and how crazy would it be to have 16 women in a house for that long?
Jan Finney - Oh yeah I would do it! I am a fighter and I love to fight. Sixteen women fighters in one house would be very interesting. So Dana if you make this happen, I want in.
ProMMAnow.com - Your nickname is “Cuddles”, what is the story behind it?
Jan Finney - Its an oxy-moron. It came from the gym. I was sparring with men, and I hurt a couple of them, and one them called me “Cuddles”, and they all laughed and the name stuck. I don’t like it too much.
ProMMAnow.com - Who are you taking in the Fedor vs. Werdum fight, and do you think Fedor is the best heavyweight on the planet?
Jan Finney - Oh Werdum!!!! It’s going to be a night of upsets. It’s MMA, so crazy things happen.
ProMMAnow.com – Thanks for spending time with us, is there anybody you would like to shout out or thank?
Jan Finney - My trainers Mike Patt and Jon Stutzman, and my manager Wade. A very big thank you to my sponsors www.KOreps.com, Performance MMA, Clinch Gear, Cage Candy, Kimura Media, MMA Girls, Red Arme, Cage Walker, Doctor Mark. Fans can keep up with me at www.JanFinney.com.