Before Kelly McGill-Velasco debuts on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series this week against Lauren Mueller, LIVE on UFC Fight Pass, the Invicta FC vet checked in with ProMMANow.
If someone would have told you when you were growing up, that one day you’d be fighting for a living, would you have believed them?
Definitely not. I wasn’t really athletic at all growing up. I never really did any sports. It’s nothing I ever pictured for myself.
How did you find MMA?
My dad watched MMA casually while I was growing up. He was watching a WEC fight – it was Faber versus Mike Brown – I just jokingly told him, “I could do this, too.” I had never played sports before, at all. “You? Out of everybody, you? Maybe your sister, but not you.” I took that as a challenge. I really hate when people doubt me and if anything it makes me more motivated. I started doing jiujitsu just to prove him wrong. That led to kickboxing which led to MMA, but it was mostly just that first challenge that did it.
How do you feel about your accomplishments so far?
I was just having this conversation with my mother the other day. For being twenty-two, I’ve accomplished a lot of things nobody my age has accomplished. Being a female in this sport, turning pro at a young age and fighting for Invicta, to have this opportunity to take part in the Contender Series, then balancing it with having a job and going to school – yeah, I’m pretty proud of myself for doing all of that.
How big of an opportunity is this fight?
It’s a huge opportunity. I need to capitalize on it. It’s a once in a lifetime chance that not everybody gets. Coming off of a loss, it’s very important that I perform well and show everybody that I still deserve to be here – that I can hang with these top-level girls – to show everybody what I’m made of.
Is there anything you’d like to say to Dana White in advance of fighting in front of him?
I just want him to know I’m going to get the finish. I don’t care if it’s standing, on the ground, or a submission – I don’t care, I’m getting that finish.