Bellator MMA veteran Nikki Smith will make the trek from Illinois to Clarksville, Tenn., on Dec. 15 when she faces Shannon Goughary in an atomweight matchup in the co-main event at Angel Fight’s “Rising Stars”. Pro MMA Now caught up with Nikki this week to get her thoughts on her opponent, find out why this fight is so important to her, hear how she got her start in mixed martial arts, and more.

Thanks for talking with us, Nikki. How has training been going for your upcoming fight against Shannon Goughary taking place Dec. 15?

Training for this fight has been going great, no injuries with this camp and I feel like I am only improving.

What are you thoughts on your opponent and her skill set?

I have seen many of my opponents fights online but everyone is always working and always improving so I never expect anyone to fight me the same way I have seen them fight in the past.

How do you feel you matchup with her and how do you see the fight playing out when you visualize it?

I feel like this is a great matchup, I’m excited to be fighting in my proper weight class. I think no matter what happens it will be an exciting fight for us and for the fans. I don’t plan/visualize much about the match because like I’ve said, people are always improving and changing things up.

Angel Fight Promotions is now being called a feeder league for M-1 Global. What would a win for you on Dec. 15 mean for you and your career?

I really need this win, I am on a three-fight losing streak and I plan on giving everything I have to get this win.

How did you first get interested and started in MMA, did you have a sports background?

I usually tell people that it just looked like fun, but honestly I wanted to be able to protect myself and my son in case I ever needed to.

Where are you training for this fight and who are your coaches?

I am training at Robbins MMA with Justin Robbins and Ryan Molohon. This is my first fight with my new gym and everyone has been so great helping me to prepare.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through MMA and martial arts?

Just don’t give up, suck it up and keep going. Being able to put my mind aside and just getting the work done.

What is life like for you outside of fighting?

I’m a mom of a 10-year-old boy who is very active in sports. I am also a cook at an elementary school.

Thank you for your time and good luck on Dec. 15. Any final words for the fans or shout-outs?

Thank you, I just can’t wait to show all the improvements I’ve made and put on a good show for the fans. I’d just like to say thanks to all my family, friends and teammates for all the support.

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