It was a shock to the women’s MMA world when it was announced Jan Finney would be the opponent for Cyborg Santos’ 145 pound championship on the June 26 Strikeforce card in San Jose. However, don’t count out Finney, as she does have the credentials to take on one of the best fighters in the world.
Finney talked to us on the “Sportsgeeks” podcast about how the match came about and what she is doing to prepare for the most important match of her career.
Finney acknowledged her manager had a lot to do with her getting the match.
“(My manager) was on them asking, ‘Who is going to face Cyborg?’,” Finney stated. “He was on them and perseverance prevailed.”
With the shot at Cyborg offered, Finney has dropped out of the Freestyle Cage Fighting 135 pound Grand Prix final verses Shayna Baszler with FCF’s consent. Finney has been fighting at 135 pounds, but said the jump up will help her in the long run.
“It might work towards my advantage,” Finney expressed. “I’m not going to be worried about cutting weight. Right now I am sitting at seven pounds out. It’s the least of my worries.”
Cyborg is estimated to cut down 25 pounds during her training camp. Finney hopes her cardiovascular training will overcome Cyborg’s power.
“She’s going to be stronger than me,” Finney said. “I’ve been hitting the weights, but I am not going to do too much, because I don’t want to get a lot more muscle, the more muscle you have the more oxygen you need.”
When asked about the other fighters in the 145 pound division, Finney expressed that experience is something the division is lacking.
“I know that a lot of the girls are young and don’t have a lot of fights. It’s growing, but it is kind of slim pickings.”
As for Finney’s experience, she is on a five fight win streak and her last loss was a 3 round decision to # 2 ranked Erin Toughill a year and a half ago. She stated that she is more than prepared to fight Cyborg for the belt.
“I’ve been fighting pretty much every two months since October. I’m ready. Each time I feel like I am getting a little more momentum. I know she’s tough, but I’m a competitor. I’m going to give her my best.”