In Atlantic City, November 5th the stage is set for a night of great fights; of particular interest, Amanda Buckner vs. Tara La Rosa.
This is one that female fight fans have been waiting for; two ring-experienced women with solid technique finally face each other in MMA.
Placing 2nd and 3rd in ADCC, these women bring not only a repertoire of submissions, but knock-out power and both can push an aggressive pace. Amanda Buckner shares a few words with us now…
Heather: Tara’s got a similar record, losing only to the very tough Jennifer Howe. She’s been fighting for a few years, just like you and has won most of her fights via submission, just like you. How are you preparing?
Amanda: I’m preparing for this fight the same way I always do. I train mostly two times a day, sometime three and sometimes one. I have made one interesting change to my training in that I’ve adopted a new way of doing my strength and cardio. Since July, Jay and I have been doing Crossfit. For anyone that hasn’t heard of it, you can check out crossfit.com. It’s really intense stuff. So I do Crossfit in the morning and do sport specific stuff at night (lots of sparring, both vale tudo and kickboxing with takedowns). As the fight has gotten closer I’ve added some sprinting and stuff like that on days when Crossfit isn’t quite so intense.
Heather: Crossfit is a great program! Have you noticed a difference in your strength and conditioning since July?
Amanda: I’ve noticed a huge difference from using this program. This biggest difference I’ve noticed is in my functional strength. If i did a bench press test or something like that I’m not sure if my 1 rep max would have changed at all but if you had some way to test a person’s strength while actually doing MMA training my gains would be huge. This is exactly what I was hoping to get from Crossfit so I’m really happy with that.
Heather: Sounds like it’s working for you. Core strength or what you called ‘functional strength’ is so important in our sport. I’m especially interested in how diet affects competitive athletes. You’re a vegetarian, right? How do you feel about the philosophy that more protein = more muscle?
Amanda: I am a vegetarian and have been for about 12 years now. As far as the whole protein thing I think that people believe they need a lot more protein than they do. The way I try to eat is pretty simple; I try to get around 30 grams of carbs, and 21 grams of protein per meal. I always add in some fat as well, something like almonds or avocado. I don’t measure out my food or anything, that’s just a sort of guideline. Oh, and I guess a big thing for me is that I try and get almost all my carbs from fruits and vegetables. I do have trouble not eating sweet things so that is always a challenge for me.
Heather: Amanda, I’m not sure if you know this but you’re one of those people that exude a sort of greatness. Like, ”ooooh, Amanda Buckner, she’s big, strong, really tough.” You, as you said in an interview a few years back, ‘cut your teeth’ on some of the toughest fighters and went on to submit each of your following opponents. (I say that clearing my throat, of course.) What I find so delightful about you is that you are very genuine; really thoughtful in all your actions. You’re a person of your word. What words can you give us about your upcoming fight?
Amanda: First of all, thank you for all the kind things you said. I can’t say I feel any differently about fighting Tara than I have anybody else I’ve fought. One of the things that has been great for me about the path I have taken in fighting is that winning and losing has lost its importance. I’m the first to say that winning is definitely a better feeling but losing doesn’t feel so much like the end of the world like it has in the past. The result of this is that I really feel like I can go in there now and fight each fight with nothing held back. I can come in with a fast and aggressive pace and if I get caught oh well on to the next fight. I think feeling like this makes me fight closer to my potential and makes me more dangerous to the people I fight. I am excited to fight Tara in the sense that I think that this match up is great for women’s fighting. I think we need more fights between two skilled women if we’re ever going to change people’s minds about how women can fight. I think Tara and I will both come to put on a great fight and will bring out the best in each other.
Heather: I love your philosophy about winning & losing. The fight, itself, is the destination and the journey there is what truly changes us and makes us grow, not necessarily the loss or the win that defines us as fighters. Again, a lot of us are really looking forward to this match up. You both bring so much to the table.
Thanks so much for taking time away from your gym and training to share a few words! I won’t wish you luck, who needs it, just go do your thing and represent us girls well. I know you will!
Amanda: Thank you for taking the time to do the interview. Also, thanks to Sprawl and my team at the Academy of MMA.