CB: Recovery has taken its course and after taking 6 months off, I’ve never felt better to train! I’m sticking to a lemon a day to keep the stones away. Oh yeah, and drinking lots of water.
EW: Describe your training/recovery? Do you feel like the time off was good? Do you feel like you’ll be able to come back quickly to full
CB: It seems as if taking only two weeks off you lose a lot of endurance and cardio. I’m almost three weeks back into training and the time off has really helped my mental edge for fighting; which motivates me to train harder and stay focused. Being that it feels like it’s back to square one in all aspects of training, I’ve revised my workouts so I don’t over do it. Time will help bring back endurance, cardio, strength, technique, if not, more than before. This puts it back to basics and will make my base even stronger.
EW: You’ve got a superfight event coming up March 15th in Madison, Wisconsin. Who is your opponent? How do you feel you will match up?
CB: This will be an exciting match between myself and Vanessa Smith who is a 2X World Champion. She is now a purple belt and I believe we got our belts around the same time. We had rolled in BJJ once a couple years back and she dominated me with her strong Dela Riva guard and top game. This was two years ago. I’m hoping this time around I can give her a much harder time than before. Whether I win or lose, this match will bring me one step further in becoming a top jiu jitsu competitor.
EW: Who are you training jiu jitsu under?Describe your regimen to prepare for this fight?
CB: My training is under Luiz Claudio, a Rickson Gracie Black Belt, who resides in Jacarepaguá, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. I also attend Badgerland Jiu Jitsu with Mark Severtson who is affiliated with Luiz and is in Madison as well. He’s the one
running the tournament King Grappler in Madison which is a RANKED event. It’s nice
to stick with the system under Rickson which leaves a lot of opportunity to train with some great athletes, recently meeting some of those at POW Kickboxing in Chicago. My husband, Thales, is working me on my endurance and strength training to last the ten minute match without gassing out and doing a lot of shark tanking and BJJ techniques to get the tapout.
EW: I know MMA is your main focus right now. What are the top three opponents you’d like to see in your near future and how do you feel you’d match up with each?
CB: Hmmmm…how far along is the future? Now is a really time to get experience in the ring and keep training with integrity. I’d like to fight anyone who has a respect for the sport, trains hard, has taken the time to learn the sport as well as what it takes to fight and can also make weight.
EW: I know that you began in jiu jitsu and are a purple belt, how comfortable do you feel in all other aspects of MMA?
CB: In MMA I feel that I should be able to outstrike a stand up fighter, out grapple a ground fighter and out pressure my opponent in a match. I began boxing only two months after starting jiu jitsu. I train with a former pro boxer Andrea Nelson who is probably one of the most pickiest in form from throwing a jab to running. She sets the bar really high for me. I still have a long way to go in all aspects of MMA but with the support of my family and fightergirl teammates, I’m sure that my game will keep progressing.
EW: MMA is a personally challenging sport, what characteristic(s) about you puts you above the rest?
CB: Personally, the mental game is most important. If you can check your thoughts and channel them into staying focused and training hard, you will stand a great match! That is for me is the biggest challenge of all. Everything follows after that.
EW: What do you feel is your ‘weak spot’ in this sport? What are you doing to change this to make you a successful, well-rounded fighter?
CB: My weakness is my lack of experience. With the help of Debi and my teammates, I know
this will change for the better.
CB: Thanks Erin!
EW: Thanks so much, Casey. And I can’t wait to see you kick butt from the sidelines!