Fighters commonly discuss the physical strain that training camps place on their bodies, though rarely mention the mental stress associated with cage fighting. Felice Herrig, however, is one of the few who decided to dedicate a portion of her camp to the underrated aspect of professional competition.
According to Herrig, the strawweight competitor focused on dealing with her anxiety over the past few months, which helped her compete to the best of her abilities against Kailin Curran at UFC on FOX 20. She entered the cage with a level of relaxation that was entirely foreign to her.
“I was always training, but I was working on all the things that I maybe had been stubborn to do before, and I worked on getting my anxiety under control which was a huge factor,” Herrig said at the post-fight press conference (h/t MMAFighting.com). “And this was the first fight where I felt relaxed and where I felt like I did everything in the fight I know I’m capable of, things I do in the gym. So we’ll see what’s next. I don’t really know.”
Herrig, 31, is 11-6 as a professional but has only fought three times for the UFC since 2014. Her infrequent appearances were due to her previous flirtation with retirement, as well as wear-and-tear from years of kickboxing and MMA competition.
“My last fight was the first time I ever had felt like, after the first minute-and-a-half my body just went numb. I didn’t know what was happening, and so I had a bunch of lab work done and medical tests done, and my body has been just so burnt out from all the years that I’ve been fighting. So I took a few steps back. That’s why I took the time off.”
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