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But soon enough, the itch to fight grew. It wasn’t from out of nowhere, though. Cifers watched the early UFC cards with her parents when she was younger, gravitating toward Royce Gracie because of his ability to defeat much larger opponents.

“I just thought it’d be fun to fight,” Cifers said. “At the time, I never thought I’d be in the UFC like I am now.”

That insurmountable thought is her life now, and on the bright side, it has allowed her the opportunity to meet her MMA heroes, including Junior Dos Santos, whose moniker “Cigano” is the inspiration for her dog’s name.

Ultimately, though, Cifers is most excited to get another chance to show how she has improved since she made her first foray into the Octagon in November 2018. The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t impacted her training regimen too much, nor has it really changed her day-to-day life.

With that said, the UFC Apex is definitely an upgrade from a North Carolina parking lot.

“I feel pretty good,” Cifers said. “I feel like I’m putting in a lot of work.”


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