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That was tough for the competitor in Van Buren to take, but she listened. In the meantime, she bought a house and planned her wedding. The house purchase went through, but the COVID-19 pandemic put the wedding on hold. All the while, pre and post-pandemic, she watched the strawweight world go round.

“It was frustrating sitting on the sidelines and seeing everybody else have scheduled fights,” she said. “I’ve been super impatient, so I’m just excited that I finally got a fight and it’s happening this weekend.”

Oh yeah, remember that “here, healthy and back” thing? That all takes place in Las Vegas when she meets up with perennial contender Tecia Torres. The matchup between the top prospect and the veteran standout is rock-solid on its own, but even more intriguing is that Van Buren will finally get to face an opponent who won’t have a significant height and reach advantage on her. In fact, Van Buren holds the reach edge over the taller Torres, but the Gilroy native says it will be business as usual no matter what the tale of the tape says.

“Nothing has really changed for me because I’ve always been the smallest one,” she said. “And technically, I’m under five feet. I’m 4-11. But what people don’t know is that I have a really long reach. I’m used to fighting girls who are taller than me, though, and Tecia’s not that much taller, so this fight is gonna be exciting because we’re both small girls and the game plan still stays the same.”


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