She did. At 4:41 of the second round, Leonardo halted Hackett, handing the Aussie her first loss while picking up a UFC contract for herself. She breaks that contract in on Wednesday when she battles fellow newcomer Manon Fiorot on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. It’s the biggest fight of her life…again…so she’s ready for everything to come.
“I feel like every fight is the biggest fight of my life,” said the 30-year-old. “Every fight that I have coming up, it’s always like this is the biggest fight of my life. And it’s those little fights in between or on the way to that really start to define your career and so you really can’t lose too many of those. I’ve had a couple of devastating losses, so I know how important it is for me to go out there and put on a great performance in every single fight. I’m certainly gonna have jitters, but I don’t know if they’re gonna be different than my normal pre-fight jitters. Every fight’s important and I really do look at every fight like that, like this is the biggest fight I’ve ever had in my life.”
View The Entire UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs Magny Card
That’s a good sign, because if it wasn’t that way, Leonardo would be going backward, not forward. And she is most certainly going forward. Just don’t call her a UFC fighter yet.
“I don’t feel like I’ve made it,” she explains. “I feel like, can I really tell people I’m a UFC fighter if I haven’t won a UFC fight? I want to be able to say, I’m here, I whupped this girl’s ass and this girl’s ass and I’m ready to be in line with the top contenders. I’m gonna continue to have a goal in front of me because that emotional high from winning the fight wears off and then I start to see, okay, I’ve got this thing now, and I want to get back to that feeling of reaching that goal and feeling my hand raised again. It’s addicting. And now I’ve gotta prove I belong in the big show, so it’s never done.”
Make sure you tune into UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs Magny at a special time this Wednesday: Prelims Begin At 9am ET, Main Card at 12pm ET
Visit Abu Dhabi: http://www.abudhabievents.ae/