She also notices a difference in her body returning to flyweight, namely her athleticism and movement. Mazo hopes to parlay that physicality into a dominant win against Agapova, who is returning after nearly 14 months out of action.
Agapova turned some heads in her UFC debut, an avalanche-like win over Hannah Cifers, but she was unable to capitalize on her buzzing hype when she lost to Shana Dobson a couple months later. Mazo knows her opponent’s eagerness to get back on track, but she isn’t all too concerned about what she has to present her in the Octagon.
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“I have my eyes open, and I’m ready for anything,” Mazo said. “I passed through my training in absolutely every situation, so it’s not like something new is going to come. For sure, anything can happen, but I’m going to be ready there for what she shows me. I feel like a key thing is being smart in this fight. Not only go there and brawl because I already have some experience, and I feel way more mature. Like, ‘OK, no. Let’s settle this down. It’s my time.’”
The 5-foot-7 Mazo believes her length and reach gives her the tools to hang with anyone in the flyweight division, and her developing knowledge of how to use those physical gifts is intertwined with her success in the Octagon. After changing things up in training and piecing together her fight camp in a way she believes in wholeheartedly, Mazo is buzzing with confidence during fight week.
In terms of what she’ll feel like when she makes the walk, it’s more self-belief as well as a certainty that she will send a message to the whole division on fight night.
“They’ll see a different Sabina, a different version of myself,” Mazo said. “It’s going to be the best one so far. I’m going to come back just to make some statements.”