Just several hours away from her scheduled bout versus Jesse Miele at Bellator 241 in March, featherweight Leslie Smith grew to become a single of the initial fighters to have her combat and total card scrapped thanks to the onset of the novel coronavirus.
For Smith, who had witnessed just about every single circumstance encompassing a cancellation right before in her 11 calendar year occupation, missing out on a bout because of to a pandemic lockdown was one of a kind in its have ways.
“It was super insane,” Smith told MMAWeekly.com. “I simply cannot say it was the initially time that I’ve absent by way of that the entire preparing, weighing in, and then not obtaining to struggle, but this time it was a large amount greater than myself. Because this time it was about Covid it was way greater than me.
“It was tempting to feel about myself and truly feel sorry for myself, but it turned quite very clear there had been a good deal additional predicaments heading on that were being a good deal far more crucial.”
Smith opted to commit her time throughout lockdown with her family members. And many thanks to her mother, who took around her nourishment and coaching, Smith was capable to arrive out of the time off feeling like a better fighter.
“I assume I came back again from that in improved form than I was in the to start with area,” stated Smith. “It’s wonderful how a lot simpler it is to run and work out when I currently haven’t finished a few exercise routines in a 48 hour period of time of time. It felt good.
“I was in a position to see progress in my body that I normally did not see for the reason that I didn’t have the sort of latent nagging accidents that appear from fighting that I desired to deal with and my electrical power was devoted to healing. I really feel like I was ready to establish as an athlete a lot for the duration of that shutdown time when the fitness centers ended up shut, so it was a really effortless transition to leap back again into a instruction camp.”
This Friday in Uncasville, Connecticut, Smith (11-8-1) will lastly have her initially struggle of the 12 months when she usually takes on Amanda Bell (7-6) in a preliminary 145-pound bout at Bellator 245.
“She’s a brawler and she likes to come forward, and I have had to chase down my past several opponents, so it is nice that I never believe I’m going to have to chase her down,” Smith explained of Bell.
“I really feel like I’m much more technological than she is. I feel I have a further understanding of the combat activity and the mechanics of the putting than she does, and I’m heading to be equipped to use that expertise as well as my pace to fall her.”
Adhering to a two calendar year layoff prior to her return to fighting previous calendar year, Smith would like to be effective to shut out 2020 after acquiring missed out on about half the calendar year already.
It would be excellent if I can get in two fights this year,” mentioned Smith> “After not remaining able to combat for a extended time, possessing a two calendar year layoff, currently being capable to sign up for Bellator (in 2019) and have two fights in a calendar year was amazing, so with any luck , I’m likely to be in a position to do that all over again this calendar year.
“That would be fantastic, but it is not automatically a thing I have regulate around outside of what I do inside of the cage, so in that feeling I have to aim on the struggle in entrance of me and make as major of a assertion as I probably can and go from there.”