Thursday, December 20, 2012

Laura Marcusse-Sanko Interview

Photo Credits: Photos 1 and 3-5: Jerry Chavez
Photo 2: Smug Mug

One of the great things about Invicta is not only do they have the established pro fighters, they also give the new pro fighters a chance to showcase their skills. One such fight features Laura Marcusse-Sanko against Cassie Robb in both fighters pro debuts. Laura had a really good amateur career and is now taking the next step on what could also be a really good pro career. Here is Laura's thoughts on her opponent and fighting for Invicta.

Q: Your last fight you beat Nadia Nixon, how satisfied were you with your performance?
A: I was satisfied that it was a unanimous decision. I was unsatisfied in that I would always like to be able to finish my fights. I don't like having any amount of question. I am sure there were people who felt it could have gone another way. It was a back and forth fight but the fact it was a unanimous decision was indicative of how most people felt about it. Every time I watch a fight or think back on a fight there is always a million things I would like to do differently. I went into the fight with the attitude that I didn't want to be a Jiu-Jitsu fighter, jump guard and fall on my back, and that is what she did, and she does it fairly successfully, it is not a knock on that strategy, it is just not what I wanted to do. I went in with such a ground and pound mentality that people who watched that fight would question if I am good at Jiu-Jitsu haha. I didn't do any offensive Jiu-Jitsu, I was so focused on keeping top position and punching. I need to be less myopic when it comes to grappling next time. It was a win, I was satisfied.

Q: Did you know going in that it would be your last amateur fight?
A: I didn't, I wanted to have at least one or two more. A number of things happened, I had a couple fall through as well as I broke my foot and had bronchitis for seven weeks. There were periods where I couldn't train the way I needed to and when I could, I would be offered a fight and they couldn't find an opponent or the opponent would say she couldn't do it. When Invicta called part of me thought "do I wanna do this? I could use more amateur fights." But I think I am ready. I am not twenty-two years old and need to be smart about career moves. I felt it was the time to do it.

Q: What does it mean to you to get to fight for Invicta?
A: Oh it's huge! Just being on an Invicta card is a goal in and of itself. Turning pro is a goal but turning pro and fighting for Invicta is an entirely different echelon in my mind. It is a fantastic opportunity. They are almost literally in my backyard, the gym is five minutes from me and Memorial Hall is ten minutes from me. It is so awesome to have them here. It is funny because I think a lot of people locally, because there are so many promotions in Kansas City and a card every weekend, I think people here take it for granted, especially the guys, the don't know the women's MMA scene like I do, and so they don't have an appreciation for how big a deal it is. I hope that changes over time. Once people go to an Invicta show and see the level of fighters and the places they are from, they will realize it is a big deal.

Q: Anything about pro rules you are excited to use?
A: oh elbows for sure haha. I fought on Titan so we could knee to the head standing. The only change is elbows and I am excited about that.

Q: What do you know about Cassie Robb?
A: I don't know much. It is harder to research an opponent when they haven't fought professionally. I have seen a little video. She is a good grappler and am sure she has been working on her stand-up. I don't know tons and tons. I have all the respect for her in the world as I do for anyone who fights, especially women who step in the cage. If you are that type of person I already have respect for you, it can go up or down from there, but I have all the respect for her. She is an absolutely gorgeous woman and is passionate about representing the gay community, which I think is awesome. I have been asked a couple times in other interviews and part of me wants to channel my inner Ronda Rousey and talk crap and stir some evil vibes, but the truth is, that is not my personality. I am excited to meet her and shake her hand and put on a good show with her. She seems cool.

Q: With it being so close to home, you will have the crowd support, do you notice that when you are in the cage?
A: There are moments where you can hear people yelling. I have never had a moment where I was like "oh my gosh the crowd is behind me, I must prevail." More than anything I think it is fun afterwords to be able to catch up with people. No one in my family has ever seen me fight. My brother is flying in and friends are flying in, it will be a fun reunion for me no matter what happens.

Q: Now with five minute rounds, I assume if it goes late you are confident you have the cardio?
A: Oh yea, for sure. The gym I am at is full of pro fighters. I am surrounded by guys at a high level. We only train five minute rounds.

Q: Where do you feel you have the biggest advantage?
A: Probably striking, but again, no disrespect to her and I am sure she is working hard, but I feel I have the advantage in every area. She has a lot of submission finishes but I am extremely confident in my grappling, to the point I threw it out the window with Nadia haha. I have been training my striking a lot and have a new boxing coach I think the world of. It will be fun if it is a striking war.

Q: Last Invicta you had someone like Tecia Torres make her pro debut, look good and get attention for it, does part of you want to not only win but put on that performance where people walk about you after?
A: Of course! I'm not very good at or even a huge fan of self promotion, it is a necessary evil. I am not about forcing myself into the spotlight, but do I feel good about earning my way into the spotlight? Absolutely! I would love to come away with a performance where I felt it was my best effort and the true me. A lot of my fights I felt sloppy or the last and missed some opportunities. I would love the satisfaction of coming away knowing it was a good fight and if others notice, that is even better.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I think it will be a first round submission on my part.

Q: Anyone you are excited to be on the same card with?
A: Everybody haha. Every one of their cards is the whose who of fighting. I love Carla Esparza and know her fairly well, she is so sweet I think the world of her. I cant wait to watch her go to work. I am most excited for her fight.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My coaches, Austen Ford, James Krause, Brian Davidson and Tim Elliott at Grindhouse. My sponsors, All Pro Century 21, No Limit Wheels, and Grassy Pants Beef.

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