On Saturday night, history will be made when the all female card Invicta Fighting Championships 8 streams on UFC Fight Pass. The card, taking place in Kansas City, Missouri, will have a New Mexican flavor early on as Albuquerque’s Jodie Esquibel returns to the cage after almost a year and a half layoff.
For Esquibel (3-1) the time away from the cage flew by.
“I don’t feel like it’s been that long,” says the 28-year-old Esquibel, who took a boxing match in January to stay busy. “I stayed positive (during the layoff) and stayed in the gym just trying to get better. I feel like the time’s right.”
Esquibel is also not to blame for not taking an MMA fight since April of 2013. Her promotion, Invicta FC, has not held an event since December of 2013. Much of their inactivity was due to the monumental deal the world’s leading all-female MMA organization reached with the UFC to stream their fights on the 9-month old subscription online service.
“A lot of people were talking crap worried about what the organization was going to do,” says Esquibel about the gap in Invicta events. “I have complete faith Julie [Kedzie- Invicta matchmaker and former Jackson’s MMA teammate] and [Invicta FC President] Shannon Knapp.”
Currently, Esquibel is scheduled to be the second bout on the Invicta FC 8 card taking on Invicta newcomer Jihn Yu Frey (2-0) of Arlington, Texas.
This past weekend, Esquibel joined us to discuss her time away from MMA, the strange comments from the New York State Athletic Commission after her last boxing match, and her thoughts on Invicta joining UFC Fight Pass.