In a July 4 exclusive AXS interview, red-hot bantamweight prospect Alexa Conners (5-2) opened up about her upcoming fight against "Scary" Kerri Kenneson at Invicta FC 30, and how training at Syndicate MMA completely changed her game. Here's what she had to say:
Q. You recently made the switch from American Top Team to Syndicate MMA. Why the change and how has it been since moving to Las Vegas?
Conners: I was never officially at ATT. I did part of a training camp there and really enjoyed it. I just had an opportunity to move to Vegas, so I jumped on it. I love the training with Syndicate. I have been lucky enough to be a part of Jessy Rose Clark's training camps for her UFC fights. I learn more and more every single time. My whole fight game has changed and improved for the better, working with coach John Wood. Learning transitions from striking to takedowns and then establishing control in grappling has been so helpful.
Q. You have a big fight coming up later this month at Invicta FC 30. You'll be fighting undefeated New Hampshire star, Kerri Kenneson. How do you feel about this match-up and how do you see the fight playing out?
Conners: She is pretty well-rounded. Her last Invicta fight, she was pretty determined to get the takedown. I think she'll have a harder time taking me down or even getting close in range like that to go for a single or double-leg. As always, I'm hoping for the knockout. But as long as my hand is raised at the end, that's all I care about.
Q. We've seen some fighters called up to the UFC lately after just one Invicta victory. Are you hoping for a quick call-up, or you'd rather get some more seasoning in with Invicta?
Conners: The call to join the UFC is every pro fighter's dream, but I'm content with growing and learning as a fighter -- and going for Invicta FC's belt!
Q. Your backstory is well-documented, as you opened up about your family history in an interview last year with Combat Press. For those who don't know, can you talk a bit more about your "Fight the Stigma" campaign?
Conners: Mental health is still a subject people are afraid to talk about. Our government needs to allow more funding to do research and restructure the mental health services offered. Also in America, we need to advocate for people to talk openly. Often people get caught up in their head and feel they have no one, or can't talk about their feelings without looking 'crazy.' It's my goal with MMA to spread mental health awareness and start the movement to want people to stay on this earth.
Conners battles Kenneson on July 21 at Invicta FC 30 in Kansas City, Mo. The fight airs live and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.