After dropping a close decision against "Yaya" Rincon at Invicta FC 23 and emerging from the fight without injury, fast-rising California bantamweight Brooksie "The Bear" Bayard (1-2) hopes to return to the cage as soon as possible. The 37-year-old walked away with a hematoma on her forehead due to a knee strike, but she says it healed in less than a week.
"I started training again about four days after the fight," Bayard told AXS, when asked about when she'll be ready to compete again. "I'm in perfect condition and ready to get another one. I want to show more of what I didn't show the last time."
While officially losing to Rincon by unanimous-decision, the fight was much closer than the judges' scorecards indicated. "The Bear" peppered her opponent with knee strikes to the body as time wound down in the third frame, but the final bell sounded just as she started to smell a finish. If the fight would have been a five-rounder, the outcome could have easily been different -- with Bayard getting her hand raised instead of Rincon.
Knowing that victory was within her reach, "The Bear" is looking to wipe the bitter taste of defeat away with a quick turnaround. "I want the 'Cali' one for sure," Bayard said of when she might make her Invicta FC return. The promotion has a show set for July 15 in Kansas City, Mo., but a return to the West Coast is likely going to be in the works for later this year.
Since Bayard lives in Pasadena, Calif., and trains at Bas Rutten's Elite MMA Gym in nearby Westlake Village, a fight in "The Golden State" would be ideal.