After an emotional fallout with her coach and a sub-par performance in her last start, Kalyn ".50 Kal" Schwartz (1-1) is itching to turn momentum back in her favor with a strong showing at Invicta FC 28.
She's looking to get back in the win column for the first time since upsetting kickboxing world champion Tiffany "Time Bomb" Van Soest in her promotional debut in 2016. For ".50 Kal," the past year has been an emotional rollercoaster ride. In her last start, Schwartz was finished in the first round of action by Miranda Maverick. She took the Maverick fight despite personal struggles that included a heart-wrenching breakup with her fiancee, and the rigors of trying to graduate from college. If the wrestling standout could do it all over again, she likely wouldn't have accepted the bout.
"My last fight was a piss-poor showing. There's no doubt I should have done things differently," Schwartz told AXS. "Given the added stressors of my personal life, I would say it was also a piss-poor decision to even take the fight. That was my learning experience, why I appreciate the loss so much. Be a smarter fighter, take care of your mind and body, and for Christ's sake, take your f**king time."
Schwartz had several fights fall through before taking the Maverick bout. "It was a f**king nightmare," she explained. After everything I did and sacrificed to advance my career, I had never felt so completely stuck in my life."
She ended up moving from Oregon to San Diego, switching camps to the world-renowned Alliance MMA facility -- home to several current and former UFC greats. "For the first three months, they basically tore me down and put me back together again," Schwartz said of her new gym.
Now in 2018, with more time to refine her skills at Alliance, she's looking to make a splash. The 28-year-old is set to battle rising California prospect Kay Hansen, in a high-stakes contest between two of the promotion's top young strawweights. It will be part of the hotly-anticipated Invicta FC 28 card. "I have the ability to control where this fight goes," Schwartz said, after learning that Hansen told the media she wasn't afraid to wrestle with her. "Maverick wasn't concerned with my wrestling either and it was effortless to get her to the ground.
"Granted, that's where everything went downhill for me in that fight, but takedowns are my jam. What people forget is that my takedown defense is also ridiculous. I also hit like a brick house and have sharpened my standup incredibly. I don't think it's any secret I'm a giant strawweight, with great cardio and a great clinch. If Kay thinks she's going to bulldoze me, she's in for a rude awakening."
Schwartz vs. Hansen is slated for March 24 at Salt Lake City's historic Union Event Center. The fight airs live on UFC Fight Pass.