It’s been two years since Danyelle Wolf made her mark in the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series. This Saturday at UFC 279, she will finally make her big show debut.
Wolf is a rarity in mixed martial arts: a 0-0 fighter on DWCS, she won her fight and was signed to the UFC despite lacking experience. Of course, her status as an amateur boxing champion, one of the most decorated, helped.
In an exclusive interview with Cageside Press, Wolf noted that his path to the octagon was a little different than most.
“My background is a little more unique than the others. I was a boxer, I had a boxing record. So it’s kind of hard to get amateur fights, to get amateur MMA fights. Even to get smaller pro fights,” she explained. “If you want a pro fight now, you have to sign a contract. If I had signed a contract with a different league or organization, I would have been locked in with them and never been able to fight for the UFC. But with my boxing credentials, I had a bit more platform to play on.
Danyelle Wolf’s debut was a long time coming, especially after a failed match with the now-retired Felicia Spencer.
“For sure. The Contender Series has been such an amazing experience. Crazy weather during COVID, all the gyms were closed, it was hard to set up camp and find training partners. But now everything is up and running, all the training partners are there, the gyms are now full, it’s a much easier time.
During the pandemic, Wolf had started beach workouts, bringing like-minded people together to train on the beach. Now she has a lot more to do, with business interests and a fight camp.
“It’s a lot to be a female independent business owner,” Wolf noted.
As for the fight against Spencer, Wolf had a 43% tear in his UCL. “It was close to having to have surgery or let it heal on its own,” Wolf revealed.
“I tried to start a little too early at seven months, I kind of had to start over again. And then obviously I was always training, I was always active and everything, I was doing everything with my left arm. Then you have a bit of a problem in your left arm because you’re doing everything with it. It’s MMA, injuries come with it. It’s not baseball or anything. It is a difficult sport. You will try to kill yourself every day, try to drill. Things happen during training, even drilling. Things just happen.
“I had many injuries on this trip,” added Wolf. “It’s all new moves, it’s all new sports for me to learn after my boxing career. So it just comes with the game, it just comes with MMA territory.
Norma Dumont is obviously going to have an advantage in many areas in their fight on Saturday, outside of striking at least. Wolf thinks she’s up for the challenge.
“No matter who my opponent is, I will always be ready. I train 100 per cent, no matter who it is,” she said. “I don’t really just focus on the opponent, I focus on being my best. I want to be the best MMA fighter I can be, so I don’t really compare myself or see what they’re doing or what their game plan is or anything. I try to be the best MMA fighter I can be. I was a great boxer and a four-time national boxing champion, and I plan to do the same with MMA.
Watch our full interview with UFC 279’s Danyelle Wolf above.