Stephanie Alba has no bad blood going into her fight with Alesha Zappitella.
Alba and Zappitella are set to throw leather inside the Casino Del Sol Resort in Tucson, Arizona this Thursday night (April 20). The atomweight bout will be part of the Combate 13 card.
Alba is coming off a split decision loss to Paulina Granados. While the drive is there to bounce back, Alba told MMANews.com‘s very own Tim Thompson that the animosity is not. In fact, Alba has a little bit of history with Zappitella:
“I’VE ACTUALLY TRAINED WITH HER. IT WAS ACTUALLY AFTER I HAD A REALLY BAD WEIGHT CUT. I ACTUALLY ALMOST DIED. I SPENT FIVE DAYS IN THE HOSPITAL AND I WENT OUT THERE TO TRAIN A WEEK OUT FROM THAT. SO I GOT TO TRAIN WITH ALESHA A LITTLE BIT, I RESPECT HER. I ACTUALLY LIKE HER. SHE WAS MY FRIEND AND FOR THIS FIGHT I’M KINDA JUST PUTTING THAT ASIDE.”
With a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record of 3-1, “The Cyclone” feels she hasn’t exactly been given the respect she expected four fights in. She told Thompson that when fighters agree to fight her, it’s because they’re anticipating a winnable match:
“I DON’T KNOW. OBVIOUSLY I LOST TO PAULINA. I DON’T KNOW, I JUST FEEL LIKE THAT’S THE WAY IT IS. I DON’T KNOW IF I HAVE A CHIP ON MY SHOULDER BECAUSE OF THAT, BUT I GUESS THAT’S WHAT DRIVES ME. I WANT TO SHUT DOWN HYPE TRAINS. I USED TO GO AND I USED TO TAKE THESE SHORT NOTICE FIGHTS AND GO AND BEAT THE HOMETOWN GIRL. AND FOR ME, THAT’S MOTIVATION SO MAYBE I PUT THAT PRESSURE ON MYSELF. I JUST FEEL LIKE WHEN PEOPLE WANNA FIGHT ME, IT’S LIKE, ‘I THINK I CAN BEAT HER.'”
You can listen to the full interview below: