A true Pioneer in women’s MMA; Lena Ovchynnikova is now trying her hand in America with Bellator MMA, becoming the first women’s flyweight to be placed on a Bellator main card.
Lena “Hunter” Ovchynnikova joins a card headed to Wichita, Kansas, in which is headlined by a new heavyweight scrap between Kongo and Queiroz. In the co main event, David Rickels and Bobby Cooper will square off in the lightweight division.
For this camp Lena took off to the U.S. early, making the trip to California to train in at Glendale Fighting Club; a gym starred by none other than former UFC bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey.
This isn’t Lena’s first rodeo in the United States, having competed in the United States four consecutive times in a row during kickboxing shows between the years of 2010-2012.
While training for the next biggest fight in her career, “Hunter” squeaked in some time with Cage Pages to discuss her time training, and the opportunity presented in front of her.
Without going into too much detail Lena discussed training at Glendale Fighting Club, and getting a chance to meet one of the largest stars in MMA today.
“I’m happy to be here, the people who I have been able to work with have been very nice.” Ovchynnikova explained through her translator. “I also appreciate that they are helping me to prepare for my Bellator debut.”
It was seen that Ronda made her return to the gym last week; even though Lena didn’t get to roll or spar with the former champ she at least had the opportunity to exchange greetings with Rousey.
The Ukrainian has been soaking up the training, and the sunny California whether, like a sponge since arriving at Glendale.
“I was able to stop by and train there for a couple of weeks, and the camp is helping with my preparation for this fight. I did get a chance to meet with Ronda (Ronda Rousey) but didn’t get to do much training with her for the fight, she was busy so it was much more like just saying “hi” and greeting each other.”
Back to the task at hand, Lena Ovchynnikova has a very game Rebecca Ruth standing in her way come Friday night. With a record of 5-1 with all of her wins coming by way of TKO, Ruth brings in a bit of experience and finishing capability into the cage with her.
“I think it’s going to be a tough fight, I know my opponent is very skilled and strong, and has plenty of experience.” Lena notes about Ruth. “She’s the best fighter for me right now and I expect a great fight, I hope that Bellator and the fans like the fight.”
No slouch herself when it comes to finishing fights, Lena Ovchynnikova brings in a wealth of experience in kickboxing, but brings in an underrated submission game in which she credits to her early days in Judo.
In any aspect of this fight, “Hunter” is confident in all facets of her game.
“I came to kickboxing from Judo and Judo brings that aspect of MMA.” Lena explains, “It doesn’t matter which area the fight hits, I’ve trained all styles from kickboxing to Judo to wrestling.”
Ovchynnikova picked the precise opportunity to join Bellator MMA, as it transitions into a new era with Bellator Kickboxing. The opportunity is now there for her to do whatever she desires, which makes her even more gracious for this opportunity.
“I’m very happy to be with Bellator at this time, I was gracious to be here before the announcement but now it’s just even better with the option for kickboxing”
First woman of the flyweight division to grace the main card, maybe the next women’s star in Bellator Kickboxing? When opportunity knocks sometimes you just have to kick the door down. Lena has put in the work, now it’s time to reap the benefits from it.
“I’m very happy and very proud for the opportunity, but I’ve put in the work. I think it will be very good for me in the long run, and I’m very happy to participate in the main card that night.”
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