Coming off a strong amateur career that saw her go undefeated in six bouts, flyweight prospect Salina Rowland has now set her sights to entering the pro ranks.
Looking back at her amateur days, Rowland can easily see the growth she’s made in her game since she first started, and what advantages it gave her prior to turning pro.
“I started at a gym and I was the only amateur and used to get beat up all the time,” Rowland told MMAWeekly.com. “I just started with stand-up, so wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu have come over the years. Everything has come such a long way.
“I had a lot of fun in my amateur career. I did really well. I had some good weight cuts and some bad weight cuts. It was a good experience. It will help me with the weight cuts and with my nerves as well.”
Prior to MMA, Rowland had years of equestrian sports and softball experience. She feels that her previous sports experience helps her deal with coming from a team training environment to an individual performance one.
“It helps in that aspect. It helps with the whole team thing in that we’re helping each other get better and we’re a family, but it’s also the same thing when you’re alone in the cage and you’re doing your own thing,” said Rowland. “If you mess up while you’re out there, it’s on you.”
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This Friday in Newport News, Virginia, Rowland (0-0) will make her pro debut against Victoria Leonardo (1-0) in a main card 125-pound bout at LFA 46.
“I try not to get too set on videos, because I feel like once we’re locked in that cage, we change to the fighter we’re facing,” Rowland said. “I feel like I pick up on things when I’m in front of them. I’m feeling them out. I feel like my striking and kicks are going to take it for me.”
Should things go well on Friday night, Rowland would like to stay busy and close out her 2018 with at least one more bout if possible.
“I just want to have this fight and then see what the LFA wants to bring me,” said Rowland. “I’d love to fight again, but I’ll do whatever they want me to.”