UFC: How has this last camp been for you?
CE: This camp has been great, I’ve been doing a lot more traveling than I normally do, so it has been a different camp in a lot of ways, but it’s been good.
UFC: You’ve spent a lot more time in the Octagon than your upcoming opponent, Tatiana Suarez. Is that a huge factor?
CE: Experience in fighting is definitely a huge factor. Although my opponent has not been fighting as long as I have, she has been wrestling since she was three years old, so I’m not going to take her for granted.
UFC: Thinking ahead to the fight, what’s something you have to be careful of when you face her?
CE: I think she’s really dangerous with her chokes, and her wrestling is great so I really have to be careful and just run my game.
UFC: We’ve seen you refer to Suarez as a friend, and you’re also friends with [fellow UFC fighter] Felice Herrig. It seems unique that you’re friends with people that you’ve faced or will face in the cage.
CE: Personally, I don’t really look at fighting as something where you have to hate someone or trash talk. For me, it’s a sport and you do what you’ve got to do. Business as usual.
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UFC: Both you and Tatiana participated in different seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. What’s something you think that both of you have as a result of participating in that show that’s different from fighters who have never been on the show?
CE: Going through The Ultimate Fighter definitely tests the mental aspects of fighting. You go through a lot on that show. You’re living with your opponent. It’s a different atmosphere. You’re taken out of your comfort zone. Going through something like that definitely gives the alumni of TUF a mental edge that other fighters don’t have.
UFC: Besides your own fight, what bout are you looking forward to on the UFC 228 card?
“I’m actually really stoked” Find out what @CarlaEsparza1 is excited about heading into #UFC228 in our own Q&A: https://t.co/QKZP9C9kOz pic.twitter.com/7ikqLbGODx
— UFC News (@UFCNews) September 6, 2018
CE: I’m actually really stoked that there is going to be four female fights on this card! You know? That’s a big moment. I don’t know if there’s been another card with that. For me, on the outside, it just shows you how far female fighting has come in the UFC.
UFC: In your last fight [against Claudia Gadelha at UFC 225], a lot of viewers thought you had won. How did you put the disappointment of that split decision loss behind you and keep going?
CE: With every fight, win or lose, you have to put that aside. Your next fight is totally different and independent of the last one. You can’t hold on to a “I won that one” or “I lost that one” way of thinking going into the next fight.
UFC: It’s been a relatively short turnaround for you since that fight, is this a pace you want to keep up?
CE: It always depends on what happens in a fight. Last fight, fortunately I didn’t take much damage. If I come out unscathed, I wouldn’t mind getting in another fight before the year is over.
UFC: You had some pretty legendary vacation pictures on social media after your last fight. Any plans for a vacation after this one?
CE: [Laughs] Yes! One of my best friends from college, we’ve always wanted to go on a trip together, so we’re gonna head to the DR a couple weeks after my fight.
UFC: Do you have a go-to dessert right now?
CE: [Laughing] I’m The Cookie Monster, so my go-to dessert is always gonna be cookies, but when it comes to almost any dessert, I will put it down: cookies, cakes, ice cream, pie…whatever!
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