Ashley Yoder is quite literally training in deep waters in preparation for her fight with Livinha Souza at UFC 252.
Yoder is prioritizing her mental state in the lead up to her next fight. The strawweight fighter caught up with Fightful to elaborate on her unique training camp.
"It's called Underwater Torpedo League," Yoder explained. "For the purposes of fighting, I use it to get acclimated to staying calm in tense situations. When you're at the bottom of a pool that is 14 [or] 16 feet deep and you have two 15-pound dumbbells, and you have people holding onto you, and you have to walk a pretty good distance across the pool, it takes a lot."
"It's more mental than athletic ability," she added. "At the end of the day, it's just staying calm in those situations. In a fight you're grappling, you're bleeding. Staying calm in those situations is very helpful."
Yoder (7-5) also dissected her upcoming fight with Souza (13-2).
"I think it's a really great matchup. I think my strength is definitely my length and her's is going to be her height because being shorter and being a judo person, you always have to have your hips lower than someone. It's going to be an advantage for her. I have the 'stand outside, pick her apart' sort of length," she said. "It's going to be a fun fight because we both like to brawl, we both like to be on the ground, we're both black belts. I'm just excited to see where this fight goes."
Yoder answered arguably the most important MMA-related question of 2020 at the conclusion of the interview: "Is Carole Baskin Guilty?
"For sure! I have so many stickers on my phone that says, 'Carole did it.' Yeah, she is definitely guilty," Yoder asserted. "I want to see the Oxygen network re-open the case and do an investigation. I think they could. It would be great."
Yoder vs. Souza takes place on the preliminary portion of a card headlined by Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier 3. Sean O'Malley will be in action against Marlon Vera, and Vinc Pichel fights fellow veteran Jim Miller. UFC 252 takes place on Saturday, August 15. Keep up with Fightful for all your pre-fight, fight night and post-fight coverage.