Mallory Martin put together a five-fight win streak, in Invicta, LFA, and DWCS, before getting into the UFC. But she lost her big show debut to Virna Jandiroba via Rear Naked Choke in Round 2 at UFC on ESPN 7 on December 7, 2019. At UFC on ESPN+ 33 on Saturday night, Martin was nearly finished by Hannah Cifers, but bounced back to win via Rear Naked Choke in Round 2.
Martin then let out a dramatic scream, and later thanked Cifers for saving her life. In a post-fight interview, Martin explained what she meant.
“I was in a hard spot mentally,” said Martin, struggling to hold back tears. “And I had nothing to look forward to, and I was depressed and just fighting my own demons. I had a hard camp, but before I started camp, I was dealing with some stuff. If it wasn’t for her taking the fight, I probably still would have fought, but just for her stepping in there and being in the cage with me meant a lot to me, because I don’t know if I would be here if it wasn’t for that.
“My coaches, I don’t know if they knew that I was struggling as much as I was, but they showed up for me every single day. So how would I not show up for them, you know?”
“This whole year has been pretty hard for me with everything going on, and I’ve had other issues going on, so I’ve been just trying to get back to my old self, and I think that showed my old self."
“I mean I can’t sit here and be like, ‘Oh, bummer,'" said Martin of fighting back from the near loss. "I think it’s cool. I think it’s how champions are made, so I think it was in my cards and I played my cards.”