Cortney Casey on quick turnaround during pandemic: “It’s my job to go out there and fight”

Getting back to normalcy is tough during a worldwide pandemic, but fighters, especially those in the UFC are known and credited for their toughness, one way or another. As the UFC works it’s way back to normalcy and continues to put on events, fighters like Cortney Casey are getting back to their jobs.

Casey most recently picked up a win at UFC Fight Night on ESPN with a first-round submission win over Mara Romero Borella, and now has accepted a quick turnaround and will meet Gillian Robertson on June 20 for a matchup of flyweights looking to climb up in the division.

Making an appearance on Inside The Cage with BJPenn.com, Casey discussed what it was like for her fighting Borella in an empty arena which made it feel like true martial arts, the support she has around her, and why she’s choosing to make a quick turnaround and fight Robertson.

Without a crowd going crazy in the audience and a lot more quiet inside the arena except for the coaches and commentary crew, Casey said her win over Borella felt more like true Mixed Martial Arts.

“I loved it, I really did love it. It was really true to martial arts…at the end of the day it’s an art, it’s Mixed Martial Arts. You don’t go to an art gallery and people are like yelling and screaming, and booing at the photos, they’re just there to watch and take it all in. I think that’s why I liked it, you didn’t have the booing and screaming and all that, you kind of just have to focus.

“You could hear the commentators here and there, you could here the coaches obviously a lot clearer, the punches landing, you could tell the difference between a checked kick and a kick that landed. I feel like you have a little bit more respect for the guys and women in the cage when you can really embrace the actual art of Mixed Martial Arts.”

Coming off the first round win, Casey felt that after a discussion with her team, she was ready to take on Robertson just a few weeks later because it’s her job to do so.

“My job is to fight, that’s my job. They [UFC] called me, I talked it over with my coaches, I talked it over with Drakkar [Klose] I had to take a few moments to shake my arms out, move my legs, I really didn’t take that much damage [last fight] I’m good, my body is good to go and that’s pretty much what we decided. Might as well go out there and fight again.”

In making her decision to get back out and fight right away, Casey credits the support system she has including her relationship with UFC middleweight Drakkar Klose, her coaches, and her family.

“It’s just nice to have a support system that you know is happy regardless. Win, lose, or draw, they’re happy regardless. They’re happy through everything, they go through the ups and downs, the highs and the lows, the stress and everything. As long as you do what you’ve been working on and you grow, whether you win or lose, as long as you’re growing as an athlete, mixed martial artist, and you’re growing as a person, they’re happy and that’s kind of corner that I want and that I’ve been lucky to have with me.”

Since he was recovering from surgery, Klose was unable to help Casey train for her most recent fight but he was able to remind her of real-life motivation during training that pretty much everyone can relate to.

“He was like what do you want me to say in the corner because I haven’t really been there [at practice] and I was like man, we got bills to pay. So he was like ‘alright, I’ll remind you that we have bills to pay.”

With the proper team of support and coaching behind her, Cortney Casey knows that there is a job to be done, and if the job feels right just four weeks later, she’s willing to take on another fight because that is what she signed up for.

You can catch the full Inside The Cage episode with Cortney Casey on the BJPenn.com YouTube channel.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/26/2020