The date was September 28, 2012. The opponent was Munah Holland. The result, a unanimous-decision victory for Michelle Ould, a top flyweight in the world.
That was the last time Ould stepped in the cage.
Nearly two years later, Ould is back, rearing to get back into the cage. It is a layoff that has the entertaining and outspoken fighter anxious and ready to go.
"It makes me anxious," Ould told Bleacher Report in an exclusive interview. "It's been hard to stay motivated but I've been through worse. I've learned a lot about myself as an individual and a fighter. I have definitely changed my game, it's not like I stopped training."
Ould has not been sitting back and just taking a break. Between injuries, being a single mother and trying to make ends meet, Ould has been busy as usual.
It's also been much different, seeing as she had a two-year layoff to balance her household and work compared to now where she's preparing for a high-level MMA bout.
"Right now I'm cutting weight, so I have not much patience or tolerance," Ould explained. "I flew my mom in to help around my house. Sometimes they think fighting is just something I do for fun and it's hard for them to see it as work, a job. That can be tough during camp. I really don't know how we are all still alive some days."
"Before getting this fight (after the long layoff), taking care of the boys and the house was more than enough to monopolize my time," Ould stated.
Ould now makes her long-awaited Invicta debut, which can be viewed Saturday night on UFC Fight Pass. The digital network is a huge network for the ladies of Invicta, who now move from a pay-per-view format and online streaming format that has failed them in the past.
"Fight Pass should be good for exposure, regardless of how people see it," Ould said. "It was definitely easier to get sponsorships for this fight given the platform but I also owe that to Linda Kriner."
That type of exposure and increase in sponsorships will definitely allow the ladies of Invicta to line their pockets more than they normally would. This is especially good for Ould, seeing as she hasn't gotten a fight purse in nearly two years.
On Saturday, Ould enters the cage with a tall task on her hands in the form of DeAnna Bennett. The undefeated fighter (4-0) is one of the brightest prospects in the sport and will not be an easy comeback fight for Ould, who remain confident regardless.
"I don't know much about her aside from she's a wrestler and is tough," Ould pointed out. "I have no idea if she has weaknesses. I am hoping to find out early in the fight though. She seems like a cool, talented chick."
The lack of footage for Ould definitely makes it tougher to game plan, but she has been known for making adjustments well in the cage. It also helps that she has an experience edge over her opponent, owning more than double the fights as Bennett does.
Ould, who tried out for the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter, has remained at 125 pounds despite the tease of a 115-pound movement. Seeing that she is a spark plus at 125, being just 5'2", could a move to strawweight be in the cards?
"Hopefully, I will be back in top 10 in the flyweight division as I was before I became inactive for too long," Ould explained. "If I do go to 115, it will be for a run in the UFC. That is still an option, but I'm just focusing on Bennett for now."
If you follow Ould on Twitter, you know that she is completely outspoken and quite entertaining. That is the type of personality that attracts callouts and social media beefs. Nobody specific came to mind, but Ould still has general ambitions as to who is next going forward.
"There are a lot of a------s on social media could use a good a---whooping," Ould asserted. "They're the worst. Other than that I have no one in mind for who I want after Bennett. Like I said, she is my main focus right now."
Saturday night will be a long time coming for Ould. She will be looking to regain her rightful spot among the elite at 125 and is just happy to be competing again.
*Michelle would like to thank Team Quest, my coaches and teammates, as well as my strength and conditioning coach John Davis. She would like to thank her sponsors: Americana MMA, Sportsfood Inc., MMA RoadHog, Ignite Energy Drink/SoZo, xionx.us, Primal Cravings, Perfect Tan, Rev Gear, Quads Not Inc., Onnit, DNA Anabolics, Caveman Coffee Co., Future Legend and Vehement MMA. Finally, she'd like to thank her family, friends, kids, Sam Wilson and Linda Kriner. Follow her on Twitter @MichelleOuldMMA.
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