Life on the MMA regional scene can be tough. Paychecks are unpredictable, fights can be hard to come by, and you're not always fighting the most legit talents around.
Compound that with the fact that women's MMA is still in its early stages, and a woman's life in the regional scene is even tougher.
Lacey Schuckman has found that out. The Colorado-based fighter has been jumping around the regionals for most of her career, taking fights from the 125-pound weight class all the way down to the 105-pound weight class.
At 10-8, Schuckman's record is deceiving. Sure, she's just a tad over .500, but she has taken on some tough competition and has done so often in a weight class above where she should be fighting.
"It's been tough to find fights; that's why you see me jumping between weight classes," Schuckman told Bleacher Report in an interview. "I usually walk around at about 135, so I was able to make 125 and 115 easy. I can fight at 105 if it's worth it, but that's a hard cut."
Schuckman, although a staple of the regional MMA scene, is no stranger to the bright lights. She has been on a Strikeforce Challengers card and has also already taken a couple of fights with Invicta.
Of those fights in Invicta, Schuckman is 0-2 against two of the better fighters on the roster. Top Japanese fighter Ayaka Hamasaki submitted her, and Michelle Waterson bested her in what was an amazing, back-and-forth MMA match that you should check out.
Now, she's back with Invicta and hoping for longevity.
"I'm really excited to be back with Invicta. It's been a while since I fought for them. I wanna show my improvements and solidify myself in the cage."
Schuckman now looks to start her run at strawweight at Invicta 12 on Friday when she takes on Jenny Liou Shriver, another woman making her return to Invicta. In Shriver, you have a less experienced fighter with good skills and potential.
It's the type of matchup that has Fight of the Night written all over it.
"I think we match up really well; she's a jiu-jitsu fighter as well," Schuckman pointed out. "I try to be as well-rounded as possible. I started as a striker but found my niche as a grappler. On the feet, this is more my game, but I don't want to underestimate her. I expect her striking to be improved since her last fight with Invicta."
Shriver is just the first fighter in a line of opponents Schuckman will have to defeat to catch the eye of the big promotion, the UFC. She wants to start a winning streak and continue to stay busy with Invicta.
Although she's definitely not looking past Shriver, Schuckman already has future fights on her mind. She bases who she wants next on skills and style, something that will test her and make fun fights for the fans.
"Myself vs. Mizuki Inoue would be a great fight. I really respect her; she's definitely somebody I have had an eye on for a while. Also, I think a matchup with Jasminka Cive, another fighter known for her striking, is another person I'd like to test myself against."
Of course, her first obstacle lies in Shriver. Come Invicta 12 fight night, she will be ready to start her run up the ladder in the strawweight division.