Elise Reed can’t help it — she is who she is. Although the 30-year-old is as polite and friendly as any fighter you’ll come across, she has a switch that flips once the Octagon door closes, and controlling that beast is a whole different challenge.
When Reed is comfortable in a fight, she’s known to chat a bit to whoever will lend an ear and let her opponent know when she just cracked them. Even though that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it makes for an entertaining spectacle, and that’s how Reed expresses herself fully in the heat of battle. All that said, after her submission loss to Loma Lookboonmee, Reed felt like she needed to find a balance between “Regular Elise” and “Octagon Elise.”
“I love to have fun,” Reed told UFC.com. “I love to press (and) keep the pressure, but also, at this level, you have to respect everybody's ability and know that we're all professionals here. Having a little bit more patience in the hunt, I think, is really what it comes down to, so that's what you will see on Saturday.”
To train that reigned-in version of herself, Reed said she focused on practicing patience in sparring and training. Of course, that fiery version of herself is the one that won her the Cage Fury FC strawweight title, so balancing her newly pursued calm is key.
Reed called the process “such a push and pull,” but she knows it’s crucial to getting her Octagon record back to .500.
“I think it's just adding intentional pauses,” Reed said. “Not necessarily thinking, but having the ability for the fight to play out. Time in there is almost fast-forwarded a thousand speed, so me thinking, ‘One-1000’ is actually maybe half a second. Giving myself a little bit of time just for the fight to play out is the biggest thing because now you have a very experienced opponent in front of you to try to practice.”
That opponent in front of Reed at UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi is Jinh Yu Frey, a former Invicta FC Atomweight champion who is eager to get her hand raised after dropping her last two fights.
Reed said she has had Frey in her sights for a while considering her success in Invicta and is open to any sort of fight Frey brings her on June 3.
“We're both strikers, and if she wants to go toe to toe, I'm more than happy to do that,” Reed said. “I think I've showcased in my previous (fights) that if we want to go striking, I'll go striking, but I think I'm excited to see where this one rolls out, whether it's standing up or on the ground or against the cage. I think you're going to see the changes that we've implemented over the last eight weeks come to fruition.”
After building her 4-0 record, Reed has alternated between wins and losses since joining the UFC. Keeping with that trend, she should get her hand raised this weekend, but that’s not how things work.
Even so, Reed is hopeful that she has made the necessary adjustments to find consistency in the Octagon and stop the roller coaster of results.
“To put it frankly, it sucks,” she said. “It's not what fighters want to do. It's not something that you expect, but in all those losses, I've learned a lot. Every loss has been a huge lesson, and as much as it's been back and forth in the UFC, I think this fight I'm coming out with a lot of experience because of those. I'm excited to go on from here and put a streak together.”
UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 3, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!