Swedish strawweight Josefine Knutsson will return to action for her second UFC fight on March 2.
Undefeated, with a 7-0 record, “Thunder” is well on her way to establish herself on the international MMA scene. After dominating her UFC debut in September, Knutsson’s next opponent will be Brazilian newcomer Julia “Psycho” Polastri, a fighter who has more than twice the pro experience.
“Even if she makes her debut she’s 12-3 so statistically I’m the underdog with my seven fights. But that’s just a number. It’s great to face someone with more fights than me.” Knutsson tells Frontkick in an exclusive interview.
“I’ve been watching her fights. She has some wins by submission, but nothing really outstanding, some wins via ground-and-pound. She’s pretty all around. I think she will try to keep the fight standing.”
Dominated her UFC debut
“Thunder” took on fellow newcomer Marnic Mann in her promotional debut at Noche UFC this past September. After three dominant rounds she stood as the winner via a smashing 30-24, 30-25 and 30-27 on the judges’ scorecards.
The win was a milestone in her young career, but she still has a long way to go to reach her final goal.
“Everything is still so new in the UFC. I didn’t get a chance to digest it since there was so little time between fighting in the Contender Series and my debut. It still feels like I’m walking on clouds a bit,” Knutsson admits.
“The next milestone will be getting tougher and tougher fights on my way to claim the title. That’s what I’m focusing on. I signed a contract for four fights, so I have three to go. Right now I will just take every fight for what it is and just give my everything.”
Josefine Knutsson has a strong team
Being a pro MMA fighter on the brink of international success, you have countless hours in the gym and so much resources put into your career before even getting a chance to fight on the bigger stages. It’s definitely easy to crumble under the pressure of letting yourself and everyone around you down.
However, speaking to “Thunder”, she’s both reflective and confident as she talks about her future and her achievements so far.
“Of course you will have your ups and downs. Sometimes you feel awesome both physically and mentally and then suddenly you get a scary feeling like ‘when will it dip?’, but you accept it and pull through,” Knutsson reasons. “There’s so much at stake and so many people behind me, but you just have to transform the pressure into something good. That’s why we will win.”
“The whole Swedish MMA fan base is behind us”
Besides having her solid team fronted by long-time coach Sanja Trbojevic, and the rest of the Allstars Training Center supporting her, she also feels like the entire Swedish MMA fan base got her back when she steps into the cage.
“In MMA we always go in with 110 percent and we represent our country,” Knutsson explains. “The support we get from our little Swedish combat sports bubble is huge. Perhaps even bigger than in other sports. The whole Swedish MMA fan base is behind us and that’s just fantastic.”
“It makes me so happy that people believe in me. It would have been great to be the one to bring the first UFC title back to Sweden, especially as a woman, but Pannie Kianzad is closer to the title than me right now. It would have been so much fun if we were two Swedish women that would win the titles.”