As the popularity of women's MMA grows, more female fighters find themselves featured prominently enough that they have opportunities to showcase their skills and further their careers just as much as their male counterparts do.

On this coming Friday, June 13, local Colorado rising female star Cat Albert will get her chance to shine once again as she steps into the Ring of Fire cage against Xtreme Couture product Karina Taylor in a classic clash of ground fighter versus striker.

"I think personally that the wrestler always has the advantage," commented Albert, a wrestler on the boys' teams from middle school through college. "It's just kind of a control thing.

"Wrestling is about being able to control people's bodies. As far as other girls, I think every fight goes to the ground anyway, and once we're down there I'm very comfortable and feel at home."

With her natural confidence on the ground coupled with growing confidence in other areas of her game, she feels the fight is hers to determine the outcome of, not her opponent's.

"I think I am extremely capable of controlling the fight," stated Albert. "If I want it standing, we'll stand -- no one is going to take me down. If I want it on the ground, we'll go to the ground -- I will shoot and it will go to the ground.

"I have a very good sense of the cage and my space, and typically up to this point things have gone my way. Being confident is 9/10 of the game. It's when you're hesitant that you mess up, and if there's holes in your game people can take advantage of them."

To think Albert is only a wrestler though would be a mistake. As she points out, she has learned quickly to adapt the other aspects of her game around her core and use the total package of her skills in fights.

"I'm always going to be a wrestler, but lately I've been working really hard on my submissions," said Albert. "I feel I have a funky style of submissions. It's kind of crazy improv stuff that seems to always work out for me. It's not something I think people can expect to see coming.

"With my stand-up I've actually gotten a lot of experience now in switching stances. I think it's definitely an advantage to me and it allows me to mix things up a lot. In the beginning, my whole focus was getting the fight to the ground, but now I would like to stand a lot more often."

In her upcoming fight with Taylor, Albert may get the opportunity to test out how truly good her stand up is, as Taylor comes from a similar background as her teammate Gina Carano, Muay Thai honed by Master Toddy prior to joining Xtreme Couture.

"From what I've heard, she has good stand-up," stated Albert. "But, I'm not too terribly threatened by any girl's stand-up.

"I think it's the perfect MMA fight where you have the stand-up expert versus the submission/wrestling/ground expert, which is how the sport was invented. The confidence people have in me against Karina makes me have more confidence in myself, so I'm excited about it."

As she likes to point out, either way, the fans will get their money's worth from her fight with Taylor.

"People are going to see the fact that I always like to put on a show," proclaimed Albert. "I like to be entertaining with big flashy throws, hard hits, I like to crowd please.

"I'm pretty excited to show up, fight and keep everybody talking about it for a while."

After this fight, Cat looks to further her career and get in the kind of fights against name fighters that will push her to both national and international recognition.

"I think that with the determination, heart and time that I'm willing to put into everything, I see myself up there," said Albert. "I see myself excelling and making a much broader career for myself.

"I want to fight anyone they put in front of me. It's the ultimate test of your will, athletic ability and mind. So whoever they can put in front of me to challenge that, I'm ready for it."

As many Colorado fighters before her have used Ring of Fire to step into the limelight, so does Cat Albert hope to follow in their footsteps, but also carve her own path the best way she knows how, with relentless aggression and drive.

"I'd like to thank Sinister, Colorado Fight Events, Zingano Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai of Colorado and Cat Fight LLC," concluded Albert. "I'd like to thank my son, boyfriend, family and all my teammates out here -- they're 99% of my motivation.

"I invite everybody to come out to the event, I promise to put on a great show."

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