Since she was last in the spotlight, Kristina Williams pressed restart. She felt she needed it – and the major changes she made already are proving beneficial.
In 2020, Williams (4-3) was cut from Bellator. In 2021, she suffered a triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) injury. Nearing her first fight of 2022, Wednesday at Invicta FC 46, Williams switched up her training situation.
“This is probably one of the best training camps that I’ve had,” Williams told MMA Junkie. “I switched gyms recently before my camp started pretty much. I’m training at a couple of new gyms now that are really low drama. It’s very nice and relaxed, so I feel like I’m very ready for this fight.”
Williams didn’t dive into too many details about exactly what the toxicity was that she dealt with, but she spoke about how difficult it was to make the decision to pack up and move her preparation away from the place and people with whom she was so familiar.
“It was a lot of toxicity at the gym, drama and pressure,” Williams said. “I just wasn’t in a good space with my gym and everything. It was a really bad situation. … It was hard because those people kind of become your family, and you have to decide to walk away because it’s not good for you even though you love them. It’s really hard. It definitely has paid off, and I’m in a much better place now.”
Mexico’s Karina Rodriguez reflects on historic Invicta FC title win: ‘It fills me with pride’
Invicta FC 46 to live stream March 9 on MMA Junkie’s YouTube channel
Now a bit removed from her decision, Williams already can see the improvements in her game. She’s improved noticeably, in her estimation, since her six-fight stint with Bellator that included wins over Heather Hardy, Bruna Ellen, and current Invicta strawweight champion Emily Ducote.
Despite also fighting the likes of current Bellator women’s flyweight champion Juliana Velasquez and former title challenger Denise Kielholtz, Williams has no regrets about her time with Bellator or the difficult road she took as a beginner.
“I learned a lot of performing under pressure and how much I needed to evolve my ground game and everything. I definitely think I fought up really fast. That kind of played into it a lot. I don’t regret fighting there. It just put me in a different spot than I would’ve.”
2⃣ more days until Karina Rodriguez and Daiana Torquato run it with flyweight gold on the line.#InvictaFC46 streams LIVE on MMA Junkie.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) March 7, 2022
Invicta FC 46 takes place Wednesday at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The card can be watched live and free on MMA Junkie. Williams takes on Flore Hani (4-1) in a three-round flyweight bout. She’s eager to display a culmination of mental and physical adjustments, proper recovery, and a new team’s backing.
“I feel like I’ve improved technically a whole lot, not just in striking but everywhere,” Williams said. “… I really want to get as far as I can in Invicta right now. I want to go up the ladder and take hard fights and get better.”