Hailey Cowan eager for step up in competition at LFA 78

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Aside from a small delay in her fight schedule, flyweight Hailey Cowan has had what she feels has been a very successful 2019 so far.

In two fights in 2019, Cowan has had two firsts. She picked up her first submission victory with her win over Sarah Click in March, then followed that with her first decision victory, unanimously defeating Jessica Middleton in July, both under the LFA banner.

“Ideally, I would have liked to have more fights this year, but the AXS TV thing happened with LFA, so a fight got put off,” Cowan told MMAWeekly.com, referring to AXS TV ending its partnership and LFA moving to a new broadcast home.

“Both of those wins are good wins for me. I keep stepping up in competition every single fight. I think I’ve leveled up so much with these fights that I’ve been able to have a lot of success in it.”

For Cowan, having to wait through the LFA finding a new broadcast deal with UFC Fight Pass created a bit of a stressful time, but she remained patient and was rewarded for her patience with what will be her third fight of 2019.

“I’m a huge planner, so I like to know things will be going and when they will be happening,” said Cowan. “I probably annoyed (the LFA) weekly, but they kept telling me to have patience and that I would have a fight before the end of the year.

“They did what they said they were going to do and got me a fight by the end of the year, so I have no complaints, and it all worked out.”

On Friday in Belton, Texas, Cowan (4-1) will seek to pick up her fifth straight win when she faces Lisa Mauldin (3-1) the 125-pound co-main event of LFA 78.

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“She is a big step up in competition, but I think I’m a bigger step up for her than she is for me in comparison to who we’ve fought in the past,” Cowan said of Mauldin. “I think I’m quite a bit better than the girls she’s fought before.

“She has a lot more experience than me, but I think I’m quite a bit faster than her and much more aggressive. I think it’s going to be a test for us and we’re going to find out a lot about ourselves then.”

Having been earmarked for big things even before she made her pro debut, Cowan could easily feel entitled as she makes her way through her career, but in truth it’s the opposite.

“I’ve got great management and they’re really good at helping me stay the course,” said Cowan. “I don’t want to rush anything. I don’t want to get to the UFC just to say I made it there. I want to make it there and leave a footprint.

“A lot of fighters don’t have any ‘no’ people in their corner. They have people telling them how great they are, how they’re the best in the world and all this and all that. Luckily I have a lot of ‘no’ people in my corner who are helping me stay level-headed.”

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