If Maryland MMA fighter Roya Darvishian seemed a bit nervous this week, it’d be perfectly understandable.
After all, a huge crowd is expected this Saturday (August 24) to watch the 21-year-old, as she appears in her first main event, (and the first ever staged by the organization hosting the show) against a very tough opponent, at one of Atlantic City’s top casinos.
Naturally, some might be feeling the pressure, but if Darvishian is feeling it, she’s certainly not showing it.
Darvishian (5-2) will face Whippany, New Jersey’s Jen Lopez (4-1) in the featured bout this Saturday night in the Grand Ballroom at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, as The Darwish Brothers present their latest MMA blockbuster: EFC WARRIOR.
Tickets for EFC WARRIOR are priced at: $125, $100, $67 and $46 and are on sale now by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420 or online at www.ticketmaster.com, at the EFC website: www.efcmma.com, or at the Trump Taj Mahal box office on fight night.
“There’s not really any added pressure; a fight is a fight for me,” explained Darvishian after a sparring session with her boyfriend of three years, fellow MMA fighter Marcus “Menace” Daniels. “At my first couple fights it was a little nerve wracking. I still get nervous, but once you’re in there, it’s time to do what you do. Your body just takes over and there are no more nerves. I’m just focused on winning. I don’t care who’s around or if it’s the main event. All of my focus is just on the fight.”
The two female warriors already had a sensational war last February 16 at Xtreme Caged Combat: Mayhem, with Darvishian emerging victorious by split decision. The stakes are upped, however, in the rematch as they will be competing for the EFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship.
Darvishian says she’s been preparing for another tough fight, mixing her training time between Lloyd Irvin MMA in Camp Springs, Maryland, and Sugar Ray Leonard’s Boxing Gym.
“She (Lopez) lost last time, so she’ll come at me even harder this time. I didn’t really do anything different for this one; I’m just trying to get better at the stuff I’ve been doing. I feel very good.”
Darvishian works nights at UPS and spends her days working toward her dream of pioneering a 105-lb female division in the UFC.
“The UFC has definitely been my goal since I started. I’m working my way up to be a fighter for them, even if they don’t have anybody my size yet that they’ve signed. I work at night, so I have my whole day to train. And that’s all I really do is train.
While so many have said the two ladies put on a classic performance in their first encounter, Darvishian says she has little memory of the fight.
“People say it was a good fight, but I don’t really remember it because my body just kind of took over. I remember in the third round, we boxed. I already knew I had won the first two rounds. I just want to get in there and show how much I’ve improved and put on a great performance for the people.”
“Roya is a true credit to the sport,” said event co-promoter Hani Darwish. “She’s in fantastic shape and ready to put on another great show. I can easily picture both these women becoming MMA stars someday and I’m very excited to be hosting this important rematch.”
EFC WARRIOR will host two more title fights, as Gabriel Ruiz (3-2) of the EFC Fight Club in Woodland Park, NJ will face Jovany Alvarez (4-2) from Modern Martial Arts in Englishtown, NJ, for the EFC Featherweight Championship; and the always exciting Barat Jan (3-0) of Eagle Martial Arts in Boonton, NJ, will take on Victor Romero (3-3) of Modern Martial Arts in Englishtown, NJ, for the EFC Middleweight Championship.