Her opponent may have changed, but for Glory Kickboxing’s Super Bantamweight champion, Tiffany “Time Bomb” Van Soest (17-2-1), the game plan is the same. And that is to defend her title. “They say that its not as difficult to become a champion, its more difficult to stay a champion,” explained Van Soest, who will now face Meryum Uslu (36-10-1) instead of Funda Alkayis tomorrow night in the main event of the Glory Super Fight Series live from the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago, IL. This will also be streaming live on UFC Fight Pass.
In April of 2016, Van Soest shocked the combat world when she not only signed on as Glory Kickboxing’s newest member, but on the same day signed a contract with Invicta FC, MMA’s largest all women’s organization. “It’s not hard to go back and forth from MMA to kickboxing,” said Van Soest. “Cutting down to 115 for MMA then going back up (for Glory) is a piece of cake.”
And unless you live under a rock, you will notice that Van Soest’s fight is on the eve of combat sports potentially biggest fights in history as MMA’s Conor McGregor will try to give boxing’s undefeated Floyd Mayweather his first loss on Saturday night. “Everyone is talking about it,” said Van Soest. “People are going to tune in because of the magnitude of what it is. It’s like to old boxing days but with much more money than before. Its crazy how much energy there is around it.”
Athletes taking chances and trying new things is what Tiffany did when she went from kickboxer to mixed martial artist last year. It is what McGregor is doing Saturday night when he steps into the boxing ring instead of his usual octagon and Van Soest stresses that is what needs to be done if you want to grow as an athlete. “Life is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone,” explained Van Soest. “That’s where the most growth happens but there is a way to do it. Put your time in, get your experience and get your foundation on one skillset so the rest of your skills can be built around that.”
If you have never seen “Time Bomb” at work, her message is pretty clear on what you are going to get from her on fight night. “You are going to see how striking is supposed to look,” explained Van Soest. “That’s how kickboxing is supposed to look at an elite world class level.”
Photo Credit: Glory