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Kristina Williams is quiet and reserved until the cage door shuts - then the ‘Warhorse’ comes out

Bellator 195 ‘Caldwell vs Higo’ goes down March 2, 2018 at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. Today MMA Mania talks to Kristina Williams before taking her second pro bout against Emily Ducote!

Kristina Williams interview

Bellator 195 “Caldwell vs. Higo” comes to WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. on March 2, 2018. Bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell (11-1) puts the title on the line for the first time in the main event Friday night against Leandro Higo (18-3).

“First time” is something main card fighter Kristina Williams doesn’t have to think about any more. She got that out of the way at Bellator 185 last October with a stunning second round TKO of Heather Hardy, notching her first career win and destroying Hardy’s nose in the process.

The now 1-0 fighter will have a much tougher test in Thackerville with the more experienced Emily Ducote (6-3), last seen going nearly five full rounds with Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in a bout that crowned Macfarlane as the inaugural divisional champion.

MMA Mania talks to Kristina Williams about her upcoming bout with Ducote and surprising debut last time out and how she unloaded furious feet on her foe in her debut as a pro.

“I’ve had eight muay thai fights and then three MMA fights that were amateur, but that one (at Bellator 185) was my first pro fight. That was crazy. That was so surreal. I didn’t expect it to come out like that, especially against (Hardy). The game plan worked perfectly, and all the kicks, and it was amazing to come out like that.”

By her own recollection the fight with Hardy was the most damage Williams had done to any opponent in any sport she’s competed in so far.

“I definitely haven’t done that amount of damage before. I’ve had a couple of (opponents) retire in my muay thai fights in the second round but I’ve never done that much damage for sure. I was there to fight but I was wondering when they were going to stop it. In the second round it was pretty bad and I kind of felt bad she had to keep going but like yeah I was wondering when.”

Even though it took Hardy a long time to come back from that brutal fight, Williams gives her props for getting back in the win column at Bellator 194 in Uncasville.

“I heard that she was trying to grapple more this fight. I guess they were both grappling and I expected both of them to come out and like box it out, so I guess they wanted to try to have another side of their game out there.”

One might ask if we’ll see another side of Williams’ game against Emily Ducote. So far we know she has a vicious stand-up with devastating kicks. What is her ground game like though?

“I think I’m a pretty good grappler. Like I definitely don’t love it as much as I love kickboxing, but it’s something that I have been working on for a long time, so I’m definitely able to hold my own when I’m on the ground.”

Williams never actually planned to get into mixed martial arts but says the coaches at American Elite (Edmond, Oklahoma) encouraged her and pushed her into giving it a try.

“Originally I wanted to just do muay thai and kickboxing fights, but my coaches know I have a ground game too and so they wanted to see how I’d do in MMA. They were like ‘Just try it, we think you’d like it’ so I tried it and I really loved it so I kept doing it.”

After a stellar pro debut on the big stage, Williams is ready to pursue her newfound love by facing Emily Ducote, fully aware she has a much bigger mountain to climb than her first fight.

“I think (Ducote) has a lot of experience in a lot of fights. She’s definitely the more experienced fighter. I think her game is very well rounded compared to my last fight so it’s definitely going to be a tougher fight.”

When dealing with a much more experienced opponent scouting is always a wise decision. Williams studied the last Ilima-Lei Macfarlane fight to hopefully find a few holes in Ducote’s armor.

“I saw the last one and I thought it was really good. I think Ilima-Lei kind of controlled the fight, but Emily, her striking and her grappling were really good. It was pretty close the whole time.”

Ultimately though Williams came to the conclusion Ducote will be a completely different woman from the last time she stepped into the cage.

“I’m not sure if that will be what’s going to happen in my fight. I can definitely see some different things to think about (though) from that fight.”

One aspect Williams might try to bring against Ducote is her jiu-jitsu game. In a state that’s quickly become known for world class talent, it’s tempting for Williams to try and find that finish.

“There’s a lot of really good triangle (chokes), I like triangles a lot, but umm yeah I mean, I watch fights a lot of the time more for striking. When I’m watching I’ll be more excited about striking than submissions, but for sure there are some that are AWESOME.”

Maybe she should give Brian Ortega a call. In the meantime Williams tries to stay calm ahead of the Ducote fight chilling with her animal friends. After all that’s how she got the nickname “Warhorse.”

“Usually when I’m not training or competing I’m working with my horses. That’s what spend most of my time doing, giving riding lessons and working with horses. Other than that just spending time with my friends and I have a couple of dogs and I spend a lot time with them — that’s how I relax.”

If Kristina Williams is as mentally calm and physically fierce against Emily Ducote as she was against Heather Hardy, Bellator fans are in for an exciting fight.

Complete audio of our interview is embedded above, and complete coverage of “Caldwell vs. Higo” resides here at all week long.

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.