“I’m kind of fangirling,” Avila said. “I remember growing up in the sport, watching her and being like, ‘Oh, I can do that. I can beat her, and I can beat her opponent,’ and now I get to fight her. It’s come full circle. I’m really excited. I’m still going do my (best) to beat her up, but it’s cool when your heroes become your peers. I’ve worked hard enough to be able to say that.”
Although Tate made some strides in the striking department, Avila believes the standup exchanges will be to her advantage. She does hope to show off some improved grappling, however, especially after Sijara Eubanks wrestled her way to Avila’s lone loss in the Octagon. Avila, who is a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, has the utmost confidence in her well-rounded skillset, as well as her physical strength.
Despite her two-and-a-half years out of the Octagon, Avila notes Tate’s own layoff when dismissing any discussion of rustiness, instead reframing the fight with some quick humor.