Over a year removed from Milana Dudieva's announcement that she was pregnant and would step away from the sport, the Russian fighter is ready to pick up where she left off.
The women's bantamweight fighter was the first active competitor on the UFC roster to step away on some form of maternity leave and is already itching to return to training. Now mother to a baby daughter, Dudieva is more motivated than ever to succeed.
"I do not even I can put into words to be honest," Dudieva told ProFC.tv. "If I knew that my child would give me this much effort and motivation, I would have become a mother a long time ago. My life has changed and I have changed too. Now I take the sport more seriously and am ready to become 100 times better than before."
Dudieva revealed that she would resume training in a few weeks time and then contemplate her UFC return.
"I plan to start training in as early as two weeks. Psychologically, I'm ready to fight anyone, but if we look on the physical side, I need to get in shape."
Asked whether she has gotten support from Russian fans following the birth of her newborn daughter, Dudieva revealed that while the majority of fans were kindhearted, several insisted that she should give up his violent career.
"A lot of people congratulated me and wished my baby a lot of health and happiness, and I am very grateful to them, but there were also people who always are dissatisfied with the fact that I compete in MMA. They want me sent into the kitchen, or to stay at home (laughs). I was always amused, because they do not understand that I could be in the kitchen and be in the gym, as I have time and cook and do all the household chores."