American Kombat Alliance is set to take place on Friday, April 23, 2021. The promotion will be hosting AKA 14 inside the Bossier Civic Center located in Bossier City, Louisiana.
This is an all-ages event and doors will open at 5:00 p.m. with the first fight scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The prelims will stream LIVE on Facebook while the Main card will air LIVE on UFC Fight Pass.
In the main event, the AKA Middleweight title is on the line as UFC veteran Derrick Krantz (24-12-0) will return to AKA to take on one of the South’s toughest and most skilled middleweights in Nolan Norwood (12-6-0). In the co-main event, AJ Fletcher (7-0-0) will meet Ariel Juarez (3-4-0). Fletcher is arguably one of the nation’s hottest prospects riding an undefeated record as a professional.
In the co-feature bout, we will see Natalya “The Beast” Speece (0-1-0) fighting out of Albuquerque, NM by the way of Irvine, California will take on Candace “Scrappy” Maricle (1-3-0) fighting out of Alexandria, Louisiana. Natalya made her Pro debut when she took on Alexa Culp, unfortunately, the fight didn’t go her way, and lost via Rear Naked Choke at Invicta FC 41 back on July 30, 2020. Speece did make some changes to her camp coming into this fight and she is ready to add her first win under her belt. Maricle made her pro debut back on Oct. 21, 2010, winning her fight but she is riding a 3 fight losing streak. Her last outing was against Kaytlin Neil losing a really hard-fought fight by split decision at FCF 56.
FightBook MMA CEO Roberto Villa had the opportunity to talk to Natalya about her short-notice fight against Candace.
Roberto: Natalya thanks again for the opportunity to talk to you. I know your fight is coming up very quickly and I don’t want to take too much of your time. This is a short notice fight, tell us how short of a notice and what was your first thought when you heard about the opportunity.
Natalya: Of course, Roberto always happy chatting with supporters! I was originally scheduled to fight on the 17th and my opponent got injured for that fight. I was about two weeks out from that fight and told my manager let’s start looking for the next one and within 24 hours we had a new show and opponent. I had abut 2 1/2 weeks to prepare for this particular opponent. I already had a full camp so was ready to fight and it gave me an extra week of preparation so I was all for it. I’ve always wanted to fight in Louisiana because I have family out there so thought this was the perfect opportunity for that.
Roberto: What are your thoughts on your opponent?
Natalya: Well her nickname is Scrappy so I’m prepared for a battle. She had an opponent pull out last minute as well so I know she’s been training and will be ready to bring the fight.
Roberto: From your last fight at Invicta to now, what changes have you made to your fight/training camp without giving too much during this pandemic?
Natalya: A lot of this camp came down to the mental side of things. It was hard coming off a loss but I know what went wrong in that last fight so it was easy to make adjustments. Luckily with the pandemic slowing down there have been a lot more people in the gym for me to work with which was a big factor missing in my last camp as well.
Roberto: AKA is a very well-known promotion in Louisiana, how excited are you to debut under their banner?
Natalya: I have family out in Louisiana and she’s from Louisiana so I think we’re really going to steal the show (laughs). I always come to put on a good performance so I’m grateful this opportunity came up and can’t wait to get out there!
Roberto: How do you see this fight playing out?
Natalya: This is going to be an exciting fight, and I’m ready to display all the skills I’ve been working on since my last fight.
Roberto: What would a win mean to you?
Natalya: I’ve worked so hard and come so far these last couple months that I think a win will justify all the sacrifices made for this career.
Roberto: Where would you like to be one year from today?
Natalya: Fighting on the Contenders series or close to making my UFC debut!
Roberto: Natalya thanks for the opportunity. Any sponsors or shout outs you want to give the floor is yours.
Natalya: HKA, Vale Tudo Death Squad and Feed Me Fight Me have supported me from the beginning and I can never thank them all enough. I recently got a new sponsor, Sicchic and I’m so excited to be working with another sponsor that is all about empowering women just as much as I am!
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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