For the first time in 22 months, the 31-year-old will be able to step into the ring again on Dec. 10 at the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota.Taking this much time away from the cage has given her time to sharpen up, she said.
"I think this time off has given me a lot to prepare, you know, obviously, being 31 years old and an athlete in a sport where most athletes are not that old makes you put your life into perspective," said Wessels
"Is this something I really want to do, you know? Having two years off, you really have to want something. And I think my want and my will to win has kept me so involved in the sport, and the opportunity that I didn't get to have last November just solidified that I know I belong, and I don't want to go through life wondering, 'What if?'"Last year, she was scheduled to compete in Dana White's Contender Series, a show that gives aspiring fighters a way into the UFC.
However, COVID-19 travel restrictions stifled her entry into Las Vegas, where she was expected to fight for the show.
While the front door to the UFC closed, Wessels has determined that she'll have to find a way through the back.She went about approaching other American promotions, in hopes of fighting and gaining enough clout south of the border to make the UFC give her another shot.
But that wasn't an easy path. Wessels said she'd almost made six deals with various promotions, but, each time, the opponent would turn down the offer.With a professional record of 4-0, Wessels probably wasn't the walk in the park the other fighters were looking for.
However, as of late, she's secured herself a deal to compete with Legacy Fighting Alliance, or LFA.
On Dec. 10, she'll be taking on 32-year-old Mayra Cantuária, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with a record of 9-3, who's fighting out of Anapolis, Goias, Brazil.
They'll be squaring off for the LFA Flyweight — 125 pound — title. The event will be streamed on the UFC's Fight Pass service.
"The last UFC event had eight LFA fighters fighting on that night," said Wessels.
"So there's going to be a lot of eyes on us for that UFC 125 division, so, yeah, I think winning this next fight will be my ticket in. I think this fight gives me the same — maybe even a better opportunity than what I had last November...This is a big fight."
While she has been away from the cage for some time, that doesn't mean she hasn't been fighting. While talking to The Chief, she'd just arrived home from a training session.
She quit her day job and has been training full-time for the last year, alternating between putting in work locally at The Sound, while also travelling to Surrey, Langley and North Vancouver to diversify her training.
As she's preparing for the fight, she's been in the gym two times a day, six days a week.
For the upcoming fight, she said, she's going to treat it like another day at work.
"I'm going to go there — it's all business," said Wessels."I guess it makes me want to dig a little deeper, you know what I mean, make sure that I have everything ready to go. But I'm prepared. I'm already ready to go."