Though the post-fight medical suspensions listed Albu as having possibly suffered a left orbital fracture that could sideline her for up to six months, the Russian strawweight told MMA Fighting that as far as she knows, she should be cleared to compete again soon.
“Yes, I did see the doctor after the fight, and in fact, I’m feeling very healthy,” Albu said, through translation from her manager Sam Kardan. “And the doctor has confirmed that there is no injury to my eye.”
Whatever the situation is, Albu was cleared to fly back to Moscow where she trains with coach Andrey Tsarkov at the MMA-KEGI camp. Tsarkov couldn’t make the trip to Anaheim for Albu’s fight with Curran, but she’s hoping they can get back to work to prepare her for another booking, possibly in 2017.
“I’d certainly like to get back to training and get back in the cage as soon as possible,” she said. “At this point, I’m thinking end of the year, perhaps beginning of next year, but that’s my preliminary assessment.”
There was some concern regarding Albu’s condition given that she was taken to the hospital following her preliminary bout with Curran. However, she didn’t sense that she’d suffered any injuries despite the obvious damage on her face. If anything, Albu was primarily worried about fatigue, food, and a potential bonus check.
“I certainly was hoping that we would get Fight of the Night,” said Albu. “We put in a lot of effort and really had a brawl in the cage, both of us, and I tried very hard and got a number of takedowns. I’m still hoping for some type of bonus.”
Albu would have to settle for compliments from her fellow fighters, including light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir. She also had a chance to speak to her idol, Cris Cyborg, earlier in the evening, but she does not know if Cyborg has seen her fight yet.
“I think she’s a phenomenal fighter, I’m a big fan of hers,” said Albu. “I love the way that she conducts herself in the cage, her tactics, her strategy, her style, it’s really amazing. I love watching her fight. I had a chance to meet her and speak with her and chat a little bit, I’m very impressed with her overall. I certainly watched her fight in the hospital; unfortunately, I’m not sure if she watched mine or not.”
As for what’s next for “Stitch”, with just a handful of professional MMA bouts on her resume, she’s trusting the matchmakers to make the right call.
“At this point, I love the UFC matchmaking so far,” said Albu. “I think it’s been very wise and logical so I’m happy with matchmaking and we’ll see who they offer me next.”